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6 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grower
For those mellow evenings when you're maybe feeling a little down, or a little knackered - this is the ideal calmer. Laid-back, alt-country that isn't quite morose but certainly not upbeat - in some ways almost jazz-like. The album is worth buying if only for the majestic and melodic Tender To The Blues. Wonderful.
Published on 20 Mar 2003 by Mr. Paul J. Bradshaw

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Failing to move me up country
Mr. Yorkston clearly has his fans, as evinced by his continuing career success, so I am only posting this as a counterpoint to the universal praise in the other reviews, in order that potential purchasers listen carefully before buying.
I bought this when it came out, didn't see what the fuss was about in the press (good agent, maybe?), and thought it flavourless and...
Published 27 days ago by Decade


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A grower, 20 Mar 2003
By 
Mr. Paul J. Bradshaw (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Moving Up Country (Audio CD)
For those mellow evenings when you're maybe feeling a little down, or a little knackered - this is the ideal calmer. Laid-back, alt-country that isn't quite morose but certainly not upbeat - in some ways almost jazz-like. The album is worth buying if only for the majestic and melodic Tender To The Blues. Wonderful.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two scoops of accoustic loveliness., 21 Jan 2003
By 
Christopher Boyne (Isle of Wight, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Moving Up Country (Audio CD)
If you're reading this, do yourself a favour and buy this record. James' delicate and intricate accoustic guitar and vocal arrangements are set off by the various and varied backing instruments and harmonies of the athletes.
Tender and St Patrick are my favourite tracks, tho everyone's a little gem.
At turns haunting, at others rousing, with a homegrown feel to it - this is how music should be. And he's a Fifer too! Gaun the neeburs!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars alt.country from the auld country, 11 Nov 2002
This review is from: Moving Up Country (Audio CD)
This is a remarkable record. It's not, perhaps, a great one, and certainly not a dynamic one, but it runs so strongly counter to the grain of popular music this side of the Atlantic and does it so confidently and skilfully that it makes you shake your head in wonder when you first hear it.
To a wheezy, burbling backing (The Athletes? Someone's having a laugh, then.), Yorkston half-sings, half-murmurs a collection of lost-love and fading-memory stories, sounding like a companionable stranger in a dark, warm bar in Winter. The songs are playful but melancholy, and Yorkston's golden ear for a melody makes them instantly sound like you've heard them played in the background all your life. If that makes this CD sound like comfort food, then that's just perfect - the whole thing is full of whispery low-key charm and likeability, and there cannot be anyone on earth it would offend.
It sounds a bit like Will Oldham, as almost every review says it does, but it sound much more like the quiet parts of a Sparklehorse album - Good Morning Spider especially. Moving Up Country doesn't have the musical and emotional range of Mark Linkus' record, but almost nothing does, and Yorkston's album at least has absolutely no low spots: the first track is lovely, the last track is beautiful, and all the others fall somewhere in between.
How can that be a bad thing?
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2.0 out of 5 stars Failing to move me up country, 24 Aug 2014
This review is from: Moving Up Country (Audio CD)
Mr. Yorkston clearly has his fans, as evinced by his continuing career success, so I am only posting this as a counterpoint to the universal praise in the other reviews, in order that potential purchasers listen carefully before buying.
I bought this when it came out, didn't see what the fuss was about in the press (good agent, maybe?), and thought it flavourless and poorly sung. I put it away in a drawer and haven't listened to it again. As his latest work received a recommendation from Amazon to me (and continued press approval), I thought it about time I reappraised it. Often, when I do this, with the benefit of distance, I realise that I have judged the music too hastily and change my mind entirely - but not on this disc - it still sounds to me like an adolescent practising in his bedroom with his mates. Of course, if this was the artistic intention, the disc is a success on its own terms.
On more recent recordings, Mr. Yorkston's voice has clearly improved, but not to the point where it could be described as expressive or emotive. Another reviewer comments that if you like Richard Thompson or Talk Talk, you'll be bound to like this. I have most of these two artists' work and couldn't disagree more. Both are strong and unique "flavours" which are very distinct that you will love or not, and more importantly, recognise within a few seconds of hearing them, regardless of whether you know the song itself. James Yorkston's album is not of the same quality or distinctiveness.
I don't think that I'm alone in this view either, as a good indication of the silent majority's opinion is the price and availability of the disc secondhand.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving Up Country, 9 Aug 2002
By 
Kerry Lamb (Dublin, Eire.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Moving Up Country (Audio CD)
As the hype behind a new acoustic movement gathers pace and anyone who picks up a non-electric guitar finds themselves dubbed a folk singer, the emergence of Edinburgh based James Yorkston is something of a relief.
Yorkston's music is for the most part downbeat and melancholic, but given a sweeping beauty by the combination of pianos, guitars, strings and percussion. Recorded in a remote cottage in the Scottish borders, the liberty from the standard studio approach is evident in the album's freewheeling spirit.
Yorkston himself spins his tales of loving and losing in a languid, casual manner - at times reminiscent of the lo-fi US rock bands that we normally associate with Domino. Throughout, though, his range of influences make their presence subtlety felt - a touch of Americana here, a spot of Irish romanticism there, a lot of English singers from Nick Drake to Anne Briggs. Moving Up Country is an absolutely fine way by which to introduce this exciting talent.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Vinyl Pressing - Neu 'do' Folk side 4, 17 May 2012
By 
P. J. Sharp "Hill Top Man" (Marlow) - See all my reviews
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Hopefully you all know this beautiful folky, droney, scottish flavoured country tinged classic and the many excellent (although not quite so entrancing) albums made since this debut.
If you don't know it and you like any of the following - Will Oldham, Bill Callahan, John Wesley era Dylan, Richard Thompson, Talk Talk's last 2 LP's, any English Folk music, Diamond Mine etc etc - I guarantee you will adore this.
The main reason for the new review by me though is the beautiful piece of art that is the double vinyl release - a stream of thoughts - super heavy vinyl, super heavy gatefold card, sleeves with excellent photos and inserts, very very crackle and pop free pressing, warmer than a peat fire on winters night sound - and of course the best side 4 I have heard for a long time - Neu 'do' English Folk finale's - "I know your love" and the "Lang Toun" - Oh my word. Well worth the money.
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Moving Up Country
Moving Up Country by James Yorkston (Audio CD - 2002)
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