on 21 January 2001
I was first introduced to Archie Roach when some friends returned from a round-the-world trip having spent some time in Australia. They had the pleasure of watching Archie live over there and brought back the CD for us all to share. There is not one single track on this Album which couldn't be released as a single in the UK and not be a hit. The title track allows us all to see how Archie and his friends spent their evenings way back then. 'Took the children away' tells us how he and countless others felt when the Australian government in their infite wisdom decided to re-home Aboriginal children with White parents to get them to assimilate more into modern Australia. 'The Summer of my Life' is bound to hit home with everybody, we all know how he feels when he sings 'please don't cry, my darling wife.' The fantastic lyrics and haunting melodies make this an album that would grace, nae honour, anyone's CD collection. I urge you to give it a listen, and challenge you not to enjoy every single track!
on 28 May 2002
The fact that Paul Kelly and Steve Connelly (RIP) are his backing band should be reason enough for buying this LP. Yet it's Archie Roaches story telling which really grabs you. The LP is a stripped down affair similar to Paul Kellys "Post". Not surprisingly It's a very gentle, moving record. Archie, an Australian Aboriginal , was taken from his mother at the age of 3 in a program the Australian government called Assimilation. Track titles like Took the Children Away, Munjana and Native Born are all dilvered with serenity and conviction. Musically it has minimal accoustic arrangements with straight narrative over basic chord structures. It's a familar sound, but it's rarely sounded this good.
on 13 November 2007
Not sure how William Keane [see other review] thinks these songs would make UK hits. This album has little place in the empty-headed, dumbed-down world of the average UK pleb. Still, he is right in that this album makes an invaluable addition to any serious music collection. Almost a standard reference work for indigenous Australians, this is a haunting document to remind successive generations of civil rights abuses. Not surprisingly, Roach sounds a tortured soul but the songs strike a chord that arguably redefines the term soul music.