After saying goodbye to Boyzone, Ronan Keating continues to pump out solo albums at a prodigious pace. His latest, a tribute to his Irish roots, arrives this week and here is everything you need to know about it...
After saying goodbye to Boyzone, Ronan Keating continues to pump out solo albums at a prodigious pace. His latest, Songs From Home, a tribute to his Irish roots, arrives this week and here is everything you need to know about it...
A little background…
In 2018, Boyzone dropped their final album, the fittingly titled Thank You & Goodnight. The album, which saw the band collect songs from the likes of Gary Barlow, Calum Scott and Ed Sheeran, as well as unearthing a long lost recording with sadly departed founding member Stephen Gately for the LP's finale.
The band toured heavily off the back of it, a 70-date UK tour which finished up with five nights at the London Palladium, and were very clear that it was the end of their journey together.
Keating immediately threw himself back into his solo career, releasing Twenty Twenty, a duet packed collection, which he has sadly never had the chance to tour, as he had planned to do so in 2020 and into this year.
But, instead of taking time off and reflecting, Keating has gone straight back to work and the result is Songs From Home.
The album sees Keating paying tribute to his homeland of Ireland, with 12 tracks chosen, all of Irish heritage. The tracks Keating has picked range from the supremely well-known, like U2's 'Where The Streets Have No Name', Hozier's 'The Parting Glass' and Damien Rice's 'The Blower's Daughter' to more traditional folkier tracks, like 'Raglan Road', which is a Patrick Kavanagh poem which has been taken into song by The Dubliners and has since been covered by the likes of Van Morrison and Sinead O'Connor, as well as 'Into The Mystic', which is one of Morrison's own.
Who’s producing it?
For this album, Keating has collaborated with producers Cian Boylan and Ruadhri Cushnan.
Any special guests?
A couple. 'No Frontiers' sees Keating team up with Mary Black, the Irish folk legend, while a number of tracks feature Keating's wife Storm for backing vocals.
What does it sound like?
While the unifying factor between these songs is their Irish origin, Keating's selection is a broad mix of genres and styles, some of the tracks have a polished pop sheen, while the others have a bit more of a rollicking feel to them, as you can hear on 'Heyday', a poignant nod to Skylarkin’, the only solo album by American-born Irish singer-songwriter Mic Christopher, which was released after his tragic death after a head injury sustained in 2001, when he was just 32.
Does it deliver?
Keating's work ethic continues to impress, this is his 12th solo album, alongside his work with Boyzone and his various other commitments. This is another interesting instalment to his career, one that will unite fans new and old.