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I Was A Cat From A Book [10" VINYL] [Single]

James Yorkston Vinyl
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 33.84 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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James Yorkston is a singer songwriter from Fife, Scotland.

James' next album is to be a 17hr long song cycle based on the history and legend of the Cruich Babbler, a Mythical Fife storm ... Read more in Amazon's James Yorkston Store

Visit Amazon's James Yorkston Store
for 16 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

I Was A Cat From A Book [10" VINYL] + Moving Up Country [10th Anniversary] + When The Haar Rolls In
Price For All Three: 45.84

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Product Features

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (13 Aug 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B00861J3N0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,908 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Catch
2. Kath With Rhodes
3. Border Song
4. This Line Says
5. Just As Scared
6. Sometimes the Act of Giving Love
Disc: 2
1. The Fire & the Flames
2. A Short Blues
3. Spanish Ants
4. Two
5. I Can Take All This
6. Thar She Blows
7. Black Horse White

Product Description

BBC Review

James Yorkston’s fifth album proper deals with some meaty, adult themes – from the complexities of long-term relationships and the heaving onslaught of depression to the selective nature of memory.

But what colours its more striking moments is a palpable sense of injustice. Border Song is a breathless tumble of words, images and instrumentation, Yorkston spitting out counsel and loose narrative until the lines bleed together, while the closing I Can Take All This bitterly rebukes an unnamed deity.

A couple of years ago, as Yorkston prepared to take part in the Fence Collective’s annual Homegame mini-festival, his young daughter was taken seriously ill. Working on I Was a Cat from a Book gave him an opportunity to vent his feelings and combat the sense of helplessness he no doubt dealt with on a daily basis.

To that end, The Fire & the Flames forms this album’s affecting centrepiece, wounded and sombre where those previously mentioned are all bluster and chaos. As a meditation on a parent shielding their child from incomprehensible truths, it is unsparing; in the light of Yorkston’s own situation, it is devastating.

Yet I Was a Cat from a Book does offer a few moments of levity amid these themes. The lovely duet Just as Scared finds Yorkston offset by Jill O’Sullivan’s earthy, satisfying tones, both propped up by a sparkling, unobtrusive turn on the clarinet by Sarah Scutt. Elsewhere, Catch opens the record with a bittersweet recollection of youth set against the flourish of John Ellis’ piano.

It is a beautifully shaded work, recorded mostly live with an accomplished cast of musicians that also includes Luke Flowers of The Cinematic Orchestra on drums, Emma Smith on violin and Kathryn Williams on guest vocals (she appears on the slow, almost somnambulant Kath With Rhodes). Images of birds and feathers swirl throughout, Yorkston’s delivery cracked and urgent or plaintive and subtle as needs be.

Innovative arrangements aside, this might not be the most forward-thinking LP you’ll hear this year. But the emotion and honesty on display are qualities that will never go out of style.

--Martin Aston

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Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is James Yorkston's 5th album in some 10 years, and it is up there with his strong debut, Moving Up Country, as one of his best efforts to date. This Fife based singer songwriter who is associated with the Fence Collective generally has a quiet hushed vocal style, low key and subdued, almost conversational. Songs are often personal, the arrangements sometimes feel a bit woozy, but give this album a few listens and the songs grow on you, and there is a lot of charm, the album gradually envelops you like a favourite old blanket,the arrangements are subtle and organic,growing on you to leave a warm glow.
For this album he has recorded with a different set of musicians from his usual band, and it was all recorded over just a few days in a Welsh studio, with largely live recordings. Another well known hushed vocalist, Kathryn Williams, provides supporting vocals on one track Kath with Rhodes, a pleasant dreamy gentle song subtley embellished with abstract electronics to good effect. 2 of the tracks are for him more raucous and relatively rock out, Border Song has stream of consiousness lyrics, a long narrative with no chorus,with the words almost spat out at great haste , while closing track I Can Take This All sounds quite angry, with a more full on band sound. This contrasts with his usual more introspective mode that is his typical default setting. He sings a more upbeat duet with Jill O'Sullivan, on Just As Scared, which is bright, breezy, catchy, with a chorus of "You've Really got a Hold on Me", and the clarinet of Sarah Scutt on this and some of the other tracks deserves a special mention for creating a sublime sound to quality arrangements. This is one of my favourite tracks, but rather atypical of the album as a whole.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The year of the cat ? 21 Aug 2012
By Arthur Dooley VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
It's fair to say that as an artist, James Yorkston is a bit of a cult....that's c..u..l..t! In common with other fellow Yorkstonians, I have enjoyed all of James's album releases. Naturally,some more than others and 'Cat' falls so far in the 'others' category. Not as instantly accessible as 2008's 'When the Haar rolls in' nor falling into the minor classic category of-to me anyway- James' finest album 'the year of the leopard'. But it's reet grand all the same! Sitting quite happily with 'moving up country, 'just beyond the river' 'roaring the gospel and 'folksongs'.
I notice that he has been getting a lot more publicity in the news and music media recently. Hopefully,more people will be prompted to investigate his impressive catalogue.
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5.0 out of 5 stars touching, tender, but with strong bones 27 July 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was pulled in by the conviction of James Yorkston's writing, which is immediate and generous in revealing himself and which therefore touched me deeply. It is musically beautiful to boot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best from JY since Moving Up Country 11 Feb 2013
By JanW-B
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Nothing else to say really but if you liked Moving Up.. you'll probably like this too. I understand the lyrics are very personal to James and his family, but frankly I'm a bit of a philistine when it comes to lyrics and subtlety and just tend to listen to the overall sound.
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