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Chipstick (Buckinghamshire)

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Hurricane Glass
Hurricane Glass
Offered by megamoviestore
Price: £6.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!, 5 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Hurricane Glass (Audio CD)
Catherine Feeny's album is a lovely piece of work which I think could open her talent to a wider audience. The songs span alt-folk/country numbers in the vein of Sheryl Crow (including title song of the album and potential single, 'Hurricane Glass' and 'No reply'), to mellow, moving ballads, including the lovely 'Touch back down' and 'Hush Now' which have similarities to Leona Naess.

Feeny's arrangements are uncluttered, guitar or piano based with gentle strings over on the majority of tracks. Her voice has a mellow, late-night country/folk feel which brings her thoughtful and often touching lyrics to life.

The album is simply produced which for me adds an authenticity to the work and a greater sense of 'realness'. I like that you can hear her put her foot on the pedal of the piano on the charming 'Mr Blue', or the sound of her tongue touching her lip on 'Touch back down'. There is an appealing honesty to the work (like Damien Rice's 'O'). The atmosphere is so intimate at times that you can almost feel the warmth of her breath as she sings.

Fans of Leona Naess, Beth Orton or Kathryn Williams will probably enjoy this, as (I hope) would lovers of semi-acoustic songs with lots of feeling and a little bit of fun. I for one am a big fan!

Leona Naess
Leona Naess
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £7.38

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight!, 4 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Leona Naess (Audio CD)
I hadn't heard of Leona Naess until I saw her supporting Ray Lamontagne recently and was utterly captivated by her beautiful music.

Her self-titled album was not a disappointment. 'Calling' which opens the album and sets the tone of the work, is a gentle love song with layered harmonies over a piano led accompaniament - and is a likely single. 'He's gone' is more upbeat and vaguely reminiscent of Blondie's early songs, however the majority of the songs are gentle songs of love and loss.

The stand out track for me is the gorgeous 'Ballerina' a beautiful ballad sung over a gentle piano, charting the sense of loss at the end of a relationship.

Naess' voice conveys the emotions evoked by her well-constructed, image-rich lyrics. The simplicity of the arrangements enhances the pleasure.

In terms of style she reminds me of Catherine Feeny and even KD Lang (at times). Her arrangements and use of instruments (guitar, piano, cello) are reiminscent of Damien Rice and even Tom McRae.

If you enjoy unpretentious musical arrangements, thought and feeling provoking lyrics and a little bit of humour then this could well be for you.

Price: £73.71

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some of Martyn's best, 1 Mar. 2007
This review is from: And (Audio CD)
I first heard 'Sunshine's Better', the opening track on this album, at (of all occasions) a funeral. The words, John's voice and the situation made it an incredibly powerful and intense first listening!

John Martyn's voice on this album is weathered by years of drink and drugs, but this adds to the power of the songs. There is a sadness, a melancholy, a yearning for youth in the words to many of the songs... this is the work of a man who has lived, and loved, suffered, but yet who ultimately hopes.

'Sunshine's better' and 'Carmine' are the stand out tracks for me.

If you have only heard Solid Air, then this will be a surprise as it is not acoustic folk, more a bluesie/jazzie late night album.

It is one of my favourite albums of all time. Possibly not to everyone's taste... but in my opinion, possibly some of John's finest work can be found here.

Price: £6.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection!, 1 Mar. 2007
This review is from: O (Audio CD)
This cd is, for me, as close to musical perfection as you are going to get! Damien Rice's songs are achingly beautiful - gorgeous words threaded through uncluttered, largely acoustic arrangements, with the addition of Lisa Hannigan's haunting vocals combining perfectly with Damien's voice.

This is an album that has returned again and again to my cd player and will probably be deemed a classic album of the 'noughties' in years to come - if it isn't already. Certainly I think it is one of the definitive albums of the past 10 years and should reside in everyone's cd collection.

If you have not already heard him and enjoy acoustic songs with thought and feeling provoking words then this will reach out to you and sweep you away. Fans of David Grey, Stephen Fretwell, Kalai and Paolo Nutini will probably adore this.

I would urge anyone who does not have this to buy it, and, if you can, see him live too!

Till The Sun Turns Black
Till The Sun Turns Black
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £5.14

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly gorgeous album!, 27 Feb. 2007
Ray Lamontagne's latest offering is quite simply beautiful. Do not expect a follow up to Trouble in terms of style or sound.... expect growth, subtlety and maturity! Ray is using his powerful and emotive voice to superb effect on this album, exploring the shades of grey within it. The songs are more quietly sung, with lush string arrangements over guitar, the lyrics poetic and intensely personal. The softer, more underplayed tone of his voice ironically adds to the depth of feeling he conveys through his haunting words and melodies.

Stylistically, he has not sought to create another 'Trouble' but to hone his skills, which he does to tremendous effect.

