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[Off The Record]
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Flynn is the new appellation for Martin Crotty, formerly of mid-’90s Boston club stars (and brief MTV stars) Cliffs of Dooneen. Following a life-altering spinal injury, Crotty took advantage of his good fortune and started making music again. Here he’s helped out by founding Cliffs member Lex Lianos and bassist Scott Padgett. There’s a bit of Cliffs’ old U2 sound, but also more: Flynn’s big, limber baritone on occasion recalls Bono Vox, and the soaring, anthemic open harmonies don’t hurt either. At times, the tracings of a specific U2 tune comes through: the melody and groove of "White" are built on "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" tossed with Bono’s lyrics from "Wild Horses" — except these ponies are, of course, white.

The production is big and varied, with gritty acoustic-guitar grooves kicking off "On Your Way" and "Don’t Mind"; they’re followed by wah-wah’d electric leads, hi-hat-fueled drum loops, and, elsewhere, the tasteful deployment of synth and strings in a Beatles mode. It’s an immediate, hooky, "adult" pop sound, dragged down by lyrics about love, faith, redemption . . . and love. Not necessarily a bad thing, except that Flynn tends toward imprecations to "Let love lead the way" and reminders that love is crazy (in "LoveSong") and blind (in, yes, "Love Is Blind"). At their most ambiguously spiritual, such love songs could be about an ex, or Jesus, or possibly a fine Cuban cigar. "I’m so sorry/ I didn’t mean to hurt you/I hope you can forgive me/I hope you will stop hurting soon" ("For You") invokes the earnestness that ’80s power ballads had in spades. On Your Way is full of such Dawson’s Creek moments. But in light of what Martin Crotty’s been through, he’s earned them.


Issue Date: December 13 - 20, 2001

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