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Black Swan Enhanced

40 customer reviews

Price: £7.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£7.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Music

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Biography

For almost 1,500 years, Europeans used the supposedly mythical black swan as a metaphor for something which could not exist. Imagine their surprise, then, when a late 17th Century explorer spotted one, paddling down a river in Australia. "Millions of people had looked at the world in a certain way for so long," says Athlete frontman Joel Pott "But it only took one sighting to ... Read more in Amazon's Athlete Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Black Swan + Beyond the Neighbourhood + Vehicles & Animals
Price For All Three: £16.39

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Aug. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B002GKC6TU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,559 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Superhuman Touch
2. The Getaway
3. Black Swan Song
4. Don't Hold Your Breath
5. Love Come Rescue
6. Light The Way
7. The Unknown
8. Awkward Goodbye
9. Magical Mistakes
10. Rubik's Cube
11. Black Swan / Weblink

Product Description

Product Description

Fourth album from the successful London indie band, the follow-up to 2007's Beyond The Neighbourhood and their debut for Fiction. A poppier, more immediate album than anything they have ever done before, Black Swan comes from a desire for "getting the songs across as much as we could" and the band seem to have succeeded. A distinct '80s influence is alsoprevalent, with a heavy use of synths. Includes the single "Superhuman Touch".

BBC Review

Two years after Beyond the Neighbourhood, Deptford quartet Athlete return with some more emotion-laden, life-affirming, FM-friendly stadium rock. This time round it's far less low-key than its predecessor, and far more likely to appeal to their most avid fans. If one word were to sum up the sound, it's 'huge'.

While nobody's going to hand Athlete an award for innovation, their potent mixture of chiming, echo-driven guitars, rumbling bass and orchestral synth-assisted grandeur is nothing if not bracing. There's nothing as heartbreakingly affecting as Wires here, said song from 2005’s Tourist album evidence enough that Joel Pott's voice suits quieter moments rather than the more grandiose material now on offer. It's on the closing ace-up-the-sleeve Rubik's Cube, and the acoustic swing of Love Come Rescue, that he convinces the listener. However, when the sound grows large – as on opening single Superhuman Touch – the focus that lyrically sensitive material such as this requires is lost.

Tom Rothrock's production skills replace the band's own efforts on Beyond..., and along with their move to the Fiction label this is obviously a ploy to break past the invisible barrier that's so far impeded them joining the really big league. It's interesting to note that Rothrock's CV, featuring as it does James Blunt's last album, also includes Elbow, a band that few seem unwilling to put in the same league of uplifting stuff. But what really marks a difference between, say, the Bury band’s One Day Like This and Athlete’s rather lovely Black Swan Song? The divisions seem meaningless.

It would be crass to bang on about how, well... Coldplay-like Athlete are. Perhaps the trouble is that no-one's actually come up with a genre name for this kind of music. It oozes with emotion, with earnestness and with an uncanny knack for the grand, empty gesture. On one level it's soundtrack music, designed by committee for accompanying the significant 'moment' on some TV series. On the other it's a spark of hope in a world that sneers at such a contemptible lack of cynicism. The choice, dear reader, is yours.

It's far from even vaguely original, but it's undeniably successful. Now, what do we call it? --Chris Jones

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GP on 25 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is Athlete's best album since Vehicles & Animals, following the awful second album Tourist and the marked improvement of the sadly overlooked Beyond The Neighbourhood. To begin with Superhuman Touch gets things of to a great start - think Half Light meets El Salvador and you've got the idea. Whilst Superhuman Touch is the best track on the album, The Getaway, Black Swan Song, Light The Way, Magical Mistakes and the closing Badly Drawn Boy-esque Rubik's Cube are also notable. The remainder of the album is pleasant enough, if largely fairly forgettable, there's not a bad track to be had really. The extra tracks on the deluxe version are nothing to write home about, a treat for diehard fans only really - it's a shame that the excellent Summer Sun wasn't included amongst these.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael31 on 25 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Wow!! I think this album was well worth the wait. So many strong songs on here it's hard to pick out which are my favourites. At this point in time I would have to go with Rubik's Cube, Black Swan Song and Superhuman Touch but Magical Mistakes is also brilliant.

