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Martin Fielding (Findon, West Sussex United Kingdom)
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If You Leave
If You Leave
Price: 9.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and thought provoking, 2 Jun 2013
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This review is from: If You Leave (Audio CD)
More thoughtful rock from a new band. Recommended to me by Amazon I think because of the similarities to the likes of Efterklang and Wild Beasts but the sound here is much more heavily dependent on the beautiful vocals of lead singer Elena Tonra who also writes or co-writes the music. Most interesting are the more upbeat tracks like Winter, Youth and Human but the more reflective stuff is also very evocative. Unfortunately yet another CD where there is no lyric sheet despite what sound to be very interesting lyrics, which costs it a star in my book.


Ceremony
Ceremony
Offered by zeedee-uk
Price: 14.34

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An odd but intriguing mixture, 1 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Ceremony (Audio CD)
The concept of this album is to utiise the organ of Annedal "church" in Gothenburg, Sweden as the basis for Anna's music and it is a really intriguing and overall a very successful one. The "church" is actually more like a cathedral (1,000 capacity according to the Goteborg Tourist Office!) and the sound is much more expansive than a typical church organ. Over this backdrop are overlaid more conventional guitars and percussion and most strikingly the vocals of Anna and her sister Maria on all but a sprinkling of instrumental tracks. The sisters' excellent vocals differ both from each other and according to the mood of the track, but if you need a comparison think of Elizabeth Frazer with a bit of Kate Bush thrown in. The overall mood is generally is very subdued as reflected in the titles of the tracks but the album occasionally escapes its melancholia on the more upbeat cuts like Mountains Crave. The standout track is Funeral for My Future Children which had me wishing for a lyric sheet which is sadly absent. So the CD loses a star from me for variability and lack of lyric sheet, but if you like the Cocteau Twins, Efterklang and Arcade Fire you will find plenty to like here.


Once I Was An Eagle
Once I Was An Eagle
Price: 8.12

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding achievement, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Once I Was An Eagle (Audio CD)
Whether directed at Mr Mumford, other suitors unknown or maybe even in some cases herself, the songs in this collection deal with love, betrayal, hope, anger and, a word tellingly used more than once here, naivety. There have been some great break-up albums over the years but this may just be one of the greatest - it will take time to assimilate and compare it properly it to the likes of Blood on the Tracks, Nether Lands and Rumours, but what is clear already is that this is a work of astonishing quality from one so young. The excellence of the lyrics are especially worthy of note in this context - from the glorious early triptych of I Was An Eagle, You Know and Breathe (tracks 2, 3 and 4) to the final track Saved These Words, the lyrical maturity exhibited here is truly extraordinary. I wanted immediately to check what albums Joni Mitchell had produced by the same age - and the answer is none! The comparisons to Mitchell will be inevitable not only lyrically but also in terms of her singing style and her music (which is reminiscent of Hejira in places) but Laura is clearly her own person and treading her own path to mega-stardom which will come sooner rather than later on this evidence. An outstanding achievement.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2014 6:54 PM GMT


Inform Educate Entertain
Inform Educate Entertain
Price: 7.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly innovative album, 13 May 2013
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It is not often after more than 40 years of listening to albums that I hear something that is truly unlike anything I have listened to before but that is certainly true of this album. How on earth did PSB come up with the idea of sampling soundbites from the 30's 40's and 50's and setting them to a backing track? And even after they came up with the idea, how on earth did they make it work? However work it indeed does, particularly on the guitar/banjo based tracks Spitfire, Signal 30 and RoyGBIV. I also liked the full orchestral treatment delivered on Everest but there are no weak tracks here. A truly innovative album.


The Invisible Way
The Invisible Way
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 8.52

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More excellent Low-Fi, 21 April 2013
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This review is from: The Invisible Way (Audio CD)
Have Low ever made a sub-standard album? I don't think so - and their status as a Minnesota state treasure or indeed now a US national treasure is maintained by this new album. No surprises here, but no disappointments either and whilst there isn't anything quite as good as Especially Me from 2011's "C'mon" there equally isn't a duff track here. I slightly prefer Jim James' "Regions Of Light And Sound Of God" to this amongst the quieter albums currently on my playlist hence the 4 stars rather than 5 but long may Low continue to produce such excellence.


Regions Of Light And Sound Of God
Regions Of Light And Sound Of God
Price: 8.97

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First solo outing for James, 20 April 2013
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I was introduced to this album by the recent (early 2013) New Music disc from Uncut mag which had track 2 on it. Any track that could start out as a wistful ballad and end up as lounge bar jazz has my immediate interest and the album is just as unpredictable throughout. The killer tracks are Dear One, reminiscent of Kate Bush, the beautiful Actress and the middle eastern influenced All Is Forgiven but there are no filler tracks and the whole album is excellent, with great use of brass and strings and interesting lyrics, which are reproduced in full on the CD insert.


