One of their best!
I can't say enough about this band and this album. They're a great bunch of people and their live shows are fantastic.
Special Reserve is one of the top 3 albums from one of my top 2 favorite Celtic bands and one of my top 5 favorite bands in any genre. This album is pretty much in a 3 way tie with What's the Rumpus and Cabbage in my esteem.
Everyone in the band is on top of their game on this album. There's not a weak link among them. Everything I love about Gaelic Storm is in full force here. The vocals, lyrics, humor, instrumentals and storytelling are all as good as they get. It's clear that this band has it all.
One thing that really sticks out from this album, and all Gaelic Storm albums, is their equal ability to nail the standards and craft new classics in their original tunes. Lots of Celtic bands can give decent renditions of the standards, but are clearly lacking inspiration on the songs they wrote themselves. Not with Gaelic Storm. You always get a great blend of both.
As usual, I tend to prefer the Murphy songs over the Twigger-led songs and that's true of this album as well. Drink the Night Away just might be my favorite Twigger song, however. He's at his best on that one.
The stats on this album are unbelievable. The majority of this album is in the great-to-excellent 4 and 5 star range. The songs Tell me Ma and Nancy Whiskey are not only 5 star songs, they are the definitive versions of these standards. The best tracks are Liverpool, Whiskey, Johnny Jump Up, Tell Me Ma and Courtin in the Kitchen. Whiskey, Johnny, Liverpool and Ma are all among the top 10 Gaelic Storm songs all time.
Overall there's four 5 star songs, five 4 star songs and four 3 star songs in Schooner, Swimmin in the Sea, She was the Prize and Beggarman which are all still really good songs. Nothing weaker than that and no throwaways. Amazing.