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Album Review: Dexys - One Day I’m Going To Soar

5 November 2012 | 2:10 pm | Ross Clelland

Even in its moments of archness and overwrought melodrama, it’s an extraordinary thing – take that as you will.

Kevin Rowland – owner/operator of the Dexys' brand for over 30 years – has a purity in his artistic vision(s) bordering on egomania. Band line-ups were a fast-spinning revolving door, even through that 15 minutes when Come On Eileen made them the biggest band in the world. And then he tore down everything he'd so carefully constructed. Thus, it's more than a quarter-century since the last band effort. To here, their mix of Celtic-infused soul, spoken word theatrics, personal and broader politics all blanketed by Rowland's achingly emotive voice (and unshakable belief in himself) still intact.

The opening Now is part overture, revisionist history lesson, statement of intent, and confessional: “I know that I've been crazy”, he croons over snatches of Irish folk traditionals, hymns and fanfares of brass. Soar then sprawls out before you, often in conversation, argument or fine Hibernian abuse with its female counterpoint, actress-singer Madeleine Hyland. She holds her own against the rampant Rowland, but somewhere in an alternate universe Amy Winehouse is the one scratching his eyes out, or falling for this blarney. I'm Always Going To Love You, he begs as Barry White spins in the front room. Then straightaway soulfully belts he's probably Incapable Of Love anyway. She rightly fucks him off, while he suggests 'an open relationship', even as she kicks him down the stairs.

This self-flagellating, self-serving, self-excusing relationship process then winds down. He blames his immigrant's displacement (Nowhere Is Home), before It's OK, John Joe's reflective final acceptance. Rowland has again made an utterly idiosyncratic work of art. And somehow, even in its moments of archness and overwrought melodrama, it's an extraordinary thing – take that as you will.