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Floreat CD

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5 new from £42.63 2 used from £36.24

Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Sept. 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ancient & Modern
  • ASIN: B005FUTM7W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,421 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

BBC Review

It started with a kitty. Well, sort of. After her song Pianni was picked to soundtrack that IKEA advert in which a posse of pussies indulge their passion for home furnishings, Mara Carlyle finally secured a release for this belated second album. Floreat - a Latin word that translates as "let it flourish" or "let her bloom" - arrives some three years after being shelved by her former label EMI - and a whopping seven after the Shopshire-born singer-songwriter gave us her acclaimed debut LP, The Lovely.

Connections with the flat-pack evangelists notwithstanding, there's nothing prefab about this album. As befits an artist whose celebrity fan club comprises a motley crew of Willy Mason, Bj�rk and, um, newsreader Jon Snow, Floreat is an inventive and idiosyncratic collection of compositions. It finds Carlyle and her co-producer Dan Carey (Oh Land, Emiliana Torrini) merging elements of classical, jazz, Liturgical music, pop and even RnB into one unique whole.

How unique? Well, Away With These Self-Loving Lads owes a debt to both Timbaland and Renaissance composer John Dowland; Weird Girl proves Carlyle isn't being flippant when she claims to have invented a new sub-genre called 'Elizabethan ska', and Pearl is the sort of thing Amy Winehouse might have come up with if she'd been raised on classical rather than jazz. "This boy must be blind / If he can't see you and your gorgeous behind," advises Carlyle in a sisterly fashion, the lyric's friskiness catching the listener off guard.

However, Floreat isn't just an album to be analysed and admired. It's also one to be loved, thanks largely to the enveloping warmth of Carlyle and her gorgeous vocals - angelically sad on Bowlface en Provence, overdubbed lusciously on But Now I Do?, ripe with longing on Nuzzle. She even turns the line "Can I hold you like a chicken?" into something seductive. The result is an album that will make many a listener feel like the cat that got the cream. And, particularly if next year's Mercury Prize judges are paying attention, there's no reason why that cream shouldn't rise.

--Nick Levine

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 5 Sept. 2011
An artist's sophomore album is often a difficult process, but Mara Carlyle's follow-up to The Lovely faced more tribulations than most, though none of them were the fault of the artist herself. Becoming shelved for some years during the wranglings at EMI, 'Floreat' was plucked from its undignified fate through the efforts of Carlyle herself. Once out of that frying pan, though, it found itself in a very literal fire as one of the many [PIAS] distributed records lost in the Sony conflagration. A terrible series of events for any album, compounded by the fact that this one is an absolute triumph.

It is not hard to see why EMI snaffled her up in the first instance. Gifted with a delightfully agreeable voice of much depth and smoothness, the record company bigwigs doubtless saw her as an apt tool to crack open that ever-lucrative market dominated by the likes of Norah Jones and Dido. Ms Carlyle's music, however, is a much more engaging beast than that would suggest, which becomes apparent from the very first track and remains so until the final notes have faded.

Far from a peddlar of dinner-party piffle, Mara Carlyle instead serves up a varied, yet consistently approachable, banquet of sounds. She has a magpie-like musical knack for plucking out the most engaging aspects of a variety of genres, whilst ably weaving them together - something she shares with Penguin Café Orchestra. Alongside regular easy-listening tropes she applies folk and pop, plus rather more exotic sounds, allied to some altogether fascinating lyrical touches. Was that a musical saw? Is that a purring cat? Did she just say she wanted to hold you like a chicken? Yes, yes and yes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Syriat TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Sept. 2011
Sometimes artists suffer for their art. Whilst Mara Carlyle didn't suffer or struggle during the recording of this album, recorded four years ago, she has suffered and struggled to get it released since. First off takeovers, then the wrestling to get the rights from the wreckage. Then finally when its due for release the warehouse becomes the looters goal and its pushed back again. But its here now, the second solo album that may have never been heard. And thank goodness its here.

Its difficult to even begin to discuss this album without mentioning the voice. Its from a different era. Sounding like it comes from an age long lost where woo's and lilting tones seduced listeners. Its absolutely wonderful. You can imagine her walking out onto a stage and seducing the men in the audience with just her voice - probably the women too! The music is light, surrounded by strings but often has dark meanings. Lead single Weird Girl is about Domestic Violence. Sometimes its beautiful, sometimes sweet - take How It Felt (to kiss you) a track full of strings that is instrumental. Oh and it starts and finishes with a cat purring. Somehow it manages to work and convey the title.

Its jazz influenced pop mixed with classical tinges. Its a voice that sounds so different from everything else out there and will seduce the willing listener. Highly recommended
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