Marc Carroll: Love is All or Love Is Not at All – Album Review

Love is All or Love is not at All
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Artist: Marc Carroll
Genre: Alternative
Label: One Little Indian

For too long, this reviewer has been overly concerned as to why the work of Dubliner Marc Carroll – unquestionably one of Ireland’s best, yet commercially unrewarded, songwriters – isn’t more widely known.

It seems, though, that Carroll himself does not worry as much, so it’s fair to assume that his new album – his seventh solo record – may suffer the same fate as his earlier ones.

And yet the music inhabits a compelling space, and highlights Carroll's more politically oriented songcraft in tracks such as No Hallelujah Here, Ball and Chain and the title number, which features an inspiring poem by former Crass member Penny Rimbaud.

These are Carroll's most empathetic songs to date – from obvious beauty (Catalina in the Distance) to subtle atmosphere (Oh, Death, Don't Yet Call Me Home), the man has done it again.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture