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CD - Kieran Goss New Day

Review by Evan Cater

Kieran Goss second album, New Day, features more expansive light folk-pop production, making significant use of keyboards and including more of Goss' six- and 12-string acoustic guitars while retaining the pianos that dominated Brand New Star.

Most of the tracks contain some steel guitar, nudging the music gently in a country & western direction. The lyrics and music remain mellow and soothing, although the slicker production at times results in a less genuine reading of Goss' songs.

The opening track, "Take a Look at My Heart," is a radio-friendly adult contemporary song, but it lacks the soul of Goss' best work. Some of that best work is nonetheless contained on New Day.

The title track is a beautifully rendered guitar-based ballad. "Lean on Me" features some excellent harmonies provided by Liam Bradley. "Look My Way" demonstrates more than any other track on the album the deft musicianship of Goss and his band, and "You Wait For Me" breaks into a rapturous fiddle solo, making it the only track that identifies Goss as an Irish artist.

But the best track may be Goss' cover of "Reach Out (I'll Be There)," which blends a quietly funky acoustic guitar backing on the verses with haunting piano-based harmonies in the chorus.

It is a perfect cover for New Day, which pulls off the difficult feat of exploring the positive side of life -- hope in the midst of darkness, the comfort provided by human contact and the presence of friends -- without succumbing to sentimentality

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