Graham Howell

Helpful votes received on reviews: 95% (21 of 22)
Location: UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 907,968 - Total Helpful Votes: 21 of 22
And Then We Saw Land ~ Tunng
3.0 out of 5 stars ok to disappointing, 26 Dec 2011
Well first, I've read the other reviews and don't particularly disagree with any - both those that like it and the one that doesn't. That could sound silly in a review of most bands, but maybe fitting for a Tunng album. All those new ingredients are there and most are as good as claimed. I like the opening acoustic guitar opening, and the heavy guitar solo and general power of "don't look down or back", the extra colours of the tonal palette and increased dynamic range compared to earlier albums. With a few exceptions ("santiago" is just a bit irritating), it all works well, there's lots of good bits. So what's missing? Why doesn't it hold my attention over time? Where's the bigger… Read more
Countryman ~ Frank Yamma
Countryman ~ Frank Yamma
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this on the strength of one track on a Songlines sampler CD, "she cried". In my book this is a 5-star song, powerful vocal with simple but effective lyrics and a minimalistic but nicely judged acoustic backing. That's track 1. Now, I knew nothing of Frank Yamma but was hoping for more to match it. Well, few of the songs match up to the first, but there are some gems here; "down the river" is a similarly powerful delivery. The rest of the album follows a similar pattern, though with some not in english it's hard to know in all cases. I'm usually quite happy with languages I don't know, I can enjoy the tonal qualities of a voice, the rhythm and sounds. I think a lot of the power of… Read more
As Fâr ~ Le Trio Joubran
As Fâr ~ Le Trio Joubran
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intense and moody, 16 Jun 2011
If you are reading this you probably have some idea what to expect of an oud - plucked strings unlimited by the presence of frets. Are 3 ouds 3 times better than one? Not usually, the ornamentation and middle eastern scales don't really lend themselves to lush harmonies. Instead this is spare, minimalistic in arrangement with often one oud at a time. There is a bigger gain from the addition of percussion giving a sense of space and openness and sometimes a welcome hint of a groove. Occasional vocals suitably drawn out and floaty to contrast the plucked oud strings with their relatively short sustain. Within this sparse, moody landscape the oud playing of the 3 Joubran brothers is faultless… Read more

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