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The Lion's Roar

4.7 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jan. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wichita Recordings
  • ASIN: B0062Y9DCY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,531 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

'The Lion's Roar' is a full band record, the girls' father Benkt takes the bass, Mattias Bergqvist drums, while Mogis and Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes, and a cast of Omaha-based musicians round out the sound. Album closer 'King Of The World' features The Felice Brothers, just passing through town during the session, and local hero Conor Oberst, who sings the last verse. LP is pressed onto 180g vinyl in a gatefold sleeve and includes a download code for the entire album. For fans of Bright Eyes, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes.

BBC Review

Those already familiar with First Aid Kit may be shocked by the portent in the title of their second album, The Lion's Roar. For a duo so built on understatement, it's a statement of its own volition – words which suggest something bigger, bolder, and stronger.

From the reflections of Blue, the influence of the Swedish sisters' dream producer Mike Mogis (best known for his work with Bright Eyes) becomes apparent. Still pared down but clearer, the sweet mimicking between bass and xylophone feel more ominous than decorative.

Johanna and Klara Sodenberg's close harmonies charm unaffectedly, pitched in the mix like the faint voices of songbirds echoing through a woodland scene. And, lyrically, there's a mix of gloom and lilt in the perfect order and proportion; in spite of Conor Oberst's involvement, there's no stagnation, no lack of positivity and certainly no halting moments of impenetrable self-reflection.

The voices gallingly cry "I go from nowhere to nowhere / Searching for the key" on Dance to Another Tune, the most mournful of The Lion's Roar's 10 songs. Written like a series of proverbs, it has the unique gift of being accessible and extravagant. First Aid Kit are now a band rather than a duo, and the gorgeous harmonies benefit from a more serious direction and sometimes sweeping orchestration.

First Aid Kit's journey into the hillbilly backwoods is smoother than their rickety debut album, 2010’s The Big Black & Blue, and comes with the benefit of greater knowledge. This set swells into a full assembly of Americana, peaking at name-dropper Emmylou – the delightful warmth of this song can be attributed to the sisters' affections for the genre, even down to the accents. The lyrics "I'll be your Emmylou and I'll be your June / And you'll be my Gram and your Johnny too," while simple, act as a gently vigorous call-to-arms.

The echo of pedal steel and mariachi horns on King of the World is a far cry from First Aid Kit's cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song, which first appeared on YouTube in 2008. The full band which appears on The Lion's Roar enjoys the rare achievement of being saccharine-free, and serves to highlight the sisters' brilliant captured-on-tape chemistry.

As consolation anthems go, it's difficult to imagine anyone topping this collection in 2012. Sat neatly between Laura Marling's trauma, Alessi's Ark's florid scenes and Joni Mitchell's spot-lit thoughts, First Aid Kit's second album lines them up as the band most likely to cross over into the big time.

--Natalie Shaw

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Once upon a time two sisters walked into a Swedish forest, one with a guitar the other looking painfully young at the age of 16 and they both sang a song. The tune in question was a spine tingling cover of Fleet Foxes "Tiger mountain peasant song" and the sisters posted a video of it on the internet. It turned into a quiet and persistent sensation having been viewed well over 2 million times. The sisters in question were Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg and their band is First Aid Kit. Happily suspending the fact that they are from Sweden they produce the type of Americana which is heartfelt and passionate, Their debut album 2010s "Big Black & The Blue" was a showcase for their brilliant voices although it was if truth be told a tad downbeat, lacking in variety in some parts and the echoes of Robin Pecknold's Seattle wonders were everywhere.

On their latest album "The Lions Roar" there is a clear and determined attempt made to rock things up and give a bigger sound. The bittersweet harmonies remain firmly in place but better songs with fuller production are everywhere plus growing signs that the sisters can write a fine set of lyrics. They recently reduced Patti Smith to a tearful wreck with a stirring version of her "Dancing Barefoot", yet it is to that other female giant of music that this albums finest song is dedicated. "Emmylou" name checks the romance of Harris with her true love Gram Parsons, plus June Carter with the Man in Black. It could easily be clichéd and trite but instead it is a splendid country concoction and possibly the finest thing the sisters have done. There must be composers in Nashville thinking that a monster has been created in Stockholm that can out countrify them in every respect.
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Format: Audio CD
just been to Manchester to watch a First Aid Kit gig and was blown away just how good these girls are. Absolutely wonderful songwriting ability and maturity way beyond there young age. Both sisters possess great voices with great range and projection.The vocals are as good live as any studio produced cd

There is not one bad track or filler on this album the quality remains constantly high throughout each track.

Its easy to forget these girls are Swedish such is the rich Americana folk sound and vocals.

I will stick my head on the line and say this is the 2012 album of the year and a must for anyone with an ounce of musical nouse.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the second glorious album from Swedish sisters Klara and Johana Soderberg (and Benkt plus Mattias Bercqvist great names by the way) and a `difficult second album' this most certainly aint. It kicks off with the title track with a song that has one foot in country and the other infolk with pedal steel and mandolin to boot. `Emylou' is just beautiful with pared back simplicity and harmonious vocals to die for.
`In the hearts of men' slows down the pace but is hauntingly languid and just washes over you like sunshine on a winter's day (God I am getting real gushy here sorry). Track 4 `Blue' gets the tempo up a beat with a lovely song of missed chances.

`This old routine' is probably my favourite, although it is hard to choose from so many gems, with a rich lilting vocal on a tale of love worn through with beautiful mandolin and an underscored percussion that Tindersticks would be proud of (probably!) Track 8 `I found a way' is another tale of dark and flawed love that the beautiful harmonies hide like a gossamer veil.

Penultimate track `New Years Eve' is an effortless blending of simple arrangements with a crystal clear vocal that flows like a tributary to a great river. This leads us into `King of the World' which is a lovely slice of country life and we have guest instruments of violin, trumpet and accordion, almost a ho-down, and a great way to finish a truly beautiful album. I can't wait to see them later this year and for album number three, this though is an absolute triumph.
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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 July 2012
Format: Audio CD
Fortunately I had listened to The Lion's Roar before I read the simpering comparisons with Fleet Foxes, whose album I managed to listen to a couple of times before the Grossly Overrated light came on.

No, this is actually a record with variety and verve, and outstanding harmonies which are nevertheless not the duo's be-all. The only, very occasional, cracks in the wallpaper occur when there appear to have been too many words to fit with the music and there's a scramble to finish the line before the bar finishes, and when the enunciation of the words takes a back seat to the direction of the melody, factors which may end up being endearing, but they haven't quite yet.

Apart from the harmonies, the entire collection is dominated by excellent arrangements and instrumentation, from the guitars and keyboards through to accordion, strings and horns.

Three tracks in particular stand out. The opening, title track is an immediate hook, a beautiful song sung to a 3/4 beat with background woodwind instrumentation that is uncredited but sounds like tenor recorders, although it's more likely to be flute. Dance To Another Tune also begins in 3/4, but there's a change to 4/4 which effects a quite dramatic mood change, which is accompanied by some Beach Boys-like vocalising. And King Of The World, which closes the set, has some great, Latino-tinged trumpet and lyrics which read, and are delivered, so ambiguously that it's difficult to know if it's a sad or happy song, and somehow works as both, and features an evocative image of a waitress sitting smoking outside a restaurant. She has a look of total fear in her eyes, we're told, but still manages a smile as the singer drives off. What, I'm wondering, is the story behind that?

Also deserving a special mention is Emmylou, which namechecks the lady herself plus Gram, Johnny and June, and the hauntingly in-your-face lyrics of Blue, especially the lines about the death in a car accident of an only love.
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