Music

Pirate Music Reviews

Review: Dance Macaw

Rating: ★★★½☆
Buy it Now
Dance MacawIn the world of pirate music, Marooned has always seemed to me a band apart. Neither in-your-face pirate-core (too soft and subdued in nature) nor background easy listening (too stand-out in its sharply contrasted male and female vocals), their music is at once understated yet domineering – somewhat like a passive-aggressive pirate captain with a penchant for morbidity. (more…)

Review: Pirate Santa CD

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.piratesanta.com

Having reviewed the children’s book Pirate Santa nearly one year ago, it seems a fine time to introduce the companion CD. Yes, it features a booming voice reading the story. And yes, it includes weird and wonderful sound effects. These you expected. What you might not have expected would be the additional music thrown in for good measure.

For those unfamiliar, Mister Mac is a pirate. A pirate, and a children’s singer. Approximately 37 feet tall, his shiny bald head has sometimes been mistaken for the sun, and the adoring children gathering at his ankles appear no more than two apples tall. Yes, much like Smurfs, only less blue.

Where was I? (more…)

Review: Kraken Up

Rating: ★★★½☆
www.boundingmain.com

Genre: Traditional and traditional-style sea shanteys
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Grownups, older kids, folks who prefer sugar and lime in their grog rather than sand and gunpowder

As a fan of pirate music, I often find myself amongst the villainous and off-key. Pirate music is commonly gritty, sinister, and more concerned with setting a swashbuckling mood than achieving musical perfection – and God love ‘em for it! That said, once in a while it’s good to rise up from the bilges, sober up, maybe take a bath, and listen to some artists that have opted for a different, more polished musical endeavor. And that’s where Bounding Main is time and again a favorite amongst so many shanty-fans. (more…)

Review: A Pirate’s Christmas Wish

Rating: ★★★½☆
www.thebilgepumps.com

Do I even need to review this album? I mean, seriously – all I need to do is say, “Pirate Christmas CD” and then add, “by The Bilge Pumps,” and then I’d guess most readers will immediately do the math and go running (to or from the album may vary from reader to reader :P)

OK, maybe some of you aren’t already familiar with The Bilge Pumps (seriously? I mean, don’t you even listen to Bilgemunky Radio?), so perhaps I should elaborate. The Bilge Pumps are a pirate shanty/comedy group. Their music is appropriately rough, swaggerly, and peppered with the sorts of off-taste comments you sorta-wish-the-kids-hadn’t-heard-but-maybe-it-went-over-their-heads-and-besides-they-have-to-grow-up-someday. (more…)

Review: Here There Be Pirates and Scallywag

Rating: ★★★½☆
www.myspace.com/tugbromberg

For those of us who focus primarily on Pirate-Core style music, meaning that which bends&blends the pirate genre into new and exciting directions, it’s sometimes important – and refreshing – to revisit the roots of the genre. However, sea shanties as often performed can often come across rather soft and bland compared to the gritty villainy found on more theatrical pirate CDs, which is why the likes of Tugboat Bromberg fill such a nice gap. Tugboat performs what I can only call “minimalist” pirate music – mostly just himself and a guitar. His voice isn’t exactly sinister, but it has just enough scratch to reach a “casually crusty” point that sounds right at home with pirate material. (more…)

Review: Score!

Rating: ★★★★½
2010 marks the 20th anniversary of legendary pirate shanty group The Jolly Rogers, and they honor the occasion in style with Score!, being a classical Jolly Rogers CD if ever there was one. Shanties – traditional and original alike – fill out the bulk of this 19 track album, ranging from fast to slow, adventuresome to bawdy… it’s the Jolly Rogers we’ve come to know and love these past two decades, no doubt! (more…)

Review: Inner Buccaneer

Rating: ★★★½☆
www.thebrigands.com
Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk.
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Fans of folk-inspired pirate tunes and jigs

So most “real” news outlets mention when they have a vested interest in a story – full disclosure and whatnot. Seems like a good idea, so I think it’s fair to mention that The Brigands bought me breakfast a few months back. Coffee, eggs, bacon… there might have been some sort of bread involved, like an english muffin or toast, but I don’t rightly recall. I probably drank a bit of rum the night before, so memory may be sketchy. But the bacon is remembered, and appreciated. But let me assure you, it doesn’t affect this review in the least…

INNER BUCCANEER IS THE GREATEST CD OF ALL TIME AND YOU SHOULD BUY THREE COPIES RIGHT THIS MINUTE. (more…)

Review: Rise

Rating: ★★★★★
Genre: Pirate folk rock
Rating: PG-13
Target Audience: Pirates. If you don’t love this album, you’re a poser.

A review of The Pirates Charles’ new album Rise almost seems redundant. I mean, it’s The Pirates Charles for crike’s sake! And, as always, this album is full of “almost traditional” music akin to what pirates would have listened to if only they’d thought of it. If you’ve heard their earlier albums, then you know what I mean. And if you’ve ever seen them live, then you know it even moreso. (more…)

Review: Better Than Live

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Buy the CD
www.marooned-lv.com
Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Fans of folk and faire style pirate tunes. Sad, sad ones.

The thing about the band Marooned is that you should never listen to them while drinking rum. It’s not that they aren’t piratey – it’s just that alcohol can promote depression, and so can Marooned. Slow and somber, mostly a capella songs of death and despair, it’s best to stay sober lest you start blubbering into your mug. But even if you prefer your rum cut with the salty bitterness of your own tears, at least take a moment to hide the rope and razorblades. (more…)

Review: The Legend of Salty Jim

Rating: ★★★★☆
skullbrandedpirateswww.skullbrandedpirates.com
Genre: Pirate Metal
Rating: PG
Target Audience: Metal-Heads and fan of Pirate-Core

There’s just something about pirate metal. While musically they couldn’t be further removed from actual historical pirates, there’s something in their dress/manner/attitude that makes you believe they “get it.” Blackbeard might have drunkenly sang the songs of the folk singer, but I’d bet gold dust that he’d rather party with the metal-heads. (more…)