Hothouse Flowers, Into Your Heart

Colin Irwin

By Colin Irwin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The 2004 comeback from the band that brought us the massive international hit “Don’t Go”

Liam O Maonlai is the perfect embodiment of the mix of styles, cultures and traditions that characterize the Irish rock sensibility. He and schoolfriend Fiachna O Braonain first started working together busking on the streets of Dublin, and Hothouse Flowers, the band they eventually formed, melded gospel, soul and rock, as well as traditional Irish music. Signed to U2's Mother label, they had a massive international hit with the single “Don't Go” while People became the most successful debut album in Irish history in 1988. Never the most prolific band, their output after that was somewhat erratic, but they stormed right back to form in 2004 as a trio of O Maonlai, O Braonain and Peter O'Toole with Into Your Heart. O Maonlai sings his socks off (though surprisingly the other two do the bulk of the songwriting) on this passionate, breast-thumping collection which also touches on reggae and closes with an unexpected burst of traditional music.