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Western Skies

16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Redemption Records Uk Ltd
  • ASIN: B000F1IL3M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,249 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Western Skies
2. The Coast
3. Marble Arch
4. She Wolf
5. Tell The Truth
6. Rock God
7. Day of Reckoning
8. Shore Song
9. Dry Land
10. Worlds In Worlds
11. Portastudio

Product Description

About the Artist

Roddy Frame is set to release a brand new album on May 1st and is undertaking a full UK tour throughout May and June, commencing a week after the album's release. The album, Roddy's third solo release, is titled Western Skies. It follows a similar pattern to 2002's brilliantly recieved Surf also released on the Redemption label. The 11 tracks feature delightfully soulful, emotive vocals from Roddy, expertly crafted songs and Roddy's accomplished, immaculate guitar work.

Wheras Surf was an entirely solo effort, Western Skies was recorded and co-produced with Jeremy Stacey in his Chelsea studio with Roddy playing guitars and occasional bass, Jeremy playing drums and other instruments and some additional bass from Mark Neary. There is more light and shade than on Surf but it's still an old-style "back to basics" record, all recorded on tape with nothing digital in sight.

The title track was originally a collaboration with Radio 1's Rob da Bank. Roddy wrote a lyric and melody for a track that Rob had written with his partner Mr Dan and released under their collaborative name, Lazyboy. Roddy's version is a slowed down, complete reworking of the song.

The forthcoming tour sees Roddy going out on his own, playing both acoustic and even electric guitar. Roddy has been building up his one-man show over the last few years, mixing both current and old material. In 2003 her performed acoustically at the Glastonbury Festival for the first time and in 2004 had a headline slot at the Cambridge Folk Festival. Last year, he played a month long residency at Ronnie Scotts and the forthcoming tour is by far the most extensive since touring as Aztec Camera in the nineties. This album is already being hailed as his best yet.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Greg Farefield-Rose on 3 Aug. 2006
Format: Audio CD
After the career-reviving, critically-acclaimed Surf, Roddy Frame's new album Western Skies is still predominantly acoustic though this time other instruments are used very sparingly to excellent effect. Like most of Roddy's work, it's a slow burner to start with though repeated listening reveals one of the best albums of the year so far.

Western Skies begins with the haunting title track which contains effective use of marxophone (!) and melodica by Roddy's co-producer and main instrumental sideman Jeremy Stacey. This is followed by some nice flowing acoustic work on The Coast and the superb jazz-influenced Marble Arch which features a brilliant flat-picking guitar solo. Like the rest of Western Skies, the melodies are excellent on these opening tracks - understated yet memorable and melodic yet with that distinctive Frame phrasing coupled with Roddy's romantic, poetical lyrics.

Further highlights of Western Skies include Rock God, Roddy's tribute to his teenage idols Marc Bolan and David Bowie which includes a very welcome electric guitar solo. Also excellent are the brisk, all-acoustic Dry Land, the most fully-arranged track Days Of Reckoning as well as virtually all of the other tracks on this consistently well-crafted album.

Western Skies is an excellent LP that continues the Roddy revival which began in earnest with Surf. A superb album with strong melodies and some exquisite playing - lets hope that in time it gets the recognition and sales it richly deserves.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. BAXTER on 1 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
So waited ages for this release. Already a loyal follower of the man, have tickets to see him live (again) in Liverpool on 26 May.

Somehow received this three days before it's release so had a chance to give it a good listen over the bank holiday weekend. Having been hugely addicted to Surf and The North Star, his previous post-aztec offerings, I was, at first a little - no make that, very - dissapointed with Western Skies. Evetually though after more than a few listens the lyrics got hold and the melodies followed shortly afterwards.

Be prepared for something more than a little different to his previous work, or perhaps its not that different just a complete blend of all his previous styles. It's neither north-starish nor surfish, a little of both and a lot of neither.

Most fans will already know the title track Western Skies, previously a released ep by Lazyboy (a Rob Da Bank production), but leave aside the annoying repetetive backign to the released version and enter a fairly unusual drum pattern and a mad "if it's good enough for you it is for me" ending. Roddy's songs have always had strong endings but this one seems to leave the song hanging int he air in my ears.

The remaining tracks have inspiring, if a little more abstract than previously, lyrics. The highlights in there incluse "Day of Reckoning" which has single written all over it. Slightly too poppy I guess for the hardened fans but a fabulous tune nonetheless.

Get it, hate it, listen to it some more, kinda like it, listen again, love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon on 9 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is very good. I loved Surf and played it to death, but this is better than even that. There is a fuller texture and a more natural feel about this album, and a greater variety of songs. In many ways it reminds me of some of the better early Aztec Camera stuff - Day of Reckoning would fit easily on High Land Hard Rain. The title track is an improvement on the original version of the song that I already love. Rock God doesn't sound like its title, but is perhaps the highlight of an album of outstanding moments...'Thank you for the moon, thank you for the stars, thank you for the turning them on...'
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a gorgeous follow on from his fantastic 2002 offering 'Surf' and in my opinion is a very well balanced, natural follow on from Surf. This album contains very sparse tracks like 'Shore Song' and 'Dry Land' which are sumptuious by their very simplicity to the more rounded efforts like 'Rock God', 'Day of Reckoning', 'Portastudio' and my current favourite 'Worlds in Worlds'. The songs are all written in Roddy's, witty, clever and very emotive way, and go to show why he has no peers. Rock God is a space oddity, David Bowie homage track in which the beauty of Roddys grasp of lyrical imagery shine through. The man and his music go from strength to strength, and I can't recommend this album highly enough. As you would expect from Roddy, the guitar playing across this album is immaculate. Well worth the four year wait. Please buy this album and be captivated by the Roddy Frame experience? (You won't regret it!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By james sanders on 6 Aug. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Between albums for Roddy Frame followers. Some say this was a great return to form, i dont think he ever really lost it. Rock God and Portastudio are stand out tracks

C'mon Roddy - release something new :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Vasey on 7 May 2006
Format: Audio CD
Throughout his career, which spans approximately 25 years, Roddy Frame has proved to be a wonderful songwriter and guitarist.

I first discovered Roddy when I was 16 years old through his debut release 'High Land Hard Rain', recorded with the band Aztec Camera. Music critics frequently refer to this as a classic album.

I had always loved the Beatles, especially the earlier recordings: Beatles for Sale, Help, Hards Day's Night and so on. When I discovered Roddy Frame, I felt a similar excitement. Here was a young man who clearly had a talent for crafting intelligent, beautiful songs which, crackled with emotion and at a very young age (Frame was then only a little older than myself).

Aztec Camera achieved their greatest commercial success with the album 'love'. The single 'Somewhere in My Heart', taken from this release, is probably instantly memorable to the listener each time it is played on the radio.

For me, many of the Aztec Camera albums suffered from the wrong treatment during the recording process, however, one thing was quite obvious, Roddy's songwriting talent always remained in tact. Roddy's final Aztec Camera album 'Frestonia' was well recorded and equal to the very fine songs which it presented.

2002 saw Roddy's second solo release 'Surf', a recording which again, showcased Roddy's very fine songwriting, and guitar playing. (This is a recording of one guitar and vocal). Paul Simon would have been proud to have written many of these songs.

Fast forward to the present day; 'Western Skies' is here. A collection of beautiful, mature, introspective songs. Fans will have their own personal favourites which will probably change with each new listening. Lyrically, Roddy Frame is painting stunningly beautiful pictures.
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