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Dreams of Breathing Underwater CD

Price: £12.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Dreams of Breathing Underwater + Rice + Angels and Cigarettes
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jun. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Topic
  • ASIN: B00172MAOE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 74,787 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. Follow The Dollar 3:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Two Tears 4:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rows Of Angels 3:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Rosaline 3:44£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Mr Magnifico 6:06£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Like I Care 3:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Lavenders 4:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Little Big Man 5:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Simple Things 4:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Hug You Like A Mountain 4:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Oranges And Seasalt 3:34£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Eliza Carthy is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Winner of 2 Nationwide Mercury Prize nominations and innumerable other accolades over a 15 year career, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists from Paul Weller to Rufus and Martha Wainwright, from Nick Cave to Joan Baez. This latest album is her second which is self-penned (bar one track,'Hug You Like A Mountain' by Rory McLeod). Released via her long standing (and truly independent ) label, Topic Records, it has been co-produced by Ben Ivitsky in Edinburgh. The 12 tracks not only showcase an inventive, innovative singer and fiddle-player, but also reveal Eliza as a gifted musical conceptualist. Powerful, vital and exuberant rhythms, absorbed from her travels around the globe, characterise this highly original album. Percussion, bass, brass and a chamber orchestra weave a rich tapestry against which to display her incomparable voice. A range of accomplished performers and fellow musicians, including Eddi Reader and Toby Shippey (Salsa Celtica), provide excellent support. Describing herself simply as a 'modern British musician', she has become one of the most dazzling musicians of a generation. She has more than most, revitalised folk music and captured the most hardened of dissenters with intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance. Fearless, colourful and maverick in the best tradition of English songwriters, this release presses Carthy's many and varied skills into action.


The daughter of acclaimed British folk artists Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy has long been one of the major protagonists in the UK neo-folk renaissance. A dedicated and passionate artist, Carthy is also highly eclectic, as evinced on previous albums such as Red Rice, which blended drum & bass with folk fiddle amongst other unusual but largely successful experiments. Dreams Of Breathing Underwater is Carthy's seventh solo record and is predictably unpredictable. Opening with the 12-bar blues "Follow The Dollar", the album shapeshifts through the ethereal "Hug You Like A Mountain" and "Lavenders", the meandering "Rosalie", the funereal "Two Tears" and the captivating "Mr Magnifico" - right up to the dramatic, swinging denouement "Oranges And Seasalt". Carthy’s vocals are as mercurial as her arrangements as she switches from angelic to angry, poignant to potent. There's never a dull moment as the songs flit insouciantly between Latin and reggae, electronica and blues, further underlining Carthy's skill as a songwriter and her imagination as an artiste.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard Allen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 July 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having thoroughly enjoyed her more traditional previous album Rough Music, and following the recent Channel 5 documentary on Eliza, I had expected something in a similar vein. However, this is very different. It follows in the trail of her previous self-written album (the underrated Angels & Cigarettes) and infuses her folk leanings with an unexpected variety of instruments and styles. What comes through on every song is the strength of the song writing, the vividly drawn characters and the wonderful narratives. All delivered in Eliza's beautiful and expressive singing style. It's an album that rewards repeated listens and leaves you feeling uplifted on every occasion. Incidentally, if you ever get the chance to see Eliza live, don't miss out as it's a wonderful evening in the company of a very talented and engaging person.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stevepupton on 27 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Brilliant, witty, rude, anarchic, multi-styled, multi-layered !
Eliza Carthy produces a career-highlight album
Styles and boundaries are blown aside in a magical display of contemporary (Hard to categorise as 'Folk') music
Musicianship throughout is superb from all participants and lyrics are at once thought-provoking and amusing
'Oranges and Sea-salt' is a classic
This album puts Eliza right up there with Richard Thompson as one of our national treasures !
