4 STAR MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM THE DAILY MIRROR

MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM THE INDEPENDENT

Album Reviews By Andy Gill
3 ***
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: Like a Wave Breaks on a Rock; Call A Cab Cinderella;It Was the Sweetest Thing, Hangover Me

On Minesweeping, Alabama 3’s Larry Love and Brendan O’Connell pursue the roots Anglo-American path explored on 2006’s Ghost Flight.  
It’s an album of farewells, fallen angels and fond billets doux.  Over circular guitar arpeggios and accordion, death-row inmates are counselled in Like a Wave Breaks on a Rock while an addict is offered encouragement in Come on Boy
Sweeter trysts are considered in duets with Buffy Sainte-Marie, on Shake Off Your Shoes, and Rumer, joining Love in search of “bad company” in Hangover Me
Echoes of I Shall Be Released haunt another liaison in the country-soul ballad It Was the Sweetest Thing, one of the most effective vehicles for Love’s Lanegan-like wounded baritone.

MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM THE SCOTSMAN

MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM THE IRISH NEWS

Larry Love of Alabama 3 and Brendan O’Connell have been making music for years, and Minesweeping is evidence that the collaboration works.
With a little help from guest vocalists, the album features many tracks that are instantly likable.
Like A Wave Breaks On A Rock has the markings of a classic with an hypnotic riff, while Hangover Me featuring Rumer is the kind of song you wouldn’t mind playing on repeat, and its contrasting voices are a treat.
For a dreamy nostalgic song look no further than It Was The Sweetest Thing, while there’s an old school rock and roll feel to If It’s Not Broken.
After one listen to the chorus, it’s difficult not to join in next time round on the catchy Love Is Like A Rolling Stone featuring Tenor Fly, while Pete Doherty features on the atmospheric title track.
This is a strong album that would boost anyone’s music collection.

LIVE REVIEW: O'CONNELL & LOVE AT THE 100 CLUB, ALBUM LAUNCH

Minesweeping is Larry Love’s new album, co-written with Brendan O’Connell...
This album by O’Connell and Love is a second-time round departure for Larry, who is more familiar with his down-and-dirty acid house country folk Alabama 3 persona. His first solo album was Ghost Flight in 2006. Minesweeping is a collection of gentle-sounding country /Americana numbers, comprising some lush ballads to sing along to, but lyrically, there’s a sting in their tail.
Love, O’Connell and band held their launch party at the 100 Club last week, after the album’s release 0n 6th July 2015, and true to Alabama 3 form, it had the feel of a big celebratory party.

READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE: gourmetgigs.com

LONESOME HIGHWAY REVIEW OF MINESWEEPING

Minesweeping could not possibly be any further from the acid house country material normally associated with Alabama 3 lead vocalist and songwriter Larry Love. The album is a collaboration between Love and Brendan O’Connell, who co-wrote Love’s solo album Ghost Flight, recorded in 2006.

It is produced by Love and O’Connell under the watchful eye of Greg Fleming, better known as Wizard, whose previous work includes The Chemical Brothers, X Press 2 and DJ Fresh. It boasts a most impressive list of guest vocalists including Rumor, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Aurora Dawn and June Miles-Kingston. The closing title track also includes a spoken rendition by Pete Doherty of the Wilfred Owen’s poem "Dulce et decorum est ." No less impressive is the quality and diversity of the musicians involved in the recording, including Segs Jennings (The Ruts), Seamus Beaghen (Madness)  and Jay Darlington (Madness).

Given the ingredients it’s surprising that the album is actually much closer to late night bedsit listening than the dancefloor, and saddens, stimulates and soothes in equal measures. A reference point would be the Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell trilogy of albums Sunday at Devil Dirt, Ballad of The Broken Seas and Hawk. Love and Lanegan could have been separated at birth given the similarities in style, content and delivery on this album. The beauty and the beast framework created by Lanegan and Campbell is equalled here by the melodic and gentle contributions, in particular by Rumor (Shake Off Your Shoes, Hangover Me) and Buffy Sainte-Marie (Call a Cab Cinderella), a contrast to the whiskey soaked, sixty a day sounding baritone drawl deployed by Love.

Country folk and blues has seldom sounded darker yet sweeter.

LONESOME HIGHWAY
 

HOW TO WRITE A COUNTRY SONG? GET A BAD WOMAN AND A GOOD HANGOVER SAYS LARRY LOVE!

‘WE LOVE HANGOVERS - THEY'RE VERY INSPIRING'
 
'I speak to songwriting duo O’Connell & Love to find out how a stormy winter week in Hastings, afternoon drinking, Johnny Cash’s American Recordings and some serious hangovers all helped to create one of the best albums of the year…'

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW AND EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH BRENDAN AND LARRY AT sayitwithgarageflowers

 

MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM PENNYBLACK MUSIC

Stunning collaborative album between songwriter and musician Brendan Connell and Larry Love from Alabama 3, which includes guest vocal appearances from Pete Doherty, Buffy Saint Marie and Rumer

I like looking at track lists to see if I can make a story from them. There are images of rocks and hard places, sea and sky in these. Brendan O’Connell credits Hastings with its stormy winter weather and depressing seaside arcades as inspiration. You would expect this dark moodiness from the collaboration that brought you Larry Love, aka Robert Love’s first solo album, 'Ghost Flight'.

