- Sounds Magazine – 2009
“hailing from the west of IRELAND where it’s quiet and scenic , O’ Shea has learned how to bring that beauty across to his listeners and even have them partake in the singing of some of his songs that they may have never heard before but leave the show with them well in their memory. Living in NYC has given O’ Shea an edge on how to work and get the audience on his side , great songs some reminiscent of a Paul Simon feel and some of an Elliott Smith conviction , all in all , well presented and classy , check him out”
- XM RADIO – 2007 (‘Be Here Still’ Review by Mike Morrone)
“One of my Favourite records this year..”
- Hot Press – 2007 (‘Be Here Still’ Review by John Walshe)
“Killarney-born Brendan O’ Shea, like his good friend Mark Geary, has spent the majority of his songwriting life in New York, and the smells and sounds of the Big Apple ooze through the cracks on his second album, albeit with a slightly Irish flavour – in particular, his very Irish ability to turn ‘through’ into ‘true’. That’s not to say this album belongs to that bizarre hybrid demographic of Irish Americans: thankfully, there’s little of the ‘Cead Mile Failte, buddy’ demeanour here.
This is very much a modern, urban album about trying to find your place in the world. Recorded in New York, Chicago and Dublin, with a band made up of musicians from all three territories (including Mark Geary, Ann Scott and Karl Odlum), Be Here Still is not a Friday night album.
Reflective rather than showy, this is introspective, and yet soul-searching has rarely sounded this warm and inclusive, if not necessarily immediate. However, spend some quality time with this album and it’s earthy emotions will wash over you and win you over.The album opener ‘Tired Eyes’ rest its weary bones on your shoulders but simultaneously gives you a friendly squeeze. The title-track’s sublime choral effect creeps up on you and melts your heart before you even realise it’s there, while the gorgeously life-affirming ‘Pull Your Socks Up’ is about not feeling sorry for yourself, giving yourself a stern talking to and getting your arse in gear. The heart-breaking ‘Halos (Song For Elliott)’ is presumably dedicated to the late Elliott Smith and is a fitting tribute to the incredible New York songwriter, while ‘ No Mystery’ possesses the kind of timeless songwriting mastery of which Smith himself would have been proud. O’ Shea is making a rare return home in March for a quick jaunt around the country. On evidence of this, he’ll be well worth catching. ( 8/10 )
- Village Voice – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review)
” great debut album from a forerunner for your gig going dollar here in NYC, energy truth and power with grace .. check him out”
- Hot Press – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review by Jackie Hayden)
“…too good to ignore. Brendan O’ Shea brings a very personal passion and depth to his songs…astute enough to decorate his sharp performances with cello, drums, bass, and the occasional electric guitar …used to sparkling, though sparing effect. …reminiscent of Paul Simon… “Broken” is driven by mesmeric tabla playing by Bruce Martin and a hypnotic acoustic figure…In the Light may be short on laughs, but it’s long on the ups, downs and sideways of real life, poetically portrayed with genuine insight…He more than justifies his invitation. Party on.”( 8/10 )
- The Irish Independant Newspaper – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review by John Meagher)
“….The Kerryman has delivered a fine debut album, with passionate songs of love, loss, and despair. O’Shea is an excellent guitarist but he rightly chooses to flesh out these spare recordings with cello, drums and bass. The quality of the beautiful Hollow Moon separates O’Shea from the thousands of bedsit wannabes.”