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Westcourt (Bristol, England)

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Listen
Listen
Price: 5.90

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen - to a man at the top of his game!, 13 May 2009
This review is from: Listen (Audio CD)
In a world where songwriters get all the kudos, 'interpretors' can easily be overlooked or underrated. Christy Moore can write songs, make no mistake about it, but there are very few artistes that can take another's song and make it their own in the way he can.

This is a gorgeous album: well produced, full of great songs and featuring some stunning performances.

The usual Christy mix is here: a lolloping humourous number (Ballad of Ruby Walsh); a few songs of quiet indignation (Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?, Duffy's Cut and The Disapperared); and some sublime melodies and singing (Listen, China Waltz, Barrowland, John O Dreams).

Much of the focus on this release has been around the inclusion of Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond, which is understandble and a shame. Understandable because it is not an obvious choice and because Christy adds so much Moore to the original. A shame because despite being so sublime it isn't the highlight of the album; it fits seamlessly in with the rest of the tracks.

As with recent live performances Declan Sinnot gets to sing a song (I Will) and the album closes with a brilliant live version of Rory Is Gone, featuring some great guitar work from Sinnot.

If you have enjoyed the last few Christy Moore albums, don't hesitate: buy this. If you are a newcomer, give it a try. Sit back and listen to an album that will soothe your soul.


Together Through Life
Together Through Life
Price: 5.14

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Not All Good..., 12 May 2009
This review is from: Together Through Life (Audio CD)
The litmus test I guess, is: Is your life the better for having heard this album?; and the answer here is 'yes'. It's clearly not a classic, it's not all good, but when it is good - it's really good.

There are a number of lazy blues shuffles on the album that really add nothing to what Love & Theft and Modern Times gave us. Hence the three stars. That said though, even on these tracks Dylan and his band seem to be enjoying themselves.

When the album does deliver, the songs are as good as anything on the previous two albums.

The opener, Beyond Here Lies Nothing, immediately shows the quality of the musicians used on this album. Life Is Hard is a great song, and like a previous reviewer, I can't help thinking that we haven't yet heard the best version of this. In a similar vein This Dream of You is a tender and bitter-sweet contemplation of (lost) love.

But, the best is to be found near the end, and I Feel A Change Comin' On is an absolute gem. The melody and time signature are interesting, but above all, Dylan's voice and phrasing make this song. Rhyming 'east' with 'village priest' Dylan holds onto the first syllable in a way only he can; making it so reminiscent of its use in I Shall Be Released.

A solid album overall, and as good as Love & Theft and Modern Times. Rated as 3* simply because for me it doesn't move too far away from the previous releases; but it remains enjoyable none the less.


Unglorious Hallelujah
Unglorious Hallelujah
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 11.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unglorious Hallelujah? A Glorious Collection of Songs!, 20 Aug 2006
This review is from: Unglorious Hallelujah (Audio CD)
It is always a risk buying an album from an artist you've never heard before. I bought this on the strength of the review in The Guardian, and it's worth every penny. Never having heard Chip Taylor before I have nothing to compare this album with - hence giving it only 4 stars for fear of ranking it higher than his magnum opus or long-term fans's favourite release.

Double CDs are always problematic, either padded out with average material to make up the playing time or if good, difficult to consume in one long sitting. Chip Taylor has cracked this problem by releasing two separate albums in one; not a double CD at all! The first album Unglorious Hallelujah centres on the spritual and political with the second volume Red, Red Rose & Other Songs of Love, Pain & Destruction offering 12 songs of, well, love and pain.

The first CD has many standout tracks with "What Would Townes Say About That" worth the entry ticket alone! A contemplative song that name checks Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Guy Clark and Steve Earle, and if you are a fan of any of these then buy this album, although there is probably more of Guy Clark in here than anyone else. Only two songs don't work for me, the opener "I Don't Believe in That", just a little too lightweight and "Christmas in Jail" a rather self indulgent exorcising of a personal mistake some years ago. The closing track on CD1 "Thursday Night Las Vegas Airport" is a cutting reflection on the American media and how the rolling-news culture turns live war coverage into prime time entertainment.

The second album is easier to digest but just as rewarding as you are given a rather off-beat array of takes on love and relationships. The liner notes explain that the last track "I Don't Know Why I Love You (I Just Do)" is a straight forward love song to Chip's wife and sadly it is rather a formulaic and predictable way to close the album, coming as it does after the catchy and uplifting "Bride in PInk". This is a small criticism however, as the other 11 tracks on CD2 are very good.

Overall a great collection of songs and packaged in a way to give you two albums for the price of one. A real treat!


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