The Turning Tide (Compass Records)

By Ronke Oyekunle

The Turning Tide by Solas offers a contemporary play on Celtic music by the way of an Irish-American band. The instrumental sound can be described as very streamlined with rich and Celtic classical choices of instruments such as the accordion, tenor banjo, flute, and guitar. The sound adds to the astute social commentary gleaned from the lyrics of each song.

The first track, "Hugo's Big Reel," a complete instrumental song, prepares the listener for the kind of sound the album displays. The song is gentle yet has complexity with at least one dominant instrument that drives the tempo of the song.

Another completely instrumental song "Grady Fernando Comes to Town" sounds reminiscent of a down-home Bluegrass Country tune. A case of the chicken or the egg, "Grady" has a familiar American sound from an Irish-American band. "Trip to Kareol" returns the album to a more classic Celtic song with the quick turns of each melody and the quick overall tempo of the song (Allegro).

The song to listen for is "Sorry" because within this track contains the album title and its main theme. The words drive home the feelings of pain and the need for a sincere apology or actual restitution for a wrong deed. The quick tempo of "Sorry" drives home the message of this contemporary rendition of the Celtic sound. The Turning Tide ends like it began with "A Tune for Roan", a soft gentle song with one dominant instrument, the guitar. for more information on Solas.