Luka Bloom’s a real troubadour, playing his heartfelt music all over the world since forever. While he is pretty well-known he never really reached the super stardom, which is part of his charm. His intimate and personal approach make his music very accessible and relatable. You can sense the emotion and connection in each and every song and on “Eleven Songs” it’s no different. The album opens with the beautiful There Is A Time. His signature sound is apparent and his introspective lyrics and pleasant vocals are reminiscent of the late 60s/early 70s folk scene in Britain and Ireland.
The little more uptempo I’m On Your Side is quite catchy and makes a good folk/pop radio single. It has energy, yet it doesn’t play down the emotional basis of Luka Bloom’s music. And also the gentle I Hear Her, Like Lorelei is another gem. The storyteller Bloom treats you on a heartfelt ballad that ranks somewhere in the middle of Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake & James Taylor. And while I’m naming three of the greatest songwriters in the history of music, Bloom can keep up with that standard.
Not only the song title, but also the track itself has a positive feel to it. I Love The World I’m In is a bit of an alternative folk song with a message. The music serves the message and Luka Bloom knows how to deliver it convincingly.
Sunday has a live feel to it. It’s one of those songs you expect to hear in a pub somewhere deep in Ireland. It’s not too uptempo, but it has such a powerful basis and Luka Bloom’s excellent vocals just make it sound nearly perfect. Fire is the most obvious candidate for a radio single. It’s not only called fire, but it has a lot of fire in it musically too. Slightly reminds me of Jim Morrison (from The Doors) in the songwriting style, but it’s a flat out good song.
Just listen to the music in When Your Love Comes. Just really listen. The vocals are great, but the real star here is the musical arrangement. It’s magical. The beautiful, rounded melodies in See You Soon are what you want to hear from an accomplished songwriter and balladeer. Perfect pop-folk song.
Eastbound Train is another folk single in the making. The infectious rhythm and soulful, empathic vocals are so inviting and the whole arrangement of the song is so very pleasing that it will make you smile. So will the next track, Everyman, which is a typical Luka Bloom song. The dynamic, melodic folk lines intertwine with each other and are only amplified by Luka Bloom’s impressive vocals. It’s almost a definition of the word heartfelt.
The album is so good that it’s a shame that it’s coming to an end. Don’t Be Afraid of the Light That Shines Within You is another enigmatic folk song and it’s a nice ending to this excellent record.
Bloom also has a couple bonus tracks, of which Lighthouse and One Rose deserve the most praise. Me And My Guitar and Ocean of Love are also worth listening to, but especially One Rose combines the intimate electro-acoustic guitar playing with Bloom’s emotional storytelling-vocals/lyrics in a way that is nothing less of magical.
With “Eleven Songs”, Luka Bloom redefines himself as one of the world’s best songwriters and with his talent and experience, he knows what he can and can’t do. Luka Bloom is at the top of his genre and I don’t see anyone that can come really close to him at the moment.