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Song (1990)
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£19.98+£1.26shipping

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2009
This is just the most beautiful album. It conjures up images of lonely windswept beaches, lazy endless clouds drifting away onto the horizon, suburbia with it's lost souls and myriad stifled dreams and a much gentler life of quiet desperation. I feel so removed and at peace when I listen to this album. It's not just music, it's art
(and I don't say that lightly.)
It's such a shame that they didn't make any more albums together. This is such a lost classic.
It's also very interesting how the themes of feeling lost and unemployed are as relevant as ever. I listen to this album and I hear Songs About Now. I'm so happy it's been re-released with extra tracks. I can't praise this enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2010
Like another It's Immaterial reviewer I read on Amazon, I too bought Life's Hard and Then You Die for £5.99 from Our Price (Peterborough in my case....) There must have been an offer on at the time. It's without doubt one of my favourite albums, but I missed out on getting a copy of "Song" and regrettably, until this week, didn't take the time or trouble to see if it was re-issued. So big thanks to Cherry Red, and in an oblique way, my sister in law, who got me tickets to see The Christians in Shrewsbury last week, which led to me digging out Life's Hard so I could listen to the sublime "Ed's Funky Diner"....and after a few glasses of Merlot, and a late night hunt around Amazon, hey presto, Song arrived at my door.

It is VERY rare that I play an album over and over on first purchasse, but I am currently grateful that my commute involves a 40 minute drive through autumnal Bedfordshire lanes, so I can enjoy, in my own "Space", this stunning work. I am not going to single out individual songs, because that would be like admiring the bottom corner of an art masterpiece, rather than the full picture.

Take this album as a whole, and love it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2009
You could do no better than to add this wonderful (and one-off) CD to your collection.
Only now re-released after it unfairly sank without trace in 1990 - this timeless 'classic that never was' has the chance for a long overdue re-appraisal.

The "Blue Nile" connection is both in musical style, and producer Calum Malcolm.
Personal standouts include opener 'New Brighton', 'Endless Holiday', 'Ordinary Day', 'Heaven Knows', 'Homecoming', 'Summer Winds', 'Your Voice'... why go further - the whole lot in fact (even the bonus tracks).

Thank you, Cherry Red Records.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2008
I can't add much to Pete's review because he's pretty much nailed it. But if you needed any more convincing then I'll try. Produced by Calum Malcolm who had just finished The Blue Nile's "Hats" album, "Song" moves in the same territory as The Blue Nile and Talk Talk's " The Colour Of Spring" and "Eden" and beats them at their own game, which is no mean feat. Subtle and hypnotic, this album is faultless and it's a criminal shame that in this age of reissues and remastering, it's nowhere to be seen. Check out YouTube for the video of "New Brighton", a single that never appeared and would have been as ignored as the album was. Worth the asking price on the used and new, without a shadow of a doubt. If you adore The Blue Nile, then you need this timeless beautiful album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2008
Heed the call, Siren Records (or whoever it is that owns the rights to the back catalogue now)......, surely it's worth another pressing of 'Song', cos there are quite a few of us sad old leftovers who would snap up this absolute gem of an album in a jiffy if it were to appear on the shelves again.
Old friends like 'Heaven Knows', 'Summer Winds', 'An Ordinary Life', 'New Brighton' and 'Homecoming' still enthrall - both morose and uplifting at the same time.
So please, do what you do to other albums that you seemingly squeeze the lifeblood out of : re-engineer, re-package, re-vamp, and re-issue.
And while you're at it, please throw in a few extra tracks like the wonderfully beguiling 'River' and 'Faith'.
It won't shift enough units to keep your sales reps in this seasons Campers, but it will make a small group of people very, very happy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If they're remembered at all, it's for the one-off hit "Driving Away From Home" which, somewhat unfairly, was seen as a novelty record. But the following album showed the bands depth and skill as both lyricists and composers.
Song, when it eventually emerged, sank without trace. Which is a pity, since it is such a wonderfully beautiful record. Life's Hard... was good, very good, but Song is nothing less than magnificent.
Sparse, evocative, melodic, understated and suffused with a very English sense of despair and resignation. But it isn't a depressing album, there's a (suitably) quiet faith that underlies the whole thing.
Of the two bonus tracks, The River is good, but wasn't quite good enough to get onto the album, and Faith is basically Heaven Knows in a different key and tempo with a completely different chorus. Both add value to the collection.
Mostly, however, it is just so good to see this quiet masterpiece back in the catalogue.
I'm buying the reissue even though I have both the original album and the CD single that the bonus tracks come from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2010
Following in a similar vein to the fantastic Blue Nile, It's Immaterial's second album Song is an album of incredible emotion, poetry and wonderfully understated songs. Released when the indie scene of Britain was falling head over heels in love with all things Baggy and Madchester, it's understandable how this rather subdued album slipped underneath the radar.