State (2CD Deluxe Limited Edition)
State (2CD Deluxe Limited Edition)
Price: 14.44

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected!, 8 April 2013
With any TR solo album nowadays you have to expect the unexpected. That is exactly what you get here - from the 70s funk of Serious to the simple weirdness of Angry Bird to mention two of the more disposable songs.

There are however several tracks on here that warrant repeated listening (I got a preview copy so I have already repeatedly listened!) and In My Mouth, Ping Me and Something From Nothing bear comparison in my opinion to some of his very best stuff from the last 40 plus years and these songs alone warrant a 5 star rating.

The use of synthesizer gives the whole album a bit of the early 80s feel of the "Healing" LP but without the consistent running lyrical theme, although Something From Nothing could almost perhaps have come straight from that album.

And although Imagination, Collide-A-Scope and Sir Reality are much weaker tracks lyrically they are still interesting musically, especially the classic TR guitar licks on the latter.

I recommend you buy the Deluxe edition for the added live album which has beautiful string arrangements from a late 2012 European tour of Pretending to Care and Bag Lady amongst other live versions of some of his "greatest hits".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2013 11:54 AM BST


Robert Palmer
Robert Palmer
Price: 9.39

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An odd mix of two of his best albums with a greatest hits package, 7 April 2013
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This review is from: Robert Palmer (Audio CD)
There is no question in my mind that Palmer was one of the greatest rock vocalists and, never the most prolific writer himself, he combined this with some great choices of other people's material. After his early albums flirted with Lowell George and Little Feat, nowhere was this better demonstrated than on the two solo albums here. Double Fun starts with simply Andy Fraser's best song outside the confines of Free, Every Kinda People, and has several other outstanding tracks including Palmer's own Best of Both Worlds, You Overwhelm Me and You're Gonna Get What's Coming in addition to Toussaint's Night People. Clues is his electronica influenced album and includes the hit Johnny and Mary as well as a fantastic version of Gary Numan's I Dream Of Wires and the Numan co-written Found You Now, alongside a very good cover of Lennon and McCartney's Not A Second Time. The 1991 greatest hits album Some Guys Have All The Luck is an odd choice to package with these two albums as it duplicates six of the tracks from the other two albums but doesn't include perhaps his best known track Addicted To Love. It does however have the hits I Didn't Mean to Turn You On, the title track and You Are In My System together with an excellent version of Can We Still be Friends? So for three properly packaged (i.e. jewel cased albeit without lyrics) albums for the price of a single album, this certainly qualifies for 5 stars in my book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 8, 2014 7:43 PM BST


Hummingbird
Hummingbird
Price: 11.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mid-atlantic feel on an excellent new album, 31 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hummingbird (Audio CD)
There was a time when American bands seemed so different from the bands that we Brits produced - the Velvets, The Residents, Television, Pere Ubu, Talking Heads, The B52s, The Pixies, REM, Sonic Youth all seemed way ahead of the game - of course at the same time we produced the likes of Roxy Music, Joy Division, The Cure and The Smiths but they never seemed quite so sophisticated or knowing in the same way. And then sometime during 1990s we seemed to catch up or perhaps in some ways, at least with Americana, the US regressed (in a good way) and the identities became less well defined. This band are a great example of that metamorphosis - in all honesty I wouldn't have been able to tell you which side of the pond they were from without looking it up - they are from LA but they could be from Littlehampton - and it matters not one jot - what you get here are catchy songs, beautiful harmonies and interesting lyrics. Comparisons with Fleet Foxes and Arcade Fire are some way wide of the mark in my view - they sound nothing like as American (or Canadian) as those bands and this reinforces the mid-atlantic feel of this excellent album, a real progression from their first.


Living Room Songs
Living Room Songs
Price: 12.55

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and concise, 29 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Living Room Songs (Audio CD)
In my youth there were several albums that were notorious for being short even in the inherently short format of vinyl - Robert Palmer's "Sneakin Sally" and EC's "My Aim Is True" come to mind - and although I haven't timed this album I think it comes in (like those albums) at around 30 minutes of music. The reason for bringing this up is that these are seven perfectly executed pieces for piano and strings (with the occasional drum beat but no vocals) that last between 3 and 4 minutes each - no filler, no extended tracks, no alternative versions and no excuses for producing something this concise and relevant. It would have been very easy to make each track 5 minutes long and the album more normal in length but in my opinion this focus is to be applauded and the album benefits from it.


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