Picks and Pans Review: Room to Roam

updated 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/03/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

The Waterboys

Head Waterboy Mike Scott's fascination with neo-Celtic music has not diminished. This record positively reeks of traditional accordions, fiddles and penny whistles. However, the approach has less impact than he (or most listeners) would like it to.

"When Scott's songwriting is on, as it is in the rocking "A Life of Sundays" or the rolling rhythms of "A Man Is in Love," Room to Roam is ideal sing-along music. Things at least are more upbeat here than on the Waterboys's 1988 album Fishermen's Blues, where Scott was just entering his Irish phase and the music was more somber.

Still, Scott was born in Edinburgh, and his interest in Irish music at times seems less emotional than technical. Room to Roam includes too many songs that are nice Irish numbers, suitable for jigging, but end up blurring together in an unexciting lump.

At least when the Pogues tread this same territory, they sound engaged. In this project, anyway, Scott just seems to have the chilliness, as well as the luck, of the Scottish. (Chrysalis)

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