Ronan Furlong – Minerva’s Meddling (2020)

Renowned guitarist Ronan Furlong continues to weave his musical tapestry with his new album Minerva’s Meddling. The album combines his unique and engaging style with an exploration of the imagined psyche of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. Using this mindset, Furlong is able to dip into the core themes of the human condition in a unique manner.

As he takes this different approach, you are left with an 11-track album stuffed full of diverse tracks. Using his engaging vocals and intricate guitar work, Furlong propels you through contrasting moods and relatable emotions. Each track on the album holds your attention from start to finish and makes you really think about the lyrics.

The album starts with ‘The Deal’ which uses these engaging guitar notes to draw you in. These notes help you jump into the new world of Furlong’s music. The light melody gives his vocals the chance to shine as they form this easy lower layer. Lyrically, the song has this narrative structure that sets the scene and is very easy to connect to. There are moments where Furlong’s vocals make you float along before you are introduced to these wonderful guitar notes.

‘Hoplite Armour’ takes a different route to the opening track with its flowing melody. You move away from the narrative structure and are taken on a journey instead. There is something captivating about this song as you get lost in the imagery of the hoplite, an ancient Greek foot soldier. The beauty of this track is that it is so indescribable and captivating that you can’t help but listen to it again and again.

There is a different vibe to ‘Keep On Turning The Pages’ that shines through in the stop-start opening. The guitar on this track is plucky and creeps in and out of your consciousness. The imagery-heavy lyrical structure continues with this song. There is something resolute to this song highlighted by the story of the main character of the laid-out tale. Listening to this track is like watching a movie as you move through the emotions of the song and soaring guitar ending.

‘Mystic Mountain’ has a very eastern flavour to it with these undulating notes. It is very different from the songs that came before and is this blast of unique vibes that lifts you from the last track. You can’t help but get drawn into the sound and lost in the intense music. There is a driving element to the melody that makes you think that you are being pushed into a set direction without any knowledge of what waits for you. This intensity dies down and you are left with something softer that allows you to breathe.

‘Remember You Said’ is softer and has a folky vibe to it. This is a much sadder song as there is a melancholic note to the vocals. The lyrics are also not the lightest as they detail all the issues you are facing. While the track starts out melancholic, it turns to something a little brighter. The soft melody and vocals remain throughout, but the lyrics bring a sense of hope. There is a gentle power to Furlong’s vocals on this track that you become absorbed in. There is a slight link back to the eastern tones of the last track at the end of this one.

The opening of ‘Empires of the Mind’ has an atmospheric tone to it. It is almost meditative as it softly draws you in, but this gives way to a strong driving guitar. There are a few elements to this track that wonderfully meld together. The building of the melody lightly increases in power and there is a depth to the song that is hard to get over.

Ronan Furlong

The next track is ‘I Will Wait’ which has this opening melody that is like ocean mist against your skin. There is a pining within this song that makes you yearn. The melody seems to be minimalist at the start, but there are a few tender layers working together to create the complex emotions the song evokes. Furlong’s vocals are amazing on this track as you can hear the yearning in each word.

‘The Digital Savant’ is the opposite of the last single and hits you from the start with this electric guitar. The start is all edgy rock guitar that gets your head moving to the melody. This gives way to a softer melody that could be jarring, but Furlong is able to execute this sudden transition with flair. This track is a master class in how to use a guitar to tell a tale and showcases Furlong’s prowess with the instrument.

‘Persian Sun’ wastes no time getting into the imagery of the song. Furlong’s vocals lap against your ears from the first moment. This is a very interesting song as he moves through different moods and vocal styles. There is a wonderful vulnerability to Furlong’s vocals on this song mixed with a strange honesty considering the subject matter is historic in nature.

There is a somewhat more upbeat vibe to ‘These Are The Days’. This feeling is at odds with the lyrics as Furlong looks at some of the bad days of life. There is an infectious beat to this song that you can’t help but move to. There is a bit of despair in the lyrics that shines in the vocals, but there is also a faint glimmer of something good as well.

The album comes to a close with ‘Deep Within’. The song grabs your attention with the guitar opening that has these wonderful notes that lead you to Furlong’s vocals. There is a darkness to his performance on this song that you don’t hear on the other racks of the album. This darkness melds with the rock vibe of the track and becomes a powerful message within the narrative. It is an amazing way to end the album and will stick with you for a long time after it ends. The power of this song makes it an instant favourite.

Using all his abilities, Ronan Furlong takes you on a lyrical journey full of introspection, carefully woven tales and addictive guitars on Minerva’s Meddling. Each track on the album has its own unique vibe as Furlong swings from rock to folk and everything in between. If you are looking for an album that brings imagery to life and captivates you from the first second, this is it.

Find out more about Ronan Furlong on his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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