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Bonfires On The Heath

4 customer reviews

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Bonfires On The Heath + The Violet Hour + Strange Geometry
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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Dec. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B002M9FY6W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Wonder Who We Are
2. Bonfires on the Heath
3. Harvest Time
4. Never Anyone But You
5. Jennifer and Julia
6. Sketch
7. Tonight
8. Share the Night
9. I Know I Will See Your Face
10. Three Month Summers
11. Graven Wood
12. Walking in the Park

Product Description

2009 release from the British Pop/Rockers. Bonfires On The Heath is a return to the Clientele's roots; the dreamlike suburban landscapes first encountered in the early singles, their trippy sense of menace stronger now. Back in London, they've drawn on older traditions of English Folk, which exist here side by side with the band's more familiar Bossa and Pop elements. Mel Draisey's contributions on piano and violin add beautifully to MacLean's timeless, eerie songs. Instantly identifiable, the Clientele sound like no one else, although they are cited as an influence by bands as diverse as Spoon and the Fleet Foxes.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DBS72 on 10 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I was expecting that again, with The Clientele, an old habitual phenomena would repeat in my life as a pop/rock listener. That is: a band makes a record that I simply fall in love with ("The Violet Hour"), and after that it's all inexplicably downward. I've been waiting for every new release with trepidation, but neither "Strange Geometry" nor "God Save The Clientele" really convinced me, despite the critical acclaim they received. It seemed like they had lost one of their most vital elements, some sort of magic that cannot come only from the sum of different parts (drenching reverb+Felt guitars/sixties melodies and vintage organs + graceful string arrangements)... Well, luckily that seemingly karmic pattern got shattered with this wonderful release. Every song, from beginning to end, is a jewel of subtle, layered and minimal arrangements, the instruments are played softly, as in a light state of trance, the bass is a serpentine road that helps you travel through these songs-like-old-cities, like memories of old cities, the strings are like silhouettes rising, like the hills in the distance, Alasdair MacLean's voice/whisper is one of the few whispered voices in alt-pop that is utterly recognizable, because we know he's telling his habitual reveries, lost somewhere out of time. Plus, here we have some really beautiful trumpet arrangements, which in this context directly recall "Forever Changes" (by the way, another MacLean in there!), Spanish/Jazzy and Bossa guitars, and a delicious cover of a song ("Tonight") by an obscure Swedish band called Evergreen Days (does their name come from the Felt song Evergreen Dazed?).. And much more... and yes, the magic is here, again. Thank you for this record, can't stop listening to it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By russell clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Dec. 2009
Format: Audio CD
And there I was thinking that the classic English pop album in a all it's fey and crepuscular polite glory was a dying art. Then I happened upon Bonfires On The Heath ( great English evocative title by the way ) by The Clientele , a band who I had previously heard of but never had anything to do with.
The songs ,all sung by Alasdair MacLean in a high slightly tremulous voice ,are impeccably arranged slightly genteel and yet for the most part have an assiduous melodic knack and wistful regretful character. Glistening guitars are augmented by mannered piano , gracious bass and whispery percussion .There are occasional interludes of trumpet and cadenced strings. Its all impeccably tasteful but quite superb.
The title track has a line about "Late October sunlight in the wood " and beautifully encinves this with gleaming rays of slide guitar and twinkling notes like dust caught in the bright rays . "Never Anyone But You " is the sort of affecting eloquent love song -"There's a phantom in my breath / There's a phantom in the gaps between my bones / I can only see you "- dullards like Coldplay & Snow Patrol would love to be able to write but can't you see because.....well... they are dullards.
Opening track "I Wonder Who We Are " is a joyous traipse through pops effervescing possibilities. There is more effulgent misfortune on "Jennifer and Julia " while the horns get an enjoyable breezy workout on "Share The Night " and I Know I Will See Your Face " . "Sketch " ups the ante for 91 seconds of rousing six stringed escapism.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By a23 on 31 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I make this the fourth "proper" Clientele album and have to say, my favourite to date. Alasdair's honeyed tones and reverb laden guitar is instantly recognizable, the songs are crafted gems, but it's the arrangements of strings, brass etc that really make this record shine to my ears. The central melodies are enhanced - simply taken to a new level. I'd consider it the most consistently good record they've released. Nice to hear "Graven Wood" getting an update too.
This was the US release which came out in early October 09 (presumably cos the Americans rate this band more highly than we do here) but the UK release is out on Pointy this week. And, if you like, seek out Alasdair's solo set on WMFU from Oct 28th.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Milan Hamovich on 22 Nov. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is probably their best album. It simply knocked me down and I can't stop listening to it again and again. Its string arrangements and lush production give a perfect sound, together with so beautiful melodies... Ahhh, go for it! If you have just a little bit of a romantic soul, you cannot miss it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
More Autumnal Serenades 7 Oct. 2009
By armenianthunder - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just in time for the fall, the Clientele's fourth full-length album brings more of the dusky, fragile dream-pop that they have perfected throughout the last decade. Yes, there are still long early-evening walks through the heather, lots of different types of light reflecting off of various objects, and general odes to all things pastoral (I could be wrong, but I don't believe there is a single Clientele song that doesn't mention trees or leaves). There is still Alastair Maclean's quintessentially English voice, and his deft, quietly jangly guitars, the subdued but steady rhythm section, and melancholy melodies that insinuate themselves into your brain, and nestle there to hibernate through the winter. Highlights include the spooky title track, "Never Anyone But You," "Jennifer & Julia," and "I Know I'll See Your Face."

