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The Familiar


Price: £10.69
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£10.69 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by inandout-distribution.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: All Saints
  • ASIN: B00009P9JE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 844,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gardenque on 7 Sept. 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is the work of the lesser-known Eno sibling Roger, and Kate St.John, widely-employed woodwind and brass sessionist and former member of Dream Academy (and Portsmouth Sinfonia). The Bill Nelson website, Permanent Flame, tends to refer to this album as the first Channel Light Vessel release but the connection is a spurious one. Certainly, all three play on the later C.L.V. albums and Bill Nelson co-produces the album with Roger Eno as well as contributing some delicious guitar 'shading' (just as he has on albums by David Sylvian and Culturemix) but there the similarity ends.

My own personal take on this album is that it must have been completed in a very short but intense time period. The chemistry between Kate and Roger is immediately apparent from the cover pictures, the touching sleeve note dedications and not least the music itself, which skips deftly between zealous joy and meditative contemplation, covering a multitude of moods in between. The track Heartland has to be one of the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

The sleeve notes credit Kate St. John as co-author on five of the thirteen tracks - presumably largely as lyricist - but the music is Roger Eno at his very best. Forget ambient here: these pieces are more classical in nature, more akin to Roger Eno's own Lost in Translation than either of the subsequent C.L.V. releases. They also benefit from being tinged with Kate St.John's whimsical vocal style, which hangs perfectly upon the framework of the music. Full marks to Bill Nelson for bringing out the best in the two musicians and for not putting his own stamp on the arrangements too heavily.
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Format: Audio CD
I couldn't agree more with my fellow reviewers review title -(Channel Light Vessel it ain't!), but sadly that is almost the only point of agreement I have with him. On the plus side, this album is a pleasant set of pieces, most with a classical, musing voice; many augmented by Kate's beautiful vocal; many would not sound out of place as the backing for a film set in the middle ages. Lots of dramatic string sections and oboes.

But unfortunately, the overall vibe is far too restrained and downbeat for my taste, the cool excitement, purpose and drive present on the two Channel Light Vessel albums is nowhere to be found here. Many of the tracks have a laboured, weary, slightly sad atmosphere, which makes listening to them a vaguely depressing experience. Also, to my ear, there is a hint of "aimlessness" to some of the compositions.

I have listened to it a handful of times, but I doubt it will grace the CD player again for a while. I have given it 3* based solely on the quality of musicianship , which is good, and the careful exact production.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Great for easy listening 21 Jan. 2015
By norwalk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I find this CD to be very relaxing and soothing. Ms. St. John has a lovely voice.
4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Kate St.Jon. 2 July 2003
By Khairul Fais - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I only owned her cd with her previous group The Dream Academy.But only Life In the Northern Town is nice,the others aren't my taste at all.But after I listened to one of Kate's single called Le Premier...I fell love head over heels after that.Her voice is fantastic and her music is soothing.SO,I will try to get all of her cd[if possible and still available].I am a lil too late...sigh!
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