English pop band, Dexys have released their fifth studio album Let the Record Show: Dexys Do Irish And Country Soul.
By Jane Howkins.
Let The Record Show sees Dexys (more commonly known to some as Dexys Midnight Runners) adding a new flavour to their usual pop and soul mix, with an Irish folk style being present throughout. Whilst many of the songs here are old classics that most of those listening will have already heard of, there are also a few contemporary songs, with each track on the album performed in typical Dexys style.
Over the past couple of years, there have been quite a few albums released from well-known artists that have gone down the same route that Dexys have – namely that of trying to emulate a certain more ‘classic’ style of music, with the result often not being the resounding success that these artists thought it would have been. Let The Record Show thankfully seems to venture down a different road, with Dexys doing a fairly good job of things. It’s clear that they’re passionate about the genres they’ve chosen to emulate, which clearly shines through on songs such as upbeat the Both Sides Now and the less cheerful Carrickfergus.
It’s interesting to note that frontman Kevin Rowland has previously stated that the band had the intention of producing such an album back in the 1980s, with that dream sadly falling apart at the time due to their split in 1987. Because of that, it’s even more fascinating that decades later Dexys have managed to release this as their fifth full release, and one wonders how different such an album might have sounded thirty years ago. However, considering how good this sounds it might be a good thing that the band disbanded before they could create such a record, as an unhappy band might have led to an unhappy record, and whilst there are elements of sadness here presented on Let The Record Show, they’re usually underpinned by moments of joy – even if it is occasionally bittersweet.
And that’s what this record really is. It’s an uninhibited and joyful beast, marked by a lust for life and a love of Irish folk and country tunes. It won’t sway anyone not into Dexys or this genre, but if that is your cup of tea, then it’s definitely worth checking out.