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Profile for J. L. Harbottle > Reviews

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J. L. Harbottle
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The Singer
The Singer
Price: £10.65

5.0 out of 5 stars He never meant to be a Singer, but I'm slowly getting used to the idea!, 23 Feb. 2010
This review is from: The Singer (Audio CD)
Extraordinary stuff from this emerging artist, who possesses the rare ability to make you laugh, with his incredibly dry wit, before breaking your heart completely with his heartfelt and honest lyrics.

Teitur had already released two albums in his native Faroe Islands, but this, his first UK release, is in another league completely, a far cry from his earlier pop output, it feels like the music he always wanted to create. The musical arrangements for one are imaginative and brilliant, mixing piano, wind, percussion, marimba and bowed bass in unforgettable fashion.

A sparse and foreboding atmosphere emerges in songs such as "Guilt By Association" and "Letter From Alex", whilst a playful nature is perfectly evoked during "The Singer" and "Catherine the Waitress". Don't let that fool you though, there is often a grim undercurrent, particularly in the latter, in which the light mood is broken by talk of a sudden death part way through, such is the strange brilliance of Teitur. "We Still Drink The Same Water", a gorgeous song about a broken relationship and the difficulty of moving on, is perhaps the most affecting song on the album, and surely the most touching song of the entire year.

Shamefully "The Singer" was largely ignored in many "Best of 2009" lists, which seems unfathomable to me, because I really haven't felt this moved by an album since hearing Jeff Buckley's "Grace" for the first time, and that is high praise indeed.


Fits
Fits
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars White Denim are having a Fit, and I love it!, 26 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Fits (Audio CD)
This album is like three mad and electrifying musical solos somehow blending into one perfect composition; an intense musical jam session that doesn't let up until the we reach the last few tracks wherein a slight normality resumes and beautiful harmonies burst through the wall of sound.

White Denim mash up so much influence, inspiration, genres and styles in "Fits' that it sounds like you've experienced a lifetimes worth of work by the time the album reaches its 30 odd minute conclusion. Such is the pace and intensity of the album (particularly during the early songs) that the brilliance of this record may not sink in upon the first listen, but give it a few more play throughs and everything begins to make sense; the wild unexpected twists of "Radio Milk How Can You Stand It", the seductive groove of "Sex Prayer" (which could easily pass off as a Doors backing track) and the light and gorgeous "Regina Holding Hands" are just some of the albums highlights.

I have no idea what the band are singing about on "Fits", it sometimes breaks down into a few yelps and wails and there's even a bit of spanish in there, but when it sounds this good, who cares? Singer James Patrelli uses his vocals as just another instrument; just another texture in the magnificent White Denim sound.


Relapse
Relapse
Price: £4.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Big Disappointment, 16 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Relapse (Audio CD)
"Bagpipes From Baghdad", "We Made You" and the excellent combination of "Deja Vu", "Beautiful" and "Crack A Bottle" are the albums only redeeming qualities. The rest, unfortunately, is pretty forgettable. Eminem too easily strays into the immature nature of his early albums, something that worked brilliantly back then, but feels totally misplaced a decade later. After the more mature and grown up Eminem that can be found on Encore and The Eminem Show, I expected a lot more from him with Relapse. But to my dismay, the 37 year old rapper is yet again rapping about parental drug addiction, sexual abuse, insanity and comic horror fantasies, and it's boring.


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