The beautiful 'Be here now' which opens the album is a haunting plea, his words almost a whisper of intensity.

He has hushed the rawness of his first earlier works and drawn deep into a well of feeling. The lovely 'Can I stay' a gentle love-song, adds a quirky sense of humour, vaguely reiminscent of Tom Waits' sublime story telling. 'Three more days' rockier and edgier.

The country edge of his earlier songs has been smoothed down and new influences and styles from jazz, folk and even brass are making a subtle but effective mark on his songs.

'You can bring me flowers' is one of my favourite tracks, is slightly jazzier in sound, with muted trumpets in the background and a retro-movie edge. His voice is gorgeous, powerful and edgy.

There are echoes of George Harrison's solo work at times, a spot of John Martyn at his best, even the odd hint of Scott Matthews, but make no mistake, Ray Lamontagne has his own voice and an utterly unique way of putting it across. This for me is his finest work to date.

Turn down the lights and just listen.....

Corinne Bailey Rae
Corinne Bailey Rae
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £3.48

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of sunshine!, 21 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Corinne Bailey Rae (Audio CD)
Corrinne Bailey Rae's album is - for me - a little bit of summer sunshine! Her latest single, the funky 'I'd like to' will have your feet tapping, while her ballads 'Like a star' and 'Til it happens to you' are tender, beautiful and moving.

This is an interesting and enjoyable first album - her words paint pictures of her childhood, her loves and losses with delicious vividness; while her innocent, almost childlike vocal is almost at odds with the maturity of her experiences and words. There is tenderness and feeling to this album and a sultry, late-summer-night feel to it.

Curl up with someone special in front of the fire with the lights low, play it quietly over dinner with friends or turn it up with the roof down on the car. This is music for many moods. Her Brits Nomination was well deserved and I am looking forward to more from this talented lady!

Between the Lines
Between the Lines

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem of an album!, 21 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Between the Lines (Audio CD)
I discovered Janis Ian some 20 (or so!) years ago and this was the first album of hers I bought. It has spent more hours on my turntable and, later, cd player than probably any other album I have ever owned! It contains the well known 'At Seventeen' a beautiful ballad reflecting the difficulties and awkwardness of growing up and feeling the misfit. However this is only one of the standout tracks on the album. My personal favourite is 'Watercolours' a beautiful, melancholy ballad charting the demise of a relationship.

Her songs reel with emotions of pain, lonliness and sadness... probably much of the reason I adored her as teenager and beyond. Her words are poignant and moving and encapsulate so many experiences in our lives. The arrangements are simple and beautiful and her lovely voice simply adds to the delight. Janis Ian is a standout singer/songwriter for me and this is her best album by far.

Turn the lights down low, pour yourself a glass or two of wine, light the fire and listen with wonder while the tears stream down your face!

These Streets
These Streets
Price: £3.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut!, 21 Feb. 2007
This review is from: These Streets (Audio CD)
This superb singer songwriter is still in his teens, but already writing some astonishingly beautiful and quite mature songs! If this is what he produces on a first album then when he 'matures' he could shake the world!

If you haven't already discovered him, and like James Morrison, Scott Matthews, Stephen Fretwell, Kalai or any of the recent spate of guitar based/acoustic artists, then this is for you.

I love this album, from the rockier 'Jenny don't be hasty' to the gorgeous 'Last request' Paolo sings of love, loss and longing with poignancy. Great stuff!

Offered by Qoolist
Price: £3.43

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the highlights of the year!, 21 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Undiscovered (Audio CD)
James Morrison's album is quite simply superb. His voice has that raw, gravelly and edgy quality found in the best soul/blues singers. The songs are phenomenal - poignant lyrics paired with melodies full of pathos, or irony.

Hard to pigeon-hole in terms of style, he veers between soul, blues, and alt-folk.

His lyrics are beautiful, hinting at hardships and heartaches, but also a staunch optimism and strength of character.

My favourite tracks are Wonderful World and You Give Me Something, but there is not a weak track on the album.

This is one of the best albums I have bought in the past 4 years. He is a fantastic artist. There is honesty and a real sense of integrity to him that I hope will continue a long, long time! Buy this!

Eyes Open
Eyes Open
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £4.80

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the year's best albums!, 12 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Eyes Open (Audio CD)
Snow Patrol have topped their gorgeous 'Final Straw' with their new album! They have developed and honed their individual style into a mature and beautiful sound, which has echoes of U2 at their finest, while still being utterly unique.

The lyrics are painfully, achingly beautiful, the melodies a range of delicious mellow numbers and stadium fillers. This, for me, is by far their best album to date, and one of the finest of the year.

Existing fans will not be disappointed and they are sure to add an army of new fans with this outstanding piece of work. There's not a bad track on this. WOW!

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