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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third very fine album, 1 July 2002
This review is from: I Shot The Albatross (Audio CD)
I discovered James Grant when my wife heard a song from his first solo album " Sawdust in my Veins " played on the Janice Forsyth radio show and we bought the album. We followed that up by buying his second album " My Thrawn Glory " . When I heard of the release of this album we also bought this.
There was more pre-release publicity for this album than the previous two, with radio and newspaper interviews. The album is a collection of poems set to music, so I have to admit I had my doubts about it , having not heard any of the tracks. But we bought it on the strenght of the first two albums.
I've had the album for a few weeks now and think it's a great success.Maybe even his best yet, due to the different settings for the different lyrics.
On track one " A Tale Best Forgotten " Monica Queen sings and sounds not unlike Emmylou Harris. " Long John Brown and Little Mary Bell " has the feel of Becks " Devils Haircut " with treated vocals and horns. There's a recording of Charles Buckowski reading " The Tragedy of the Leaves " and a Rimbaud poem set to music.
But despite the prerelease focus on this being an album of poems set to music, the best thing about this album is that it's a very good and varied set of well crafted songs and arrangements by a writer/performer who is doing what he wants to do the way he wants to do it.
My personal favourite at the moment is " Summer Farm " which in feel reminds me of some of the outtakes from John Martyns " One World " album released as " Another World ".
This is an album that will grow on you , not an immediate album, but a good album worth staying with.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine achievement, 23 July 2002
A. McGhie "musikjunkio" (East Kilbride) - See all my reviews
This review is from: I Shot The Albatross (Audio CD)
Grant's superior musicianship and ear for tasteful melody have resulted in a triumphant combination of his own unique musical style with poetry from many different sources and eras.
The collection's opening piece 'Tale Best Forgotten' (with ex-Thrum vocalist Monica Queen taking the lead) sets the maudlin tone retained on much of the album. This is only occasionally broken, as with a lively take on EE Cummings' 'Anyone Lived In A Pretty How Town'. A largely acoustic take on WH Auden's 'Lady Weeping At The Crossroads' and a string-laden 'Summer Farm' (Norman McCaig) are among the highlights. In truth, there's very little to criticise. Grant has stayed true to his artistry by creating sparse, unobtrusive arrangements and his own love of the material is evident in the respectful treatment of the various pieces.
This won't sell to many outwith his hardcore support, but that is others' loss as maturity and ambition on this scale don't meet very often.
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I Shot The Albatross
I Shot The Albatross by James Grant (Audio CD - 2002)
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