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Understated [VINYL]

Edwyn Collins Vinyl
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
Price: 18.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Understated [VINYL] + Losing Sleep
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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (25 Mar 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Aed
  • ASIN: B00AQMP9R6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dilemna
2. Baby Jean
3. Carry On, Carry On
4. 31 Years
5. It's a Reason
6. Too Bad (That's Sad)
7. Down the Line
8. Forsooth
9. In the Now
10. Understated
11. Love's Been Good to Me

Product Description

BBC Review

As incredulous as it might sound after one play of his latest album, Edwyn Collins still describes the music he’s made since his two brain haemorrhages in 2005 as works in progress. Even the keenest fan of Collins and Orange Juice will struggle for ways in which the irrepressible Scot might improve this eighth solo album.

It’s a thankless task sidestepping those haemorrhages. Not least because, struggling to strum his guitar, Collins has to call on a crack team of musicians (Barrie Cadogan, James Walbourne and Paul Cook among those here) to bring his ideas to life. The theme of the album, too, never strays far from his trauma.

But where his last album, Losing Sleep, saw Collins getting to grips with song structure – the least of his problems when he’s relearning how to make a cup of tea – this is knockout stuff that suggests his knack for melody remains intact.

Here he marries his art-rock past to classic and country soul in elevating, jangle-heavy high definition. There’s nothing faithful about the Motown or Stax influences, either. He weaves them seamlessly into bristling art-pop for a sound that fits like a well-worn suit and dovetails perfectly with songs remembering his youth and coming to terms with his present.

The slinky horn-accompanied Dilemma features the album’s most touchingly self-deprecating words – “Dilemma, that’s me all over” – while the strutting Baby Jean is more defiant: “Got music to see me through, I’ve got art to ease the pain.” It’s deftly done thanks to an openness – the same he showed in faltering interviews in the aftermath of his illness – that gives these songs their beating heart.

The tear-jerking It’s a Reason (“It’s a reason to die for, it’s good reason to strive for”), the Velvets-y Forsooth (“I’m so lucky to be alive, that’s why I’m living my own youth”) and what sounds like a long-lost Wigan Casino classic, Too Bad (That’s Sad), are all so upliftingly buoyant that even the blackest horizon holds promise.

Thirty-odd years after singing about ripping it up, then, Collins is calling on the past to help him through. It’s working brilliantly.

--Chris Parkin

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank The Lord For Edwyn Collins! 28 Mar 2013
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
We probably don't realise how lucky we are to still have the great Edwyn Collins making music like this. Having made a near miraculous recovery from his double stroke in 2005 and returned to recording with the stonkingly brilliant Losing Sleep in 2010, he has now surpassed himself with a collection of songs which are right up there with anything he has done thus far in his illustrious solo career (which has also, of course, included other highpoints such as the Gorgeous George and I'm Not Following You albums). If this album with its vibrant pop music sensibility is a measure of the potential of Analogue-Enhanced-Digital (Collins' own humorously titled label) and his London West Heath Studios, then I am all for it.