However 20 years on Song has a timeless beauty that makes it stand out and deserve some recognition, which probably can't be said of material by many of their peers of the time. This is a fantastic album and in a parallel universe where good music prevails over hype it would take a deserved place in lists of classic albums.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2008
This is just the most beautiful album. It conjures up images of lonely windswept beaches, lazy endless clouds drifting away onto the horizon, suburbia with it's lost souls and myriad stifled dreams and a much gentler life of quiet desperation. I feel so removed and at peace when I listen to this album. It's not just music, it's art
(and I don't say that lightly.)
It's such a shame that they didn't make any more albums together. This is such a lost classic.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Comparisons to the wondrous Blue Nile will draw me in every time and so reading reviews for Song by It,s Immaterial where the Caledonian greats are mentioned quite a lot my interest was piqued . Originally released in 1990 the band had been together ten years before they unleashed Song, the sort of gestation period also eerily redolent of the Blue Nile- though it must be noted they released one other album in that period.

Song is surely an ironic title because the ...uhhh songs on the album are,nt really conventional songs at all. No verse chorus verse chorus for this band .Indeed there are hardly any chorus,s , or what be construed as chorus,s on the album entire. The music is in almost constant free flow flux , the melodies diaphanous and harder to pin down than an honest M.P,s expense claim .Yet the melodies are there and when they emerge like pop tart butterflies from an ambient soaked cocoon they are often truly lovely.

And as for the Blue Nile comparisons. From the first shivery keyboard notes and the mournful tendrils of quavering trumpet it is clear the comparison is justified. I feel it,s fair to say that Song never approaches the ecstatic emotional peaks and troughs of the Blue Nile but it does have a quiet majesty that gradually seduces the listener and there a moments of understated epiphany .Patience is required with this album but as per usual patience will be rewarded.

Opener "New Brighton" is a constantly shifting veil of shimmering keyboards and wispy brass. "An Ordinary Life " ( very Blue Nile title that ) is underpinned by gently undulating bass and sudden percussive shimmies with the polite vocals of John Campbell ( mirroring the music his vocals are very understated -from a whisper to a mild exhortation ) gliding serenely through the arrangement. The most obvious and commercial is the lovely "Heaven Knows " where "Everything is gonna be alright ". The twinkling notes and juddering rhythms of "In The Neighbourhood " seems an incongruous mix but the song is truly gorgeous."Life On The Hill" even Even if the occasional track like "Endless Holiday " plods a bit , ironically rather like an endless holiday ,the album whole has a flow and ambience of glowing melancholy .

With two bonus tracks -"Faith " being a former B-side - this is mostly an album of glories that do not have to shout from the rooftops but rather persuade through insidious atmosphere and tiny details.Like Spirit Of Eden Talk Talk but filtered through the prism of a neon lit urban landscape rather them some pastoral idyll and with touches of Davis Sylivans,s more drifting ambient moments.And lets not forget the Blue Nile and state once again the comparisons are valid .Recommendations do not come any higher than that as far as i,m concerned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This masterpiece has to be in the running for most under-rated record ever released.

It's not the most 'pop' of albums, instead it thrives on understatement, a peculiarly English type of quite despair, a subdued sense of musical experimentation, and a bleak, almost suffocating sense of decay.

And, in case that isn't enough, it has some wonderful (if predictably understated) melodies, and the vocals wrap up the whole package damn near perfectly.

So will somebody re-issue this? Pretty please? I'd buy another copy. No, really. My CD copy is rather old now.

And if you could also release the early singles and maybe, if the rumours are true, that third album, then I would marry you and have your babies.

I LOVE this album.
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