JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN
Look Over The Wall, See The Sky (River Lea)
After 2021’s exceptional I Would Not Live Always, expectations are very high for John Francis Flynn’s second album of traditional Irish folk. On Look Over The Wall, See The Sky there is more of the format that worked so well on Flynn’s debut – merging acoustic and electric instruments, eccentric selections and unique arrangements – but something about this collection doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Another listener may be able to get more from the disjointed approach and cool (as in tepid, not hip) aesthetic that somehow stops this album from being consistently enjoyable. Within A Mile Of Dublin is a great instrumental that shows off Flynn’s ability as a whistle player, and the genuinely different interpretations of the Pogues’ Kitty and Ewan MacColl’s Dirty Old Town really work. Flynn is the real deal as these little gems, and his last album, clearly show – but Look Over The Wall… only reveals this on occasion.
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES