A review is out to promote the new benefit compilation “Fields of Hope”
VARIOUS ARTISTS “FIELDS OF HOPE” Dara 2000
Dolores Keane: Storm in My Heart – Altan: Castles in The Air – Van Morrison & The Chieftans: Irish Heartbeat – Sinead Lohan: Everything Around Me is Changing – Mary Black: Ae Fond Kiss – David Gray: Lead Me Upstairs – U2: Staring at The Sun – Sinead O’Connor: Ode To Billie Joe – Maire Brennan: Ceolfidh Mi – Christy Moore: Lovely Young One – Dsnal Lunny & Coolfin: Butlers – The Cranberries: Dreaming My Dreams – Jack L: Rooftop Lullabye – The Corrs: Runaway
Although it goes without saying that the thinking behind it was a truly admirable demonstration of how people power in a needy hour could really save lives, the Band Aid single “Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Feed The World)” will always bring a bad taste to many mouths. Apart from giving rise to countless other cheesy charity tunes featuring duets from ‘well intended’ faltering stars who linked arms while grinning inanely (you know who they are!), the music itself amounted to little more than second rate, lame pop. Several years on from this we have learnt the hard way that like puppies, benefit albums are not just for Christmas, but for life! Here’s where this album comes in. There are no ill-fitting duets or sing-along anthems here, but quite a few rare tracks which showcase some of Ireland’s most established songwriters and musicians with a predominantly traditional and folk vibe. Dolores Keane’s distinctive sean nss touch to an airy “Storm in My Heart” complements the low-key acoustic touches of Sinead Lohan’s “Everything Around Me is Changing”. Meanwhile U2’s live acoustic version of “Staring at The Sun” proves that they can still churn out a striking tune without the aid of their arsenal of electronic gadgetry, just as David Gray’s sauntering sonnet “Lead Me Upstairs” finds him in flying form on front of an adoring audience. Doing more than their bit to compensate for The Corr’s uninspired, albeit well delivered live rendition of “Runaway”, Sinead O’Connor offers her sparse, soulful recording of “Ode To Billie Joe” while Kildare crooner jack L does his Scott Walker thing on the wide screen “Rooftop Lullabye”. More importantly, the distressing fact that 40,000 children die every day from lack of food is a problem that really shouldn’t be forgotten until the next Christmas compilation is rolled out. Buy this record, not just because you feel you should, but because it is worth the money.
Source: Thanks to Suzy Aston