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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An instant masterpiece
"God knows how I adore life..."
It's difficult to remember a record so perfect in every way. It begins with a 50-second soundscape melting away beneath THAT VOICE. 'Mysteries' sends shivers down the spine, like 'Mojo Pin' (from Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'), it's an opener that fills you with excitement till you're fit-to-burst, flawless, beautiful, majestic, sweeping...
Published on 2 Nov 2002 by R. Burin

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15 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overshadowed by one great song
This is one of those projects where you feel that what might have been a fleeting collaboration produced such a great song, ‘Mysteries’, that a whole album had to be written to go with it, and the rest necessarily stands in its shadow. Mojo magazine’s assertion that this is one the finest albums ever certainly damns it with excessive praise (it simply...
Published on 29 Nov 2002 by Young Offender


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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Voice, 14 Aug 2010
By 
Paul Horton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
As usual Beth Gibbons is outstanding on this album. A good mix of tracks, some of which are deeply moving, but perhaps less challenging for some people than her work with Portishead.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Criminally Underrated, 7 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
Beth Gibbons has the kind of achingly beautiful voice which could make a statue cry real tears. Forget comparisons to Billie Holiday, because Beth's voice stands alone. Those familiar with her Portishead work will be very much aware of how much emotion she is able to hold in her vocals, and this little gem of an album is no different.

It's criminally underrated and vastly superior to the vast majority of far more celebrated female vocalists such as PJ Harvey. The opening song, 'Mysteries' is haunting and fragile, sweeping, beautiful, ethereal and sad, all at once. Beth's voice sweeps in with "Lord Knows how I adore life", with an underlying sense of sadness and sorrow. Accompanying vocals from what appears to be some sort of choir also do this great justice, and the acoustic guitar sounds beautifully understated. "A place of love and mystery" is just one of the eloquent lyrics which set the entire mood for this album.

In contrast, 'Tom The Model' explores rather more shallow subject matter, yet still sounds alarmingly good, probably the most Portishead-esque song on the album. Beth's voice is deep and resonant, strong and soulful. Indeed, 'Tom The Model' is fantastic soul, even managing to carry off lines like "I can't hide my own despair", which would probably sound hackneyed coming from most other vocalists.

The level of soul, depth and emotion evident in 'Show' is also staggering, very seldom heard in music. Soft, unintrusive piano perfectly compliments Beth's distinctive vocal.

One would expect a song called 'Romance' to be a fairly straightforward affair, but as is usually the case with Beth, she adds an extra dimension, another facet, bringing feeling to another emotional, almost jazzy number. This sounds like the soundtrack to a Belgian 'film-noir' arthouse flick, in a completely good way.

'Sand River' almost seems to be plunging even deeper into the pit of melancholia which seems to be getting dug right from the very first bar of this album, but just sounds so damn gorgeous that it would be difficult to be annoyed at this. Beth's voice trembles with emotion, sounding like like the spirit of Nico transposed over Joni Mitchell on tranquilizers.

The lyrics and vocals as heard in 'Spider Monkey' are hazy, reflective and ethereal-sounding enough for some to label this album 'depressing', but in my opinion, it all sounds far too accomplished, confident and atmospheric to be in any way negative. The album almost seems to play out in a dream-like way.

'Resolve' adds yet another facet to Beth's voice as she scales the tones and semitones from impossibly low to high, accompanied by the same simplistic acoustic guitar which seems almost omnipresent. The guitar itself embraces few key changes. Even this, however, the most downbeat song on the album, has a sincerity and lack of pomposity which most alternative music badly needs.

'Drake' sounds suicidal, however, adding wistful harmonica to even dreamier-sounding vocals, so laid-back they're practically horizontal, whilst 'Funny Time Of Year' is another desolate-sounding, yet curiously powerful montage of sound, whilst Beth sounds as if she is being posessed by the ghosts of both Nico and Ian Curtis, simultaneously.

'Rustin Man' is probably the only real 'filler' track on the album, being an attempt at ambience and exploration of sound, rather than an adequate showcase for Beth Gibbon's haunting voice.

Undoubtedly, this album will probably be too gloomy for some, but look underneath that and you will begin to appreciate it's dark, subtle beauty, evocative lyrics and hazy imagery. That Beth Gibbons solo efforts have been so criminally ignored whilst other vastly inferior vocalist are far more critically lauded is clear proof that the music press and music fans sometimes get it very, very wrong.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Calvary cross, 28 Jan 2007
By 
philippe brax (nyons, drome provencale) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
Let me put it straight, reading some of the other reviews just confirmed that "C...s are still running the world" as Jarvis Cocker says so aptly. This album is in the same category as "I want to see the bright lights tonight". No less, no more. Haunting. Somewhere between "Inferno" and "Purgatory" in Dante's divine comedy, when things seem to be getting better. Autumn leaves.
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15 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overshadowed by one great song, 29 Nov 2002
By 
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
This is one of those projects where you feel that what might have been a fleeting collaboration produced such a great song, ‘Mysteries’, that a whole album had to be written to go with it, and the rest necessarily stands in its shadow. Mojo magazine’s assertion that this is one the finest albums ever certainly damns it with excessive praise (it simply can’t meet the expectations raised). Not to say that songs like ‘Resolve’ and ‘Drake’ aren’t good, but the latter’s reference really just reminds you how incomparably superior are ‘Five Leaves Left’ and ‘Bryter Layter’. The sourness and vocal affectation of much of ‘Out of Season’ reminds me too much of the second, grim Portishead album, and desolate music need not be a tuneless ordeal. Mr Drake could have told them that.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Service, 2 Nov 2009
By 
Mr. J. G. Bostock "A country manc" (Manchester,England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
Excellant album, sets the mood perfectly for these autumn nights.

Beths voice is haunting
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gibbons apes Sylvian, 14 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
I think this album is slightly overrated. There are some great tracks on it and I agree that Beth Gibbons has an amzazing voice, but the album as a whole didn't really grab me. Listen to David Sylvian's "Secrets of the beehive" for a comparable style but an infinitely better album.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust and believe., 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: Out of Season [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Item was very far from description(Brand New!) - and after some writing back and forth - a solution was found - and partial refund was made - which was satisfactory.
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7 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the suicidal, 26 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
People really do like to go on about her voice; she actually does sound a lot like Sandy Denny, and she does an irritating impression of Billie Holiday. Even though some of the lyrics are uplifting the music can be ponderous. It also sweeps through the listener in depressing sweeps at times. The last time I played it, I just had to take it off, and I was in quite a cheerful mood when I put it on.
Tom the Model has a beautiful melody and a clever change of tempo. At best, the whole is album is clever, but not clever enough to avoid self-indulgent muso leanings.
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3 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like her Portishead stuff, 31 Jan 2009
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
I like the heavy bass and chill out vibes of Portishead. Disappointed by this - mainly acoustic and not so much mellow as depressing. Not saying this is terrible, just not what I was expecting. Not a fan.
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11 of 87 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tunefree rubbish, 16 July 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Out of Season (Audio CD)
Yeah, yeah...she's not bad on Portishead records, but here...oh my god...for "elegant and minimal" read musicaly boring, her voice sounds like a karaoke Billie Holiday...and Mr Tune was obviously visiting the Vengaboys when this was recorded!! Avoid this selfindulgent waffle! Buy Goldfrapp's "Black Cherry" instead.
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