I think Athlete are one of the most underrated bands of the past few years. Each album seems to get stronger and stronger.

They may not be flavour of the month but this album is well worth investing in and will stay on your CD player / iPod for years to come.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. F. Hill on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album is simple and beautiful. From upbeat and 80s pop music (Superhuman Touch) to slow and heartbreaking melodies (Love Come Rescue), it has something to suit all moods, and although it doesn't quite match the brilliance of Tourist, it's close. It's more mature than Vehicles and Animals, it's more creative than Beyond The Neighbourhood, and on occasions it's more heartfelt than Tourist with Black Swan Song a touching tribute to Joel Pott's grandfather in WW2.

This is anything but bland, one of the best albums of the year and worth every penny. Athlete are by far the most under-appreciated band in the UK. If you buy thi album, you won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Marczak TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As another review stated, the previous Athlete album, Beyond The Neighbourhood, divided opinion. The mood was more ambient, a few shades darker, with fewer "stand out" tracks. I liked it, but I always liked Tourist more.

Black Swan returns the Athlete sound to that of Half Light and Wires, a bit more anthemic, and the opening number "The Superhuman Touch" is an indicator that the mood is brighter.

I really enjoy listening to this album, but it doesn't stray far from previous releases. Is this because the previous album simply didn't sell, or did they just have to get that out of their system? Either way, my wife was humming along to this album during the first hearing, commenting how she hadn't "heard this song in a while", before being told that she'd never heard it before.

So perhaps an accurate summary of Athlete. If you like their previous material, you'll like this, even though it sounds like you've heard it before.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Sykes on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Very rarely do you come across an album where every song on it leaves you wanting more and gives you that tingling feeling. Surely now someone must take further note of Athlete - this album simply excels all recent out put by Snow Patrol and Coldplay, yet retains their pure identity whilst subtly merging an 80's and electric style with acoustic rifts and soulful tunes.
This album is simply amazing, as good as Tourist just different and most definately not bland. Forget ColdPlay, Snow Patrol and the new contenders - these guys are understated pure genius.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ziggy Starstruck on 1 Sept. 2009
Format: Audio CD
'Black Swan' is a truly beautiful experience. I got the album, cranked up the volume on my stereo, then sat and listened several times in a row and have been listening to it ever since. The whole album is uplifting, it's joyful, intelligent, spiritual, thought provoking and incredibly emotional. I love each song. I've laughed, cried, danced and sat and pored over the lyrics. From the lush sweeping, majestic keyboards and excitement of 'Superhuman Touch' to the wonderful, simple piano of 'Rubik's Cube' all of the tracks are brilliant.In particular 'Black Swan Song' is stunning, a tale of an old soldier looking forward to reuniting with his wife in eternity, looking back at their life and the loss of comrades both on and off the battlefield is amazing. The sense of atmosphere when Joel sings about the funeral and the rain on the rooftops is palpable. What a song. 'Awkward Goodbye' is spine tinglingly eloquent, expressing love and loss of love at the same time. 'The Unknown' is a song of encouragement and hope. Is it, like 'Wires', a song to one of his children? I dunno, you work it out.
What a celebration of life this album is.
Athlete have made a record that deserves Number One status for a long, long time. Each album they have made has been better than the last, but Black Swan is a huge leap forward. It is simply superb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By U. Oetiker on 30 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is an almost perfect CD, it's only fault is that there's only ten brilliant songs and they really do leave you wanting more. It combines tuneful and catchy melodies with tender and heart-rendering lyrics that capture you. Unlike most artists, Athlete manage to combine electro beats with piano harmonies with perfect syncronisation. Their last album attempted to catch up with the moving times of music and failed a bit while compromising some of their talent. This one holds all that makes them great while being very up-to-date. Brilliant.
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