By Dave Herrera
By Jesse Livingston
By Cory Casciato
By Jon Solomon
By Jesse Livingston
By Alejandra Loera
By Stephanie March
By Tom Murphy
If this is all Bloom has to say after a more than two-year break from releasing new original material, he may as well take another extended hiatus. Although eminently listenable in a chamomile-sipping, NPR sort of way, there's little here worth hearing for anyone but diehard Luka lovers. The most satisfying selections -- "Monsoon," "Perfect Groove" and "Soshin" -- surround the songwriter's rich tenor brogue with flute and fiddle licks of a vaguely Eastern origin, while acoustic guitars and hand percussion supply a relatively spunky beat that camouflages the occasional inanity of Bloom's rhymes. "Perfect Groove," for instance, includes the assertion, "I'm looking for the perfect food/Not undercooked or stewed/A tasty little mood/I want to sing for you." More traditional is "As I Waved Goodbye," which mixes a sprightly Irish melody with a droning arrangement that suggests a backdrop of bagpipes.
When Bloom takes himself too seriously, however, as he does on ballads such as "Here and Now," he's duller than a sack of spuds. While the slow tempos of such numbers showcase the singer's heart-on-his-sleeve delivery, they also sport stanzas so generic they'd make the Indigo Girls blush. Sample line from "Love Is a Place I Dream Of": "Someday I will cross the world for you/No matter how far/Just to be there." He fares slightly better on "Hands of a Farmer," a touching if underdeveloped elegy to traditional Irish musician Micho Russell that combines Bloom's flair for nature-inspired imagery with an actual subject.
Overall, perhaps the best that can be said about this CD is that, with nary a song over four minutes, Bloom at least has the sense to keep it short. Not even backing vocals from Sinéad O'Connor, present on several cuts, can save this one.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city