This album is about collaborations and contradictions, images and influences.
Is it sweetly sinister or sinisterly sweet? It’s confusing.

One of the first influences is Alabama 3. Larry Love’s distinctive voice combined with their dark Americana lyrics, where it’s been said Nashville meets acid house, is a tried and tested partnership. The band’s own history, going back to 1995, feeds into this. 'The Sopranos' theme tune, Rock Against Racism involvement, and favourites of both Irvine Welsh and Stephen King all adds up to something that makes a powerful statement.

This is about reinvention and finding new and unexpected ways to make meaningful music, breaking down barriers and spreading the word.

There are comparisons to be made between Love’s voice and Jim White. Sometimes he sounds like Leonard Cohen, even Dylan or Johnny Cash. It’s that gravel tone, associated with American singers but coming from the vocal chords of a man from Brixton. His image is part preacher man, occasional criminal. It could be intimidating.

But then there are the guests he’s working with, Buffy Saint Marie, Rumer, Aurora Dawn, and June Miles Kington. That’s some roll call. The contrast of these female voices with his vocals is reminiscent of Johnny and June, or Leonard Cohen and Jennifer Warnes.

So instead of being intimidating, it’s both familiar and accessible. For all that the lyrics explore dark places, the music is uplifting and enjoyable. The influences are all there, contributing to that sense of this being an old favourite of an album, even though you know you are listening to it for the first time.

If you like JJ Cale, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Dylan and the Band, you’ll hear where it’s coming from.

Then there are the musicians, with backgrounds as diverse as Burt Bacharach (Rob Shrakbari), Oasis (Jay Darlington), and Madness (Seamus Beaghen) and reggae toaster Tenor Fly.

And I haven’t yet mentioned Pete Doherty reciting Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. WB Yeats’ poem ‘The Circus Animals Desertion’ is read by Anna Allen, and Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider Rosie’ is referenced too.

All of these musicians, singers, references and influences are brought together by dance producer Wizard, aka Greg Fleming. It seems a crazy combination but it works.

When you get a great vocalist, brilliant song writing, interesting musicians and a range of influences coming together like this, the whole really is greater than the sum of the already considerable parts. Favourite tracks are ‘Hangover Me’ and ‘Love is like a Rolling Stone’, but the CD has been on repeat for a couple of days now and it just gets better and better.

Review by Nicky Crewe 12/08/2015 Pennyblack Music

ROOTS TIME.BE REVIEW OF MINESWEEPING

THIS IS A TRANSLATION FROM THE ORIGINAL DUTCH

Larry Love (his birth name is Robert Spragg) is the lead singer of the 1992 he founded blues and rock group "Alabama 3" in Brixton, London. In 2006 he released under the name Robert Love with "Ghost Flight 'first solo record on the market for which he had written songs in close collaboration with Brendan O'Connell. Almost ten years later both hands again beaten to bring out as a duo under the name "O'Connell & Love 'second album.
"Minesweeping" consists of thirteen new songs, of which eight are accommodated in a partnership between Larry Love and a famous guest musician with widely varying roots. The Pakistani-British singer and songwriter Rumer may deliver her vocal angels singing two songs "Hang Over Me" (see video), the first single to be released from this album, and "Shake Off Your Shoes". The 74-year-old Canadian-American singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie with indigenous roots, singing along with the song "Call A Cab Cinderella". "Alabama 3 'and' Screaming Skulls' singer Aurora Dawn will give the best of themselves in the song" Goodbye To Mr. Blue. "

June Miles-Kingston is a drummer and backing vocalist who was active in several bands, including "Everything But The Girl," "Fun Boy Three," "Big Country" and "The Communards. She plays and sings on this album along with the songs "Come On Boy" and "Uncertain Harbour". For "Love Is Like A Rolling Stone" was invoked by singer and rapper Tenor Fly (Freestylers) and the enfant terrible of the British pop music Pete Doherty (The Libertines' & 'Babyshambles') and ex-boyfriend of supermodel Kate Moss helps this album along with the closing title track "minesweeping".
Brendan O'Connell and Larry Love had together in the past thirty years, written songs, which they now have 13 tracks selected to be placed on "minesweeping". The unusual collaboration with other artists who are active in various musical styles is surprising and original. The credits for this are in part intended for producer 'Wizard' (aka Greg Fleming), a man who is best known as a producer of "dance' music and that job already brightened colors for 'The Chemical Brothers' and' Dizzee Rascal '

Larry Love's voice sometimes reminds us of the baritone Leonard Cohen or Mark Lanegan, although they are less deeply, lived and gloomy sounds. Along with his musical buddy Brendan O'Connell he has 7 years made about the inclusion of "minesweeping", but the result was worth the long wait. This is a very pleasant and enjoyable album, which we are without the help of third placed Van Morrison-like popballad "It Was The Sweetest Thing" and the catchy swinging "If It's Not Broken" have been selected as our absolute favorite tracks.
(Valsam)

www.rootstime.be
 

MINESWEEPING REVIEW FROM THE LIVERPOOL ECHO