The Guggenheim Grotto
The Universe Is Laughing
(United for Opportunity)
Kevin May and Mick Lynch are perfect melody complements. Although this might seem like an overly simplistic statement, all one must do is simply listen to the first minute of the Guggenheim Grotto’s The Universe Is Laughing and he or she will understand. In singing lyrics that are clever and gorgeous, both men have powerful, but peaceful voices that smoothly work their way under your skin. Together, the bandmates are able to accomplish something that evades many groups today: creating songs that are moving in both musical delivery and in lyrics.
Incorporating folk elements of their native Ireland into their music, the Guggenheim Grotto also appeals to a wider audience with some upbeat pop moments such as the plonky waltz of “Wisdom.” Their true strength though is their ability to write love songs that don’t seem cliché. “Concentrate” captures the struggle in conjuring up the memories of a lover and features many memorable metaphors such as “And if I really try, the moon appears / It’s come a very long way just to play with your hair.” By the end of the album, the listener’s heart is twisted and then tempered with time to relax before the closing ballad “Diamond,” “Turn yourself into a man in uniform,” it begs, “because this sorry old world needs diamonds like you,” and truly this sorry old world could use more albums of this creativity and caliber.