A cloud, inevitably, hangs over this tribute to erstwhile
Miracle Legion frontman Mark Mulcahy. Even if you already knew that his wife
Melissa died suddenly last fall and that the CD’s a benefit for Mulcahy and
their twin daughters, reading his remembrances of Melissa in the liner notes
will still break your heart and make hug your nearest loved one all the harder.
The music within, then, is intended to let the sunlight peek through, one song
at a time, in the process peeling back the layers of the songwriter’s persona.
From a pair of tunes culled from ML classic Surprise Surprise Surprise (a
note-perfect “Paradise,” by the Autumn Defense; Thom Yorke’s electro-tinged
take on “All For the Best”) to songs sprinkled across Mulcahy’s solo records (notably
an elegiac, gently swaying take on the title track by the Unbelievable Truth,
and the National’s stately, almost Roxy Music-like “Ashamed of the Story I
Told,” originally written by Mulcahy for the Adventures of Pete & Pete kid’s TV show), Ciao My Shining Star is an opportunity to rediscover the beauty of
Mulcahy’s back catalog.
Standout Tracks: “All
For the Best” (Thom Yorke); “Sailors and Animals” (Mercury Rev) FRED MILLS