Picks and Pans Review: People

updated 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Hothouse Flowers

This debut by four talented lads from Dublin—unrelated, horticulturally or otherwise, to the happy lads above—justifies the stir it has created among critics and on the charts. The Flowers are not partial to anthems like their Celtic brothers in U2, although lead singer Liam O'Maonlai has something of the same fire in his vocal cords that Sir Bono does. The album is soulful R&B with a few splashes of folk-rock, punched up by Leo Barnes's sax and O'Maonlai's throaty delivery. Don't Go is an up-tempo number that paints a bucolic scene of "lying warm on the soft sandy beach" and "the smell of fresh cut grass" but in addition there's a bit of philosophy about how crucial it is to not take for granted the simplest pleasures offered in this frenzied world. Imagine strolling past some small congregation in a sleepy Southern town on a bright Sunday morning, listening to hymns wafting out. That's the feeling of It'll Be Easier in the Morning. There are also plenty of nice little literate lyrics to go along with the melodies. On Hallelujah Jordan, O'Maonlai sings of a bereft lover: "Now Hallelujah loves the bottle more brittle than her body/ More brittle than the heart that she'd broken." These Flowers show the potential to become a long-range phenomenon. (London/PolyGram)

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