Ships Are Sailing
-#11 in PaddyRock.com top 20 of 2009 -Special Mention fron Shite 'n' Onions for top 10 Celtic Punk & Rock of 2009 -IrishPunk.com says 'One of the best of 2009' -Featured in 67Music's favorites of 2009 From PaddyRock.com July 31, 2009 Where their previous release "As I Roved Out" may have caused a ripple in the water... "Ships Are Sailing" will be the release sending waves crashing into the rocks and leaving it's mark on the Celtic/Folk music scene. Michael and Hannah have taken their diverse musical talents to the next level on this release with Melodic vocals that intertwine to perfection as heard on "I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day"... a gritty country ramble with "Whiskey From The Still" & "The Tinker's Fiddler"... a cool little gypsy mix on "The Titanic" & "The Sailor's Return"... and even a Pogues track done very well with "Rainy Night in Soho". This is a really solid release that will have you tapping your foot, singing along, and is just great listening here. Pick this one up... and even put it in your jukebox at the pub. From Celtophilia.com July 9, 2009 Bonnie exclaims: The problem with really loving a band, and especially with being nuts over the members personally, is that when they send us a CD to listen to, I'm terrified. What if I can't stand it? What if it's awful, and I feel ethically obligated to tear it apart? Thanks to everything holy, The Langer's Ball did not put me in that position. We really adore Hannah Rediske and Michael Sturm here at Celtophilia, and they keep giving us more reasons to do it. The duo's second album is called Ships Are Sailing, and I'm tempted to have it surgically implanted into my forehead. Okay, not really, because that's pointless and gross and vaguely impossible, but you get the idea. It's good stuff people. Despite what the name suggests, Ships are Sailing is not solely a collection of seafaring tunes. The content ranges from songs about being transported, to the sinking of the Titanic, to sailing songs, a drinking song, and even a rainy night love song. It sounds like it ought to be chaotic and fragmented, but somehow it's a cohesive and compelling whole. My two favorite things about The Langer's Ball are Michael's vocals and Hannah's ability to make the piano accordion awesome, so when they are combined on the performance of one of my all time favorite rebel songs, I am ecstatic. Despite my one little issue with their arrangement of Patriot Game (where'd the verse about De Valera go? Why does everyone let that guy off the hook?) It's a tragically beautiful version of a powerful song. The Sailor's Return is one of the best instrumental songs by a Celtic band that I have ever listened to over and over. I am easily bored by many instrumentals and it's rare that one will pique my interest, particularly if it's nestled in amongst songs with actual words. This track is also a rarity in that it employs some environmental sounds that don't annoy the daylights out of me - in this case some unobtrusive thunderstorms placed at the beginning and end of the tune that add to the overall appeal of the song without being distracting. The Titanic is a charmingly strange, throw-the-kitchen-sink-in-there-might-as-well, kind of song. It's nautical, it's sort of Celtic, it's dark and morbid, yet it's upbeat. I can't explain it, I can only love it with a great and terrible passion. I certainly didn't think that it would turn out to be one of the best songs on the CD, but it is. I have been looking forward to this album pretty much since the moment I listened to the last song on The Langer's Ball's first album, and that is no lie. I fell hard for this band at first listen, and after hearing Ships are Sailing, I remain smitten. Mike proclaims: It's no secret that Celtophilia loves, The Langer's Ball. We have featured them here multiple times, reviewing their debut album which was arguably the best CD to be released last year, interviewing, and posting news of Michael and Hannah whenever we can get it. So obviously, we couldn't have been happier to hear news of a new album on the way. Ships Are Sailing continues on all the good things that were started in last year's As I Roved Out, and builds on that formidable foundation to present a CD that will be a standout in everyone's collection for years to come. I can tell you honestly, I'll be listening to Ships Are Sailing exclusively for the next few weeks. There's just nothing here not to love. Since I do love trad songs, all my favorites from Ships Are Sailing trend in that direction. Botany Bay is a perennial favorite, and every one I hear is my new favorite version. The one presented here puts all others to shame, though. Upbeat, with Michael's somewhat rough vocals, make this a full-on Celtic Rock song, which is a bit of a departure from the last CD. I'll offer as my sole criticism for the entire CD, though, several liberties were taken with the traditional lyrics. It's weak tea as criticisms go, though, because I love the song anyway. Sam Hall, another trad piece which is more than a little reminiscent of Ye Jacobites By Name, or Captain Kidd, I like for it's martial sound, despite being another "I'm going off to die now" song at it's heart, with the added twist that Sam seems quite angry at the arrangement, rather than mournful. It's angry, defiant, and fierce. The song that totally blows me away, though, is at the very end of the CD, and highlights what I've come to love the most about The Langer's Ball. I've heard I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day at least a dozen ways, but I've never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever... ever, ever, heard it done this well. This song is always quaintly pretty, but with the male and female vocals intertwining, it becomes magical. If I leave you with no other impression, let it be this. You are not going to want to miss this CD. The Langer's Ball has done the impossible, and made a CD better than their first. It releases on July 25th, but is available for pre-order at their website at www.thelangersball.com Go order it, or you will be missing out on some of the best Celtic music that will be released this year.