Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
Music with a heart that beats and a soul that lives
on 26 November 2013
As a first hour EBTG fan , i have everything they released so far : The regular albums , the vinyl , the CD Singles , the US releases , the japanese ones and every compilation with one or two tracks from the cherry red period i didn't have already . Of course all of Tracey and Ben's solo work , and every song , Tracey lends her beautiful voice to ( Massive Attack , Tiefschwarz , Adam F, Tevo Howard , etc ....) .
I have at the start thought that the Deluxe Reissue versions of EBTG's back catalogue with some extra tracks and B-Sides was only an attempt of Warner trying to milk the old and true fans . I lately realised Tracey and Ben were involved in the process and not only had their words to say but were choosing songs , adding pictures , set lists and very personal stories to the new compilations .
I have already gone for the Deluxe version of The Language Of Life and wrote a review about it . I was expecting very much the release of Amplified Heart as i think this is the most mature and honest work they did so far . I was wondering if there would be any tracks i didn't have already . And yes ! Richard Says and Back At Square One were those tracks to make me decide to go for it . But i'm missing their lyrics . And of course the live tracks ( not those from the Missing Live EP ) which are my favourites and always show what a great live band EBTG is and their live performances are brilliant , especially the acoustic ones . They need no more than a guitar and a mike to take you to musical heaven .
Amplified Heart is not a common album . It was released after an illness that almost killed Ben and welded the relationship between Tracey and Ben . It was a turning point in their career as they were able to make music without pressure from their record company as they felt they had nothing to prove anymore . And the result is outstanding .
AMPLIFIED HEART has all what you expect from a mature pop album . Brillant songs. Moving lyrics , great melodies , beautiful singing , and a pristine sound . From an audiophile point view , this album is EBTGs best .
And on this Deluxe Edition , you won't be disappointed a single moment .
The demo versions are absolutely world class . Recorded at home to basic means , not produced or whatever , it's talent as it's raw state . Rollercoaster brought to me tears . So beautiful and so moving . Put the lights off and hear this track loud enough . You will know what i mean . So pure . So poignant . Two Star is an underrated gem and i rediscovered it anew . Troubled Mind is simply wondrous .
I was amazed by the sound quality of the live tracks . I look forward playing those tracks in Munich at the international audio fair in may next year ( ICA ) . The repeat button playing Walking To You and 25th December to death .
Just to make it exhaustive , there are also 4 different remixes of Missing , the worldwide hit which as we all know brought everything to roll again for Ben and Tracey . The Chris & James Full on club Mix is closer to Yazoo than to EBTG . I remain the acoustic fan and won't judge on the rest .
Well , to cut a long story short : This is absolutely stunning music at its best . I am very happy with it . I have rediscovered this album again and would recommend it to everyone wanting to dive into pure, unpretentious awesome renditions . Music with a heart that beats and a soul that lives . I have only become aware of a sad truth : Tracey and Ben have tons of live material they recorded during the acoustic concerts to DAT and cassettes between 93 and 96 . So much they even didn't label it ( so it reads unknown venue in the credits ) . I wonder if this musical treasure will ever see the light of day . Especially the gig in Toronto from which Walking To You and 25th december originated from . I remember attending the concert they gave in Cologne on the 1st may 1996 and the first song "Better things " sent a shiver upon my spine . This is a moment i will never forget . Will i ever get to hear it again ? A wonder might happen someday ... I will firmly believe in . And i will be patient .
Don't miss it .