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4.7 out of 5 stars
Blue Is The Colour
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This fifth album outing for Hull's greatest musical export, the Beautiful South, marks a slight shift in the band's sound. Still keeping the cynical, sarcastic lyrics with trademark jazzy arrangements, there are slower numbers here, along with some very big issues being tackled, and a few tracks which sound like they were recorded with the aim of producing a commercial hit single.

Overall the quality is excellent. The slow burning songs work well. The faster tempo tracks, such as Rotterdam reveal the usual playful, sarcastic voice of the band. Religion is tackled in the amusing `One God'. The best track of all though is the all conquering `Liar's Bar', one of the greatest tracks ever recorded by the band. Paul Heaton uses an unusually low and gruff register to tell the tale of a dedicated bar fly. It shows what a great singer he is, as well as displaying his unique song writing ability.

All in all a classic album. Perhaps not as boundary pushing as their earlier work, with a slightly more commercial edge, but a bona fide classic nonetheless.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2001
This is the album that first really got me into The South. I'd always been aware of them, with 'Song For Whoever' being an example of something that stuck in my mind for years. But it was'nt until hearing this album that it finally clicked just how good TBS really are. More specifically, 'Blackbird On The Wire' is the key for me. Its haunting lyric about how the writer cannot, darenot, express his love for his dream woman for fear of his inadequacies really struck a chord with me. Once that barrier of regognition was broken down, I began to see other parellels in my life with the lyrics ('Have Fun' on this album, 'Worthless Lie' on Miaow) and other songs just became the soundtrack to my life that I could not do without. Paul Heaton is one of those rare people who can see the beauty in the ordinary, and the ugliness in the perfect. This album's only real weak track is 'Artificial Flowers', a misconcieved cover, that has a bigger, better cousin on 'Painting It Red's' 'The River', musically speaking. Even the radio friendly 'Rotterdam' has its darkness; 'This could be anywhere, anywhere alone...'. If you want to listen to a Beautiful South album, this is the one you should buy. Its as close to perfect as The South have come. Carry on up the charts guys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2013
"For the most part a good album with a blues/folk feel and some rather angry and cynical lyrics. The best known songs here are the saucy 'Don' Marry Her' and the social commentary - 'Rotterdam'. There are several songs about social ills from the mind and emotions of the afflicted, exploring themes from the mind of a prostitute - 'Mirror', an alcoholic-'Liar's Bar', the homeless - 'The Sound of North America', the lonely -'Alone', the abandoned orphan - 'Artificial Flowers' and others. These are sometimes good, sometimes too melancholy , cynical and bitter. My favourite songs on this CD are 'Rotterdam [or Anywhere]', 'Mirror', 'Foundations, and 'Have Fun' all fantastic pieces that I can listen to over."
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on 6 May 2014
'The South's' 5th studio album is quite a dark affair but, overall, this is another highly enjoyable audio workout from Heaton and Co. The highlights are, for me, the 'big' singles 'Don't Marry Her', 'Rotterdam' and 'Blackbird On The Wire' with the gorgeous non-single 'Have Fun' being perhaps my favourite track on this collection - gorgeous vocal interplay between Jacqui Abbott and Paul Heaton. The only track that I do find rather grating (especially vocally) is the tortuous and overlong 'Liar's Bar' - a surprise choice for a single and no great surprise that it failed to reach the Top 40. Worth buying this album (at a reasonable price) if you missed it the first time around.
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on 5 June 2014
Despite owning every other Beautiful South album, this is one that for some reason I just had never got around to buying. However, after the news that Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott were reuniting, I decided that it was time.

I've been missing out! A lovely album, and a reminder (not that it was needed) of how beautiful Jacqui Abbott's voice is - my favourite song is 'Mirror' - and also a reminder of how well Dave Hemmingway's voice works with the other two as well. I was going to list my other favourite songs too but then I realised that would be most of the tracklist!

If you're thinking about buying this album, then stop thinking - buy it now!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 September 2000
When 'Blue is the Colour' came out, The Beautiful South had a tough act to follow after the titanic succes of Carry On Up The Charts. They surpassed every expectation. Full of haunting, uplifting, bitter and oten blue lyrics, the combination of Heatons and Abbots vocals make the absolute most of the song writing tallent, such is evident here. 'Alone' should've been released as a single, where as the beautiful love ballad 'Blackbird on the Wire' sees silver tongued Heaton laid bare before an object of his desire. This album has something for everyone, and at more than one point, we all know we've been there before at some point. Thankfully The Beautiful South seem blissfully incapable of drinking away their sorrows. marvelous stuff and one of their best.
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on 21 September 2013
Used to love this album when it first came out but lost the copy I had. Eventually bought this album about 6 years after last listening to it. Loved it all over again! Any Beautiful South fans should add this to their collection.
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on 24 May 2013
Cannot fault the quick service, great communications and value for money obtained with this purchase. The CD replaces one bought years ago and filched by my youngest son when he went to Uni. Loved it then and still love it now!
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on 1 August 2010
Wow, this bought back memories of when I bought this album when it was first released all those years ago (don't know what happened to that CD!). It's still as good as I remember, Beautiful South's music just doesn't age...fab!
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on 27 May 2014
tracks again another well produced album form Beatiful South,excellent tracks and great i would strongly recommend buying this album,you will be singing along with the various sounds can't wait for another album to be made.
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