CD Reviews

MICHAEL TIERNAN: Love and a Gun

Michael Tiernan has established himself as a gifted pop singer/songwriter, whose prolific music encompasses multiple genres, while bearing his distinct brand. With a well-earned reputation as a creator of upbeat and good-time songs, on 2014’s Inside Your Head, he spent nearly half of the CD on songs with darker themes like violence and the internal struggle with evil. This approach comes up again on his latest EP, Love and a Gun—which reflects the world of today, and the choice between oblivion and hope.

The slick, five-track album was produced, like other recent Tiernan projects, by Andre De Santanna. “Your Attention” opens, a smart critique of our society’s tendency to be cell phone zombies; Tiernan is frustrated and wonders why “What we hold in our hand/Is making us less human.” The tune is effectively delivered with heavy, layered guitars and a rock beat. The slower title tune is based on the terrorist events in Paris and San Bernardino, and Tiernan doesn’t pretend that the current world doesn’t have potential for hate and the “blast of bombs”—but advocates for the listeners to choose love instead.

The more upbeat material also impresses. “Best Love,” a lovely ballad to his children, is a quiet moment in the program, and memorable. A catchy, soulful dance number, “Tired Eyes,” is a disc highlight, with horns, backing singers, and a winning groove. Not disco, but Tiernan scores with a surprise here.

Love and a Gun is more superb pop from Michael Tiernan, a great listen not to be missed.

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