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Twice Born Men [CD]

Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Sweet Billy Pilgrim Audio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 6.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Twice Born Men + Crown and Treaty + Mid Air
Price For All Three: 30.29

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  • Crown and Treaty 9.36
  • Mid Air 13.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Jun 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B001RP2230
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,945 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Here It Begins 2:340.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Truth Only Smiles 5:030.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Bloodless Coup 5:410.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Longshore Drift 4:580.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Kalypso 6:280.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Future Perfect Tense 4:290.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Joy Maker Machinery 6:530.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. There Will It End 4:390.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

Nestling in the sizeable grey area between indie and experimentalism, we find Sweet Billy Pilgrim. With their second album, Twice Born Men, the trio of Tim Elsenburg, Anthony Bishop and Alistair Hamar provide another fascinating antidote to the falsehood and artifice prevalent in current pop music.

Staggering in like three lost souls sheltering from the raging storm, Sweet Billy Pilgrim create tiny symphonies in a vacuum. Twice Born Men - a loose concept about love - (''but not in a Barry White way'' Elsenburg has quipped) is a rewarding, if occasionally challenging listen.

Elsenburg's music is all about texture. Found sounds and clicks weave in and out of the mix. There is even - ahem - a tuned dishwasher on Kalypso. Longshore Drift rises and swells, snapping in and out of focus, while Joy Maker Machinery is an otherworldly ballad. But there are songs here, too - Truth Only Smiles is longing pop, evoking Talk Talk and the Beach Boys. Remarkable, too, is the album's closer, There It Will End; a hymn which features Elsenburg's voice overdubbed 30 times.

Similar to their debut record, 2005's We Just Did What Happened And No One Came, Twice Born Men sets its own space and time, demanding a listener's full attention. It revels in the peace it creates and sometimes destroys. Like the work it is sporadically reminiscent of, it's engrossing, out-of-step, difficult yet peculiarly gratifying.

Signed to David Sylvian's Samadhisound label, the delightful sleeve contains as much detail about the painting on it (by Tacita Dean) as the recording itself. If that floats your boat, you will love this record. --Daryl Easlea

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Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something of a Masterpiece 24 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD
I bought this album after reading the 5 star review in the Sunday Times. There are only a handful of these a year so I thought it worth a punt and I've been playing it pretty much non stop ever since.

Twice Born Men's opening track introduces a refrain of just a few notes played on electric guitar which is mirrored in the final track, There Will It End. For all the textures, layers and complexity of what lies between, this simplicity and immediacy of sentiment pervades the whole. Twice Born Men is a brilliantly complete record that is captivating, elemental and, at times, heart breaking. This is a piece of music that will stay with you.

The album is a voyage, full of yearning, of life and love, a sweetly melancholic journey brave enough to acknowledge the goodbyes we must make along the way. The lyrics are incredibly evocative, beautifully served by the album artwork, and the music unlike anything else I've heard - complex, unusual, melodious, discordant, exhilarating and mournful - all of these combining effortlessly without ever losing the album's narrative thread.

For me, what makes Twice Born Men so special is that the album achieves the very rare feat of maintaining intensity throughout - it creates its own realm of existence into which you are swept by the exquisite songwriting - so that when the record finishes and the journey is done you'll feel a little wiser and a little sadder - and a little bit unsure of what to do next. Thoroughly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a Grower 15 April 2009
Format:Audio CD
The second album from this unassuming band.Repeated listens will reward the listener as the subtle nuances of Sweet Billys Sound becomes apparent.Tracks such as Bloodless Coup and Kalypso have an immediate impact but others such as "Joy Maker Machinery" and "There it will end" are crafty little bu**ers who creep up on you and catch you when you least expect it.It's an album to kick back and simply listen to whilst allowing your thoughts to drift.It's a great album for sure although no track quite matches the heights of "stars spill out of paper cups" from the 1st album.However that's akin to saying Queen never quite wrote a song as good after bohemian rhapsody. Apparently this album was made in a shed in the singers garden.I wonder if B&Q are missing a marketing opportunity here. Sheds of inspiration !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no why 17 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD
This album shifted my music tastes, it is truly fantastic. Their best to date IMO, from the first song to the last it all flows into something that I can't really do justice to, a few stand out tracks are Kalypso, Truth Only Smiles, Future Perfect Tense and There It Will End. If you like beautiful music you'll love this, give it a listen, it'll change you.