So, if you like these guys, you will like this album, and if you're new to the band this is a decent place to start, but it may be hard to top their previous effort, God Save the Clientele or Suburban Light, their excellent debut collection. Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Clientele is the way they synthesize decades of the very best of English pop and folk music, from early touchstones like the Fab Four, the Zombies and Syd Barrett, on through Nick Drake, XTC, The Lilac Time and the Smiths, to the more twee-leaning bedsit-poppers like the Field Mice and Felt, and even the shimmering Kiwi psychedelia of The Chills. So if you're a fan of any of those bands, this--as well as any of their other albums--is obviously recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Nice album, not their best 18 Nov. 2009
By raccioly - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This, the newest Clientele album, is very nice, but unfortunately not as great as Strange Geometry or Suburban Light. Then again, not many albums are... This one is a solid effort, deserving of your time and attention. Though the album as a whole isn't as good, there are some tracks on par with their best work - try and listen to the opening track, I Wonder Who We Are, and track 3, Harvest Time (both available on the net as free downloads, which shouldn't be surprising, since they're also two of the best tracks here). Recommended for Clientele fans; if you haven't got their other albums, the aforementioned Suburban Light and Strange Geometry would possibly be better starting points.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Clientele - Bonfires on the Heath 7 Oct. 2009
By Andrew Vice - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The Clientele could really be referred to as "Old Reliable." You can always count on them to put out a good record of mid-tempo moody tunes, but just don't expect them to step outside of their fairly narrow comfort zone. Bonfires is a very nice (and likely final) addition to a solid collection of Clientele records, but there isn't anything particularly new on this record. But frankly, if you're thinking about buying this album, you're not expecting anything new, are you? No, I didn't think so. This is a record for the fans, and if you're a fan, you'll dig it. If you're not a fan, check out one of their older (and more dynamic) records, like God Save the Clientele or Strange Geometry, which both manage to cover more ground while still being very much what the Clientele do.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Surprise surprise...another great LP 14 Dec. 2009
By Joseph Broze - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Once again, here is some more awesome indie/pop from Brits, THE CLIENTELE. Frankly, I like this record more than their last effort, "God Save The Clientele". It is an amazing record, very deserving of five stars and certainly better than a lot of records that will undoubtedly be making year-end best album lists (this seems to be a reoccurring theme any year that the Clientele release an LP).

After listening to this record many times over the past 3 months and letting it seep in, I have really come to appreciate it. I think the title track is one of the most beautiful, autumnal "Baroque Pop" songs I've ever heard. Indeed, this LP is a "grower." (I wonder if this term is more prominent these days because people only listen to the singles and do not sit down and listen to records as a whole).

Overall, if you are a fan of the Clientele or indie/pop from the Merge or Elephant 6 crowds, you need to get this album. This a nearly flawless collection. Get it now!
Bonfires on the Heath 11 May 2011
By Audiokid - Published on
Bonfires on the Heath is another excellent addition to the catalogue of an excellent band. Very autumnal, the album is the perfect companion for the fall months. But melancholy fall tracks like "Harvest Time" and "Bonfires on the Heath" aside, there is also enough here to keep listeners satisfied throughout the long haul. "I Wonder Who We Are" is a poppy, umtempo track, and one of the most enjoyable songs on the album. "Never Anyone But You" is a classic Clientele song in every way imaginable, complete with their signature hazy guitar work and evocative lyrics."Tonight" is a soft and pretty piano ballad the also stands as a highlight. Overall, Bonfires on the Heath is not groundbreaking, but over the years The Clientele have created a formula for success by continuously crafting beautiful, thoughtful britpop albums. Bonfires on the Heath certainly fits this description, and fans of the band should be extremely happy with this release.
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