After The Morning
by Cara Dillon, pop/classical (2006)
Compass Records, $16.98, ASIN B000H9I0YM

Cara Dillon has made a name for herself in the Irish folk music scene, but After The Morning sees her at her most, shall we say, "accessible" yet. The songs here features pop sensibilities, designed not only for easy listening but also for adult contemporary radio stations. You know me, I'm all for pop music. Unfortunately, for the most part, the songs here are too mellow and slow to the point that everything comes together like a single interminable sleepy song.

On their own, some of the songs aren't bad. The Streets Of Derry, a duet with fellow Irish folk singer Paul Brady, is a gentle heartfelt song with soothing vocals. Similarly, songs like Bold Jamie and The Snows They Melt The Soonest are boast soothing hypnotic vocals that make the perfect background accompaniment for one wants some peace or quiet. The production values of these songs are all similar, however, to the point that after a while, the vocals and the background tracks all start to sound the same.

The end result is an album best played in small doses, unless, say, one needs some music in the background during a post-meeting or post-seminar lunch or something. After The Morning is, at its best, sweet and inoffensive, but for the most part, the songs come together in one forgettable saccharine blur. It's way too easy to fall asleep while listening to this. What a shame, as Ms Dillon has such a lovely voice.

Rating: 66

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