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Rough Trade Shops Singer Songwriter 1

Various Artists Audio CD
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £56.64 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Rough Trade Shops Singer Songwriter 1 + Rough Trade Shops Psych Folk 10
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jun 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B000FL7BGA
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 131,151 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Beneath The Rose
2. The Calendar Hung Itself
3. I've Changed My Number
4. The Irony Engine
5. The Girl From The Estuary
6. Metal Heart
7. Come Down Slowly
8. Take Courage
9. Plain Sailing
10. Waving
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Summer Of Drugs
2. Hotel Room
3. Easy To Be Around
4. Danny Carlisle
5. The Way That She Really Is
6. Number One
7. Is Everyone Happy?
8. Forever Instant
9. Blues In Bob Minor
10. Don't Let The Record Label Take You Out To Lunch
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have item for acoustic misery-hounds 12 July 2007
Format:Audio CD
Granted, the singer-songwriter genre (such as it is) is not for everyone. Many people find acoustic strums with soul-searching lyrics and mopey delivery a singularly unappealing prospect. If this is you, then take your money elsewhere.

If, however, you love the sound of introspection, vexed ambition and lost love set to delicate, mournful accompaniment, then this is an absolute treasure-trove.

In keeping with the previous Rough Trade releases, this compilation in no way attempts to be comprehensive - as a previous reviewer has mentioned, such luminaries as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell are absent - but rather to shed a light on the murkier corners of the genre. It achieves this by digging out lost gems and forgotten artists, mixed together with the slightly more familiar, resulting in a wonderfully mixed bag.

Don't be fooled by this review's preamble, though - depression is not the only stock in trade of the artists here present. Indeed, Franklin Bruno's 'Irony Engine' is cheery and sweet, Jeffry Lewis's 'Don't Let The Record Label...' wryly amusing, and King Creosote's wonky percussion (milkbottles, maybe?) is pure sonic charm.

Granted, there are a couple of duff notes - Nick Cave's offering is by no means his best work (mind you, Cave's 'average' beats most people's 'good' any day), and Victoria Williams' 'Summer Of Drugs' is a mite too twee for these ears - but the good stuff massively outweighs the bad.

An essential purchase for those in the know.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't let the label fool you 10 Dec 2006
Format:Audio CD
OK, I'll come clean and admit that I'm not the biggest fan of the singer-songwriter

genre. There are of course those who are masters of the craft; (early) Bob Dylan, Neil

Young, Paul Weller, Joni Mitchell, Roy Harper, Nick Drake, Daniel Johnson, etc but

the vast majority I give a wide berth to.

But because this `Singer Songwriter 1' album is part of the so far, excellent Rough

Trade Shops series, I felt obliged to add it to my collection. Big mistake. I like to

think that I am pretty open minded when it comes to music, but nearly two and half

hours of (mostly) dreary, angst-ridden whiny types armed with acoustic guitars and

their "songs for the sensitive" is enough to drive anyone to despair.

So what are the good points? Well there's Richard Thompson's magnificent "1952

Vincent Black Lightning", "Waving" by the Bevis Frond, "Scissors" by Barbara

Manning (good memories of hearing John Peel play that) and Elliott Smith's "Needle

In The Hay" that sounds so much like a Nirvana song you wish someone would come

along and rock it up a bit.

Biggest disappointments come from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (zzzzzzzzz) and PJ

Harvey's demo of "Dress" that has none of the in-your-face attitude of the finished

version. Even the normally reliable Robert Wyatt disappoints with his "Blues In Bob

Minor"; surely he can do better than just rewrite Dylan, whilst the overblown

production buries his unique voice.

That's four goodies out of 39 tracks. Not a very good innings is it?
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Zzzzzzzz.... 22 Aug 2006
Format:Audio CD
Previous releases in this series, particularly the cracking Electronic and Rock & Roll collections, have been eclectic, exciting affairs, chock full of both classic artists and welcome new discoveries. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Singer-Songwriter Vol 1, which is disappointingly narrow in scope.

For we are most definitely in introspective acoustic-toting folkie territory here. Dozens of 'em, old & new, and all blurring into one even after several listens. Is that what singer-songwriter means? Don't black artists write and sing songs? Do people only write and sing songs in English? Does the use of technology disqualify you from being a serious artist? So it would seem, judging from the limited selection of tunes on display here. So there's no Kanye West, Bob Marley, Wesley Willis, Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens, Juana Molina or Barbara Morgenstern, but there are dozens of people who think music began with Dylan's debut album and ended when he went electric.

It's not all bad; Nick Cave, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Tom Waits, Mark Eitzel and Elvis Costello's terrifying "I Want You" all do their best to liven things up a bit. But that's the problem - I've heard all the good stuff on here before, and there's nothing NEW here, nothing to send me scouring the internet to hear more, but plenty to have me reaching for the skip button.
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