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  • Grit
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars39
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 2 March 2005
Knowing the background to this album - that here was a very gifted musician who knew that he was dying (tragically young), and who wished to put together one final creation which would sum up his life, a statement of who he was, where he came from, and what he stood for and believed in - I found listening to it a very moving experience. Lie easy, Martyn - you've succeeded magnificently.
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on 12 August 2009
"Grit" was my introduction proper to the music of Martyn Bennett, and this after learning of his tragic untimely death. This album is a passionate statement, a lust for life, it is wildly inventive, playful and irreverent yet rooted in a deep respect for the traditional music of Scotland, and I am thinking something of a self-portrait of a very talented musician, cramming important pieces of his world into a kaleidoscopic 50-odd minute fantasy.

I agree with the apt description here on Amazon likening his style to Bjork, I hadn't thought of that before reading the review but it's so true, and somehow explains a part of the appeal to me. Sweeping strings, intoxicating beats, panoramic spaces, and a bedrock of these fantastic traditional songs. And the song samples, though sometimes scrambled out of shape as if reflected in those bendy fairground mirrors, really are at the heart of things, which is perhaps unusual in the techno scene. So there's all this contemporary language scrawled across age-old songs, and yet I am in no doubt that Martyn was full of respect for the tradition and knew that the songs themselves will outlive his mischief. I believe he said that he enjoyed performing the traditional music straight more than anything. But he was possessed of a cheeky elfish nature and the talent to make these big bold bright statements, so something unusual was bound to come of it.

"Grit" is a world away from the main streams of contemporary Celtic folk-crossover (the limp new-agey variety or the plodding anthemic folk-rock), it has a refreshing vitality and bite, it is brazen and spirited, and it will either put a big smile on your face or have you seething! I've got a smile!
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on 4 August 2013
I stumbled upon the track "Wedding" on a music website. I was drawn into its tranquil beauty that I found reminiscent of the Afro Celt's more atmospheric tracks. I just didn't expect to find such fabulous arrangements of electro beats, traditional instruments and vocals that seemed stuffed to bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

Whilst listening to it I read Martyns back story and for me it gave the album an even more beautiful edge. This man, on his way out the door of life, wanted to leave a token of his spirit behind and from listening to this album what a beautiful spirit he had. The more I became familiar with the album and got over the situation it was written in I forgot about his illness and just listened to the message contained within. JOY! DANCING! BEAUTY! FUN! It is such good fun. Every time I listen to it I find it impossible not to have a big grin on my soul.

I love how the album finishes with The Storyteller. It's an intriguing piece that for me mirrors life itself. It's a story that unfolds along the way and you keep straining to hear the words, to pick out and the whys and wherefores, listening to the voice like it's your best friend. It's an interesting listen and as it goes further on the plot thickens and you try and make sense of it and guess where it's going. And then it ends, abruptly and without answer and leaves you laughing at what it was all about. This album makes me think Martyn knew only too well what life is all about.

I recommend this album to..... everyone :)
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on 24 April 2005
Martin was one of these inventive people who takes traditional music by the scruff of the neck and enhances it with a modern slant. He can be described as the Scottish 'Moby'. He will be sorely missed. This album was made during Martin's fight with cancer and the title is so apt.
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on 1 November 2003
I found Grit in the folk section of HMV and after listing for the first time I wondered why anyone would casually term this album as folk. After the fifth listen I wondered how you classify this album. Celtic is the best I can come up with. But if you think Celtic music is the equivalent of the dolphin cry then you're in for a shock. Grit takes the traditional sounds of Scotland and adds a fire and passion that I have never heard in such a recording.
How best can I describe the sound of Grit? Take an early traditional recording, add the sonic landscape of bjork, turn up the volume and press play.
There are standout points all through this album. If I had to choose a track then it would have to be 'Ale House' for the simple reason that I can't help but grin and dance whenever it's on. In a nut shell this recording is nothing short of a landmark. Celtic music once lost its grit; Martyn Bennett went out and found it again.
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on 17 February 2005
After a few listening i got right into this album.Then let a few friends listen (who got hooked)Having heard Martyn Bennet before i was fasinated at how this guys mind works.I have reached a conclusion that i will never know.He is so talented and ground breaking.The "chanter" is my fav,,,, listen and be mesmorised.
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on 25 October 2005
It was unfortunately only after Martyn's death that I was introduced to his music. The album Grit is an extremely impressive statement of both his roots, but also of defiance in the face of the illness which cast a shadow over the last years of his life. This fight was protracted and even drove him to destroy many of his instruments in frustration at his helplessness at it's onset at one stage.
The album is full of inventiveness which, even if you extracted the Scottish songs would find a place as contemporary music to discover and enjoy. The combination is a triumph of adventurous sounds and demonstrates a skill in managing the content which far surpasses similar offerings.
It varies smoothly between the soulful and introverted, through to the raucous 'Chanter' which would not be out of place in clubs around the UK. Stand out track for me is 'Why': so terribly apt as this is the question many will ask upon hearing how talented this young man was. Take a chance on this album, it'll be worth it.
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on 2 February 2009
The music is amazing it really is different from any other music I have listened to. I have lent the CD to friends and they like it to. Ive never have done a review on music before but I felt I needed to do one with this one. This CD is on the shelf with many great other CD's!
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on 17 June 2015
I've seen a few reviews about this which I looked at after seeing the 'Grit Orchestra' concert on BBC iplayer from the Celtic Connections sessions from Scotland. Music enjoyment is very personal, but having been thrilled by the concert - which should be released as a DVD and CD (!), I am thoroughly enjoying this and will be finding out about Martyn Bennett's other releases. He may have left this world early, but this is quite something to be remembered by!
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on 20 July 2014
Fantastic stuff. I watched the documentary and found a type of music I didn't know existed. I think Martyn Bennett was a true genius, how he heard these things and mixed them into great music. Just fantastic.
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