For Understated, the great man has eschewed the all-star line-up (and shared composing duties) employed on Losing Sleep and instead has penned all the songs himself (other than the syrupy, but no doubt heartfelt, cover of Rod McKuen's Love's Been Good To Me that closes the album), performing them with the accompaniment of his current regular collaborators such as Paul Cook, Sebastian Lewsley, Sean Read, Dave Ruffy, James Walbourne, Barry Cadogan, etc . Given the album's rather muted title, it is perhaps not surprising (on a number of songs) to find Collins in quite a reflective lyrical mood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After his near fatal death experience and critically acclaimed comeback album Losing Sleep , he has now produced another life affirming album. Many of the songs have a classic Motown or Stax sensibility sounding as if they could have been produced in the 1960's, and are generally up-tempo. He has a new band of supporting musicians, and inevitably with his literally new lease of life some of the songs dwell on his recent personal circumstances. 31 Years reflects on his time and career as a working musician, while Dilemna ponders on what is the point of his life. However, it is not a melancholy or maudlin collection, his voice is on fine form, and it is a further addition to his fine series of previous albums. Carry On ,Carry On seems to be a take on how people in the street respond to his current physical state. I had the good fortune to see him in live performance for the first time a couple of years ago, and despite his more limited physical ability his ongoing enthusiasm for music and commitment to making the best of his new condition shone through really strongly. He deserves to be better known, applauded and loved by a wider audience, and this latest album strengthens his position as a cherished elder statesman of UK pop and soul, good one Edwyn,well done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 25 Mar 2013
Format:Audio CD
Edwyn Collins proves that he is worth every ounce of the praise that has been heaped on him in recent years. He has always been a great singer and song writer and here he come up trumps again. There are so few musicians that can cut through all the music industry nonsense these days and come out sounding so original and true to themselves as Edwyn Collins, still fewer who were bog in the early 1980s that can do more than milk the nostalgia bandwagon. Edwyn proves here that he is current and relevant with an album that doe not have a dud amongst the 11 songs on it. well done Edwyn!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated? 14 May 2013
Format:Vinyl
Understated seems to be an odd title for an album of alternative rock tunes, with punky basslines and fuzzy guitar solos, but on repeated listens I've realised it appropriate. Everyone of these tunes has a storyteller's touch, clever writing informed by life experience and an eye for odd little details of life that perhaps only matter to people who have missed them. Sometimes the stories are ambiguous. I still can't figure out what happened to that graphic artist aged 19 who became a singer `of sorts.' The protagonist of the title song is so understated he only hints at some event in the past. Or maybe it's an attempt to capture the whole of a life's experience in a short description, and marvel at how ineffective that is. Or maybe it just sounds good. Yes, definitely that last one.

It is hard not to see this album through the lens of Edwyn Collin's recent illness (and inspiring recovery,) especially when so many of the lyrics deal with hope, living in the now, being grateful for what you have, staving off bitterness, the comfort of art and doing what you love. But why shouldn't those themes apply to all of us. The healthy and able need that comfort and perspective as much as anyone, though we often don't see it. Stopping and taking joy in the little things is a practice much recommended by the poets, as the protagonist does in Carry On, Carry On, where a polite conversation in the street becomes a meditation on the simple joys of life. "What a nice day Sir. How about you Miss?"

All of the original songs are excellent and though I was less enamoured with the cover of Love's Been Good To Me, it ends the album on a satisfying note. In the album opener, the punchy Dilemma, the vocals are allowed to become sketchy with the final refrain of `Over and over and over...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful album
Edwyn's second coming after his tragic bleed a few years ago is nothing short of remarkable. For somebody whose daily challenges remain speech and comfortable movement, his... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Spireite65
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
Dear old Edwyn is a bit wobbly in his voice but the soul and magic still carries on, and a bonus for me was having this album go straight to the Amazon cloud player before the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by lemonexit
5.0 out of 5 stars Upwards And Onwards
After more than 30 years in the business Edwyn still produces music of real quality, this album will please his long term fans and should attract some new ones.
Published 5 months ago by Mr. W. A. Welsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Edwin's cd
Good to have an album even though bad health has intervened, on my car cd and played very very often
Published 10 months ago by humble pie
5.0 out of 5 stars another great album of songs
I have followed Edwyn Collins throughout his career and even after all he has gone through he still manages to write and perform great pop songs
Published 10 months ago by S. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Edwyn Collins Can Do No Wrong
Edwyn on his usual form. - Who says brain damage means the end of a career or loss of skills? - What else can I say? - Buy this!!! - You will not be disappointed.
Published 10 months ago by Steve Bonner
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but no classic
Bought this on the strength of hearing 'Dilema' on Radio 6 which is a great track. Although there are other good tracks on there, the album starts to run out if steam the further... Read more
Published 11 months ago by M. R. Rocca
5.0 out of 5 stars legend
all killer no filler,top notch songs from a much overlooked great of the british music scene,knocks yon shite in the top 40 into a cocked hat
Published 11 months ago by crapnurse
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl Direct from AED Records
I skipped the Amazon suppliers and went direct to Edwyn's record shop for a vinyl copy. [...]
15 + 3 P&P. Ordered on Wednesday afternoon and delivered Friday morning. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Red Guitar
5.0 out of 5 stars Edwyn at his brilliant best
Edwyn Collins's unique voice and his brilliant writing skills are both blended in this his most recent musical offering. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Fintan Higgins
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