New Music // Mundy – ‘It’s A Wonderful Lie’ (Paul Westerberg Cover)
Mundy confounds me. Always has.
Having been introduced to his music while at school, I fell for beautiful tunes like ‘To You I Bestow’ and ‘Gin & Tonic Sky’ and (showing my age here) trawled the likes of Napster and Audiogalaxy (or whatever it was before that – Gnutella?) for MP3s. These being the days when parents didn’t give their kids €50 pocket money and we had to actually earn our own money, I found a happy medium and just stole the music I wanted.
Illicit or otherwise, I loved everything I heard from the Offaly man, and finally managed to bag myself an album, Jelly Legs, from the library. I was underwhelmed and similarly disappointed when follow-up 24 Star Hotel was similarly patchy, despite more great pop tunes in ‘July’ and ‘Mexico.’ The less said about his most recent album Strawberry Blood the better.
I’ve always retained an affection for Mundy, but sometimes it says it all when an artist’s best of or live CD is your favourite, and that’s pretty much how I feel about his Live & Confusion DVD (which I reviewed here for Allmusic). However I’m intrigued (and slightly impressed) by his decision to launch his next album with a cover of one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite songwriters: ‘It’s a Wonderful Lie’ by Paul Westerberg.
It’s an incredible, simple song that means a lot to me for a variety of reasons – not only because the lyrics speak to the way my mind works, but also because of the elegance of the melody, the simplicity and warmth of the recording and the fact it kicks off a breath-taking sequence of tracks. The album it’s taken from, Suicaine Gratification, was derided like much of his post-Replacements work, but I fell in love with the album from the start and the scratched second-hand CD I bought in the now-defunct Final Vinyl on Camden St. remains one of my most cherished musical possessions.
Given how much the song means to me, Mundy’s version was never likely to bowl me over and, in truth, I find his recording a little bit too busy and his vocals too straight. However, anything that serves as an intro into the spellbinding music of Paul Westerberg is alright with me.
Mundy’s fifth studio album, Shuffle, is scheduled for release on May 13.