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CD REVIEW: Sean Croghan – From Burnt Orange To Midnight Blue
By Ben Ohmart - 07/20/2001 - 02:51 PM EDT

Artist: Sean Croghan
Album: From Burnt Orange To Midnight Blue
CD Review: The lazy entrance to this 9 track, 45 minutes goes by the name of ‘Gweneveire,’ a musically blue ballad that takes me back to my REM days of the late 80s (indeed Sean has that kinda voice at times, just not near as whiny). Hard to believe this guy was in a punk band (Crackerbash), because even the upbeat tracks are without driving malice. If anything the tone is that of forced patience, driven on by life’s repetition of rut and unhappiness.

But at the same time there’s a sense of humor that’s dominating (as indeed there must, if singers are to remain sane) and encircling cuts like ‘Cupid’s Credit Card,’ and ‘John McConnell’s Ghost,’ the latter being an acoustic alt-rock tune with red blues coursing all the way thru its veins and brain throbs.

Intelligent songs from start to finish. If I had the lyrics anywhere – even on the webpage – I’d share them in a second. Even if you can’t decipher all words, the emotionalism of every moment you come up to and then pass is crafted, amazingly, without soppiness, but with a morbid realism that’s difficult to turn away from. Like rubbernecking a good car crash on the highway? No, that’s too dramatic. This is the stuff we all go thru. Every day. And that’s more tragic, more soul searching, more wearing down.

Yeah, the simple voice and piano of ‘Space Room’ could depress. But personally, I find it freeing, like expensive commiseration at the cushion of a poor head doctor’s couch. Like any good pornography, living through another’s pleasures and pains bleeds the soul for much needed release.

Oh, and a stop over at the kicking ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’ will recharge your batteries if you’re feelin’ low.

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