Solas
by Ronan Hardiman (1998)
Universal, ASIN B0000069D3

Anthem
by Ronan Hardiman (2000)
Universal, ASIN B00004YLPA


I don't know what compelled me to purchase both Ronan Hardiman CDs, since I don't know anything about him. But I do like the snippets of Love Song from Solas that the music store I was browsing through was playing. And the cover art for Solas is beautiful. Okay, I'll take both.

Ronan Hardiman's music is something of a hybrid of jazz, dance, and new age. Unfortunately, this guy doesn't seem to be able to vary the rhythm and pace of his music, despite his impressive career path, and most songs are just one hook or a segment of music being repeated again and again and again and again until I scream for the pain to stop. The snippet I love, from Love Song is just that: a woman throatily singing "Love you, let me love you, let me love yo-ooo-ou, always" to three catchy lines of music, followed by a musical bridge, and Hardiman replays this again and again for almost seven minutes of torture. After the fourth minute, "Love you, let me loo-ooo-ooove you!" is not cute or even funny anymore.

It's the same with Anthem, although here Hardiman experiments with Gregorian chants as well as musical influences from various cultures. Again, the dread female vocalist singing the same three or four lines again and again to the same repeat refrain - stop, make it stop! Even Salve, which has a beautiful choral verse, becomes an excruciating agony to listen to as the same verse, followed by the same chorus, plays and replays until the four minute eight seconds mark is up.

Time to learn some few new tricks, Hardiman. There's only so much repeating a few clever hooks can do before it becomes an agony on the senses.

Rating: 50 for Solas, 63 for Anthem


My Favorite Pages

Solas at Amazon.com

Anthem at Amazon.com

Solas at Amazon UK

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