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mark Siner on 29 Jun. 2008
Format: Audio CD
What should I put for the "????" bit. Not sure is matters, but it isn't pure folk music,(whatever that is). I won't dissect tracks here as there is so much variety. Instead I will state why it ticks boxes for me. Great music should have quality whatever the genre, sometimes with invention, but certainly it should either move me or excite me. Liza's latest does all these things. She really is ploughing her own furrow these days, and with great success.
Will punters like it ? As it doesn't sound like anyone else it's hard to tell. However, for past Liza fans I would say if you were happy with Red Rice, or the much maligned Angels and Cigarettes,(which I actually thought was a superb diversion), then I reckon this will work for you.
In summary - one of the great albums of recent times irrespective of genre, deserving of 6 stars for imagination,(and unlike some other reinventers not losing the plot). She is a national treasure,(bet she would hate that description), who continues to surprise and delight in equal measure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Jan. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The last time I listened to this rowdy disc was while skim-reading an online article about Dickens, and it suddenly occurred to me that a good way to describe Eliza Carthy`s musically sumptuous album would be `Dickensian`, such is its generosity of spirit and its rich and raucous humanity.
It is, however, far bawdier than Dickens ever allowed himself to be (at least in his books) and also more realistic about relationships, something she likes to write about, which she does with a sceptical wit, as well as, I`m delighted to say, plenty of raunch.
I can`t stop playing these songs. Eliza Carthy has talent to burn, can play most instruments she decides to have a go at, is a virtuosic fiddle player, improves as a songwriter with each release, and is one of Britain`s finest and most versatile singers, in any genre.
She never sounds less than real. Nothing manufactured about this artist.
A suitably folk tinge underlies almost everything EC does and, for all its musical diversity and inventiveness, a `folk sensibility` is never far away here.
What strikes you on first hearing this album is its astonishingly original mix of musical styles, played by a moveable feast of musicians who sound like they`re having the time of their lives. But the songs make themselves felt, despite the clamour of instruments backing Eliza`s fruitily articulate vocals.
The whole thing is a sheer delight, with the lovely Rosalie, the wild and wayward Mr Magnifico, the captivating, zany, oddly tender Little Bigman, and the guitar-led opener Follow The Dollar just some of the highlights from a lavish eleven-song banquet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. M. Knowles on 9 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is modern British folk with a specifically English twist - not eccentric but gloriously idiosyncratic. It is personal without being maudlin, melodious but never mawkish. And yet there is something touching about it that is close to poetic. Bracing, timeless stuff.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Vagabond on 9 Aug. 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Now, this is a difficult album to recommend. Ultimately all reviews are redundant as it comes down to personal taste at the end of the day. If you're a fan of Eliza's material across the board then it's a fair bet that this is for you as it outshines all of her previous self-written, less folky material. She's learned her craft well and this is a very polished collection of songs, made even more impressive by her restrained vocals and sharp wit. If you're after traditional arrangements/songs then you won't find them here. If you are strictly a fan of Eliza's folk music, then this isn't probably for you either. As one reviewer has said, you can't compare this album to anything else. Each track is as different as the last and so to even brand the album as a whole would be a waste of time. You could say certain tracks are done in a certain style, Oranges & Seasalt being big band(ish). The nearest comparison I can think of as a whole is the way in which Bellowhead have taken folk music and done something very bold and loud and clever with an off-beat approach. Spiers and Boden even make their now obligatory appearances on Dreams. I was also slightly reminded of Voltaire for the same reasons. Dreams is not trad or even folk as such, but a collection of very from-left-field and catchy tunes. I'm not a particular fan of Eliza's more contemporary offerings and the trad arr heavy Rough Music is one of my all-time favourite albums, so I had this album on order just because it's Eliza and wasn't expecting much from this outing. I was wrong. The first track is my least favourite and so things didn't bode well on first play what with my preconceptions and it's also one of those albums that catches you out, so a few listens are needed to get comfortable with it.Read more ›
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