Well here we are Mr Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!!! 29 Oct 2009
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
At last an album worth listening to. It is the best release since The Seldom Seen Kid. I bought it on recommendation and after listening a couple of times I fell in love with it. Great original songs, nicely constructed and performed. Sweet Billy Pilgrim deserve real success, judging by this album and the earlier one (which I bought after absorbing this one). Try it if you are an Elbow or Radiohead fan, you will not be disappointed. For once you will hear sounds that no-one else has used.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Take me away' 7 Sep 2009
Format:Audio CD
I had this flagged as the only album on the Mercury shortlist that I thought I might be interested in listening to and then as I was completing an entire circuit of the M25 at about two in the morning (long story) a track came on the radio which saved me from torpor and a possible accident. As it finished, the reassuringly husky tones of Bob Harris informed me that it was Kalypso, a highlight of Twice Born Men but by no means the only gem on an album that bookies have given no chance of winning this evening - but when did they ever call this one correctly?

Taking their name from the central character in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five the band have been labelled as art-rock by some. There is certainly something experimental in their sound and in their instrumentation, the aforementioned Kalypso lists a 'tuned dishwasher' for instance, and the liner notes for this album almost say more about the cover art than the music contained within. The nautical theme of that chalk drawing runs throughout the album with the lyrics continually referencing images of ship and sailcloth, themes of journey and discovery.

Here It Begins opens with what sounds like a tolling bell but distorted and flickering like a scratched CD. A sampled voice talks of the joy of being on the move and a single guitar slowly picks out a melody with lots of other 'sounds' creating a fuller soundscape. Truth Only Smiles features the banjo playing of Anthony Bishop which features strongly on the album. Despite the soaring and sing-along chorus there's a dark heart to this tale 'With easy grace and needy hands/They murdered love's sweet circumstance/And calmly fashioned flawless alibis'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twice Born Men - Excellent 1 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
Recently bought this album after a friend mentioned that I might really like them (we were talking about Wilco). Anyway, I wholeheartedly recommend this album to anyone who likes their music to be meaningful and beautiful. There are such moments on this album where you get totally transported into another world and completely lose yourself, practically leaning into the speakers to hear every breath and note. Favourites on the album are Kalypso and There Will It End.
So, roll on April 16th when the next album comes along. They've just announced that it's going to be called Crown And Treaty, and the sample track sounds fantastic. So, this lot are my new favourite British band. Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling, but sometimes you just have to tell people about good music!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise
As someone in their early 50's, a music review might not hold much sway with many readers. However, as someone who has been around for the rockin' 70's, Punk, New Wave, Grunge,... Read more
Published on 21 Jan 2012 by DerekQWilson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of the year
This was by far was my album of the year. It is an album for all occasions, dining with friends, in the car, alone on your Ipod. Read more
Published on 2 Jan 2011 by The Reviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Good music, horrible sound
This is a strange one - "Twice Born Men" has obviously been put together with a lot of care, from the intricate arrangements to the rather lovely artwork. Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2010 by Russell Finch
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow buner?
I think i can see why Sweet Billy Pilgrim have got the fringe minority praises. I definite slow burner album. Glad i bought it bscause it's different to so much out there. Read more
Published on 12 Oct 2009 by P. W. Burridge
3.0 out of 5 stars needs a few more plays
found this album quite interesting but feel its an album that needs to be played a few times to get a true feeing of this album
Published on 7 Sep 2009 by Mr. D. Spooner
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrim's Progress
M.Hodgkinson is quite right. Sweet Billy Pilgrim have created
something quite special with their new album 'Twice Born Men'. Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2009 by The Wolf
5.0 out of 5 stars INSPIRING BRILLIANCE
The second album from this brilliant band. The music is a brilliant blending of both instruments, ethereal effects and the haunting voice of the lead singer. Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2009 by Sloop John B
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Their eclectic, slightly retro, 80s with a modern twist works for me. I have enjoyed listening to this over the last week.
Published on 24 Jun 2009 by Mrs X
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