Music News

Luka Bloom

Casual music listeners in the States probably know Irish singer-songwriter Luka Bloom for just one song: his 1992 cover of LL Cool J's "I Need Love." Bloom's rendition of this hip-hop seduction opus, which earned substantial airplay on a slew of radio formats, treated the tune with unexpected respect, resisting the temptation to turn it into a mere folk-music goof -- yet the novelty of the concept wound up making him seem gimmicky anyhow. He's been fighting the misperception ever since, and with Innocence, his tenth studio recording (and first for the Cooking Vinyl imprint), he goes a long way toward putting it to rest. Of the fifteen tracks here, all but one is a Bloom original -- and the sole exception, "Larry Redican's Bow," is a rearrangement of a traditional instrumental, not a new version of a Jay-Z throwdown. Moreover, tunes like "Primavera," "Miracle Cure" and the geopolitically dense "No Matter Where You Go, There You Are" exude gravity and thoughtfulness. Thanks to their quality, Bloom may finally beat the rap.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts