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Rook


Price: £8.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Shearwater Store

Music

Image of album by Shearwater

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Biography

It’s been suggested—by fans, detractors, even by the band’s founder—that Shearwater and whatever we call underground/indie/whatever-rock in this part of the century are not an obvious fit. And that’s true. So much of what we hear these days (the lousy stuff, anyway) is willfully insular; Jonathan Meiburg’s songs, by contrast, have constantly tackled bigger ... Read more in Amazon's Shearwater Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Rook + The Golden Archipelago + Palo Santo
Price For All Three: £31.73

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Jun 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B0017R5UH8
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,595 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. On the Death of the Waters
2. Rooks
3. Leviathan, Bound
4. Home Life
5. Lost Boys
6. Century Eyes
7. I Was a Cloud
8. South Col
9. The Snow Leopard
10. The Hunter's Star

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marley's Ghost on 11 Jun 2008
Format: Audio CD
I have Okkervil River's "The Stage Names" and apart from "Unless it Kicks" I wasn't overly impressed. I have been meaning to check out this evocatively named offshoot for quite a while and finally got round to it following generally favourable reviews of this new one.

The opener is fairly decent but then I was a little dismayed by the title track. Its an "epic" song that seems very concious of the fact that its trying to be "epic". A bit like an actor thats trying too hard and forgetting that the audience don't want to know that he's acting. A similar track would be John Mile's "Music". Not exactly pretentious but overdone.

Luckily the album improves from thereon and the next six tracks are remarkably solid, varied and entertaining. Leviathan Bound becomes the new opener, Home Life rumbles on like a thunderstorm receding into the distance before the short and almost violent Lost Boys. Then comes the rocking Century Eyes, the gorgeous I Was A Cloud has a great hook in the vocals and then this group of songs finishes up with South Col which conveys a feeling of a high mountain, partly obscured by snow laden clouds, using keening guitar sounds and plenty of space.

I'm not too sure about Snow Leopard. At first listen it seemed like a bit of filler, but that's an early impression.

Meiburg's vocals are surprisingly atonal, and show a remarkable similarity to Scott Walker. However he saves the only genuine melody for the closing track "The Hunter's Star". Which is actually my favourite on the album.

The whole thing is much more of an English Folk album rather than the Americana you would expect. I'm rather taken with it.

Recommended

As a footnote I've gone back to "The Stage Names" and have found it a lot better than I remember.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Zanelli on 15 Sep 2008
Format: Audio CD
As much as I like Okerville River, I believe Shearwater's new album Rook beats any of their albums hands down. Powerful and melodic Scott Walker-esq vocals blended with beautiful cinemascope haunting sounds, Rook is one of the best albums of the year with each song leaving you yearning for more. If you like them and this album, you have to see them live! They are AMAZING live. Even better than in the studio, really great band, lovely album. My stand out track is Rooks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By WattsUp! on 3 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is amazingly the fifth album by Jonathan Meiburg's solo project Shearwater, a band so under the radar they had pretty much gone unnoticed here in the UK, apart from a small feature in the much missed independent music magazine, Comes With A Smile, way back in 2004. Even in the US it was only really with last year's Palo Santo that the band garnered wider recognition, with the album acquiring enthusiastic reviews from the likes of the New York Times, Pitchfork and US music magazine Magnet; and provided the first indications that this solo project could outshine the music of his other band, Okkervil River, which he has only recently quit. Shearwater were formed in 2001, as as an outlet for the quieter and more introspective songs of Meiburg and Okkervil co-founder Will Sheff, with both bands running simultaneously for much of this decade. Sheff shared the vocals on the bands first three albums, up until 2004's Winged Life, but has since taken more of an `instrumental' back seat in the band.

I only really sat up and took notice of Shearwater's music last year, via a review in Plan B magazine of Matador's expanded and remixed reissue of their excellent Palo Santo album, which hinted at something special and very different from what I'd expected. A sound akin to late-period Talk Talk, Radiohead, David Sylvian, and even the Buckley's (Tim and Jeff).

Unlike the last album which clocked in at an expansive 80 minutes (including a second CD of outtakes and extras), Rooks comes in at a meagre 39 minutes. But boy, what a 39 minutes. This is some of the most dynamic, atmospheric and exquisite music I've heard in a very long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sick Mouthy VINE VOICE on 3 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a very special record, of the type that doesn't seem to come along too often - self-contained, mysterious, beautiful, powerful. It feels religious but isn't; it's about birds, and love, and, quite possibly, impending environmental disaster. It's short - just 38 minutes - but perfectly weighted. Essentially folk, but experimental. Bits of it rock really quite hard, other bits are almost impossibly fragile. When the horn breaks over the top of the guitars, drums, double bass, and spaceship noise in The Snow Leopard... that might be my favourite musical moment of the year.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Rook is the album of 2008. The songs are all-of-a-piece, with the unity of sound reminding of 'Astral Weeks'. This is a far, far stronger album than say, Shearwater's 'Winged Life' or 'Everybody Makes Mistakes'. Those albums had both flaky vocals and tunes in comparison. Sometimes his vocals are hard to listen to in light of how he sounds now. It seems so tentative and undercooked compared to the amazing Rook.

That voice captures the listener as the earlier Scott Walker's did. Singing the telephone directory would be fine with such an awe-inspiring instrument. Scott Walker may be far, far the superior in terms of lyrics ('Scott 3') but the voice and music of Shearwater still produce something first-rate. On the album, this vocal talent is more muted than hearing them live. Many bands can't bring forth the perfect take that they made in the studio, whereas this band produces a better take of an excellent album live, without the restraint of production.
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