Mark Daly: When the Stars Align

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With song titles such as Thinking About You, Rise Again, Without You and My Shadow, we were convinced Daly was a Christian and, clichéd as we are, planned to write a “so the devil doesn’t have all the good tunes” type review. As it is, we can find no evidence of a faith-based recording policy so Daly is left as just a bloke with good tunes.

Daly is from Cork and previously played with hard rock band The VooDoos; we can’t be doing with Facebook any more but a Google link to the band’s page shows 6,100 likes, which is good for a local band but only 900 more than the Chronicle.

Clearly wanting more fame, he headed for America where he played with Operation: Mindcrime, a group led by former Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate, whose associated musicians include John Moyer (once in Disturbed) and Simon Wright (Ronnie James Dio): just moving in such circles is … er … a mark of how good a musician Mark is. These people don’t play with amateurs.

Now back in Cork and with baby daughter he’s recording solo.

The PR talks about Chris Cornell and Jeff Buckley as comparisons and he’s a bit Cornell in vocal style but more homely: this is honest music made by a decent musician, with a rootsy touch that stops it being formulaic rock. He reminds us of Ed Kowalczyk, formerly in the band Live, whose solo work is similarly melodic and appealing.

Daly explains the song titles by saying he was writing more introspectively and singing properly — The VooDoos seemed to have involved a lot of screaming — which made the music gentler.

It’s a good melodic rock album, poppy enough to be radio-friendly and easy on the ear but with enough roots/country to avoid being charmless derivative rock.

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