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Calling from a Country Phone

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Beggars Banquet
  • ASIN: B0000256U6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Atlanta Lie Low 3:13£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. 121 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Circle 3:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Falling Star 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. I Want To Be Quiet 3:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Cats Life 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Girl To A World 4:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Drop 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Beyond Their Law 5:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Forever & Time 2:48£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

If Robert Forster had been hoping that his first solo album, Danger In The Past, would break the pattern established by the albums he'd made with The Go-Betweens--that is, better reviews than penicillin, cultish adoration and a total failure to sell in the substantial amounts his talent had long deserved--he was disappointed. Not for the first time, Forster would have been well within his rights to decide that the world really didn't deserve any more of his fine songs and given some thought to perhaps getting a job. To the eternal gratitude of the enlightened, he didn't: Calling From A Country Phone is gorgeous. There is perhaps--as almost suggested by the title--a more explicit country influence at work here than on other Forster or Go-Betweens albums, but otherwise it's business as usual. Which is to say Forster's weary, dispassionate--yet always strangely tuneful--mumble delivers another collection of thoughtful, wise and bleakly witty songs of a quality that would, in a remotely sane world, ensure that their author was regularly bracketed alongside Leonard Cohen as pop's supreme ombudsman of heartbreak. Rarely has the general record-buying public displayed such a comprehensive inability to spot a good thing when shown one. --Andrew Mueller

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Robert Forster's second solo album, after the Go-Betweens split (temporarily, as it turned out), and it follows quite a different track from most of the Go-Betweens output, and from Forster's first solo collection, "Danger In The Past". The name is slightly misleading, "Calling From A Country Phone" isn't *quite* country music, although there is clearly some Americana influence, with pedal steel putting in an appearance. It is a bit folkier than his earlier output, and indeed than most of his subsequent recorded releases too. Although perhaps here "country" hints at "rural", in contrast to the urbanity of the Go-Betweens or "Danger In The Past". The seascapes on the album artwork hint at a place of coastal retreat.

Above all, though, what characterises this album for me is its occasional sheer emotional exuberance - at times it is wonderfully, and for such an arch performer as Forster, untypically unrestrained and open. This is probably most evident on "Drop", which appears to have the Los Angeles riots of 1992 as part of its backdrop, and in the wonderful, seemingly deeply personal "Beyond Their Law", which talks of the great security found in marriage over violins, while Forster's voice, in the key lines, is more impassioned (and tuneful) than ever. That said, that song could happily be 90 seconds shorter - it has said, abundantly, imposingly, forcefully, all that needs to be said, in its first two verses and refrains. It's still one of the finest songs that Forster has written or performed, however. Which, given the quality and range of his back catalogue is not a negligible compliment...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
Why Do I Like Robert Forster's Work so Much? 3 Oct. 2002
By Randall E. Adams - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This self-produced album is currently my favorite Robert Forster record (although these things have a way of changing from month to month).
Forster is the less obviously accessible Go-Between, but for all of that he is usually the more homely lyricist. This album exemplifies this more than most, with Forster's celebration of his new married status.
"Atlanta Lie Low" is a classic soulful Forster ballad that deserves covering by other folks. "121" starts out like a cop of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Green River" but then proves to be one of those whimsical Forster electric guitar numbers that he's done since the very beginning. Ditto "The Circle," which reminds me of some friends of mine. "Girl to a World" is another great Forster acoustic ballad. Ditto "Drop." "Beyond Their Law" is fantastic musically, but the music makes you expect something more tense lyrically than a somewhat silly peon to the joys of newly wedded bliss.
Let's face it, Robert Forster is an oddball, but the sensitivity of his songs at their best outstrips words. Some folks on here describe this album as Forster's most country-oriented one. I don't hear that except for perhaps "Atlanta Lie Low." Perhaps people are distracted by the pedal steel guitar on "The Circle," but that sure doesn't sound like a country song to me. But I do hear some great idiosyncratic singer/songwriter stuff that I know I can't find anywhere else.
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