Most helpful positive review
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Welcome back, Angus and Julia! (and thanks for the great new album)
on 9 September 2014
Angus and Julia Stone, the brother-sister duo from Australia, debuted in 2007 with their "A Book Like This" album, reminding us of other indie-folk bands like the Weepies. With their next album, 2010's "Down This Way", the Stones expanded their musical landscape beyond just the folksy-intimate sound, and with great results. Now, after what seems like forever, the Stone siblings finally return with their third album.
"Angus & Julia Stone" (13 tracks; 60 min.) opens with the pleasant "A Heartbreak", with Angus and Julia's voices juxtaposed in perfect harmony: Julia's dreamy, at times angelic, voice against Angus' deeper, at times baritone voice. I love it when they sing together. "My Word For It" reminds me of Aimee Mann. "Grizzly Bear" has that certain SoCal Laurel Canyon vibe to it, and in fact that is true for a number of songs on here (check also "Get Home" and "From the Stalls", among others). If it's not clear by now, the folksy sound from the debut album has pretty much disappeared by now ("Wherever You Are" is the only song that is somewhat reminiscent of the early sound). The album closer, an epic 7 min. "Crash and Burn", even leans towards the bluesy side. A great way to finish things out. Maybe it's just me, but the album is a bit too long for its own good, and it would've been fine by me to leave off "Please You" and "Main Street", both of which drag on way too long.
Bottom line, despite perhaps being a bit too long, this is nevertheless a very fine album. When a band or artist releases a self-titled album years into their career, it's usually to try and reintroduce themselves to the outside world. This album is by far the most accessible of the Stones output to date. Welcome back, Angus and Julia, we've missed ya! The Stone siblings will be touring the US in support of this album in October, but sadly Chicago is the closest they will come to Cincinnati, so I'm hoping they'll add more Midwest dates later. Meanwhile, "Angus & Julia Stone" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!