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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still as good as ever
In the late 80's I picked up the Blue Nile album Walk Across the Rooftops and it became one of my 'must take with me to college' tapes.

For some reason I never looked to see what had happened to this band and just assumed they would have split up. That was until I heard the recent excellent duet by Texas 'Sleep' with Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan. A search on...
Published on 9 July 2006 by J. J. Kelly

versus
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING- THIS IS CD HAS EXTREME COPY PROTECTION
Although i think the album is fantastic and can't fault the band for this, however the cd i bought was severly copy protected and would only play on 1 out of 8 cd players tried in, this includes; sacd players, dvd players car cd players and computers among other players. It would also not play on a friends Quad 77, player. THis disc is not marked as copy protected, and is...
Published on 13 Sep 2004


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still as good as ever, 9 July 2006
By 
J. J. Kelly "Alfaman" (Isle of Man, British Isles) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
In the late 80's I picked up the Blue Nile album Walk Across the Rooftops and it became one of my 'must take with me to college' tapes.

For some reason I never looked to see what had happened to this band and just assumed they would have split up. That was until I heard the recent excellent duet by Texas 'Sleep' with Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan. A search on Amazon showed Blue Nile had released a couple of albums since the one I owned. The 2004 album High has just been re-released (probably following on from the exposure with Texas).

I've now had High on in the car for a couple of weeks and it's just like being at college all over again. Paul's vocals as strong as ever and what a collection of tracks. Ever had one of those albums where you keep coming back to one track again and again? For me it's track 5, She Saw The World, what a belter.

Why isn't this band better known? Perhaps they are all the better for their relative obscurity.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bruised but unbowed, 9 Oct 2004
By 
P. Cottom "petercottom" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
The Blue Nile return at last with another collection of sublime, intoxicating yet uplifting songs, characterised by Paul Buchanan's sharply observed bittersweet vignettes.
I'm surprised that other review haven't picked out "Because of Toledo" for special mention. It's one of the most stark, haunting and melancholic songs this side of...well, anywhere, actually - and yet is truly what The Blue Nile are about. Paul Buchanan's voice, torn with hopeless resignation, is accompanied by a picked guitar line that builds through a typical "Blue Nile Chorus" striking in it's simplicity: an unusual but majestic key change, strengthened by a sudden harmony, a wordless almost breathless phrase then, a wash of strings, a solemn horn. No waste, no cinematic score for false drama, no theatrics.
Paul Buchanan's voice isn't technically perfect. It glows with an epic weariness. If we had to give it a name, it would be Walter Matthau. Yet it's up there with the great voices from that land - Gary Clark, Billy Mckenzie, Hamish Stuart, Roddy Frame....
So, I hear you ask, who do they sound like? Well,that's just it - no one. And we don't want another band to sound like The Blue Nile. We've already got a band that sounds just like The Blue Nile. They're called........The Blue Nile. And that's all we need.
I want you to go and buy this. I want you to share the experience I had all those years ago when "A Walk Across the Rooftops" leapt out of my stereo, slapped me about the face and told me things just wouldn't be the same again - at least for another 6 years, when "Hats" slipped into my blood and somehow scrambled my DNA.
HANG ON, just a minute, let's think about this...........more sales, bigger record company, more pressure from the suits, duets with Ronan, covers by Sugarbabes, remixes by Flip and Fill, interviews (aaarrgghh!). No, on second thoughts, maybe it's better this way, and I'll just continue to grow old to a soundtrack punctuated, from time to time, by The Blue Nile.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A polished gem., 22 Nov 2006
By 
C. Porter (Worcester, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
Blue Nile fans. Who are they?

I got into The Blue Nile because someone told me they thought I'd like them. They weren't wrong. And now everyone I know who likes good quality music likes them too, following a referral from me, because this band seems to exist on personal recommendations.

Which is just as well, as they only manage one album every 7 years, on average!

Whenever they do release an album, the critics fall over themselves to praise it. Maybe that's the kiss of death for them....

Well, these critics are quicker than me. I find that each album requires time and quite a few listens to actually love. Each time I've got my hands on an album, I am initially a bit disappointed. Until about 10 listens time, when I am raving to anyone who will listen to me that it is a work of unmitigated genius etc. etc.

Their (relative) downfall is that their tracks don't tend to have the instant appeal that a lot of listeners appear to need. Still others refer to the smooth, glossy, meticulous productions as background music. Surely that's unfair, if you listen to Paul Buchanan's impassioned vocal.

The religious overtones to some of the work can also put people off, but when music is this dizzily hypnotic, I just don't care one way or the other.

Unashamedly soulful and romantic, The Blue Nile carve an individual furrow through pop. Every album has been released on a different label so far - faith and longevity is clearly an issue for the record labels.

Their next album is due in about 2011 (on current stats), but I, for one, will queue up to get it. Come on, Mr Buchanan, write more, write faster.

But he won't. Tortured genius, or pedantic megalomaniac? Who knows? And who cares? We may only have 4 albums, but by crikey they're all corkers! If all songwriters took this much trouble, the aural soundscape would be awash in beauty all the time.

As close to perfect as Mr Buchanan can make it, this album's highlights include the title track and the awesome acoustic ballad "Because of Toledo". Oh, and the beautiful, bizarre and mildly disturbing opener, "The Days of Our Lives", featuring the same chord beating out for the duration of the track, with a snaky little bass riff set against a lyric that is either domestic stream-of-consciousness limbo, or the musings of an omni-present narrator berating modern life. Yikes! Compelling, though.

Stylistically, "High" harks back to the 1989 release "Hats", in that it feels more programmed than the more guitar-y, organic "Peace at Last". But, if it's possible, the songs are more mature and thoughthful than ever.

Exquisite. Measured. Moving.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High - The Sky Is The Limit, 18 May 2005
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
As the Blue Nile have repeatedly proved in the past with beautifully crafted songs like Tinseltown In The Rain, the end always justifies the means; being the enduring wait for a new release for adoring fans who are in the meantime sustained by the three previous albums, A Walk Across The Rooftops, Hats and Peace At Last. The real essence of their magic is the depth of feeling Paul Buchanan is able to inject into the songs with a few carefully chosen words, often sung with a haunting quality that only adds lustre. A Blue Nile album is a rare thing of beauty and High doesn't disappoint. Stand out songs include I Would Never, Because Of Toledo, High (my personal favourite) and Stay Close.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, 14 Sep 2004
By 
S. Reid "happy_daze" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
To any Blue Nile fans who (like me) felt that Peace At Last saw the boys having a brief wobble, this album will be (literally and metaphorically) music to your ears. The stripped down sound of A Walk Across The Rooftops and Hats is back. Gently pulsing synths, electronic strings, minimalist song structures and looped melodies are back in. Guitars and gospel choirs are (mostly) out.
Paul Buchanens voice, one of the most remarkable instruments in popular music, again amazes on this album. Lyrically it's right up there with the likes of Headlights On The Parade and Tinseltown In The Rain. Yearning, heartfelt, desperate, hopeful. Always striving for something greater, something just out of reach.
One reviewer once described The Blue Nile as the musical equivalent of Venice. I can't really add to that. Its time to get High.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptous perfection, 3 Jan 2007
By 
Mr. D. Tuffin "tuffers" (Gillingham, Kent) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
You can't help but respect a band that produces a new album so infrequently but inevitably ends up producing a gem. I bought "a walk across the rooftops" while at university in 1988 after hearing the beautiful "Tinseltown in the rain" on radio 1 of all places. I immediately fell in love with the synthy drum-heavy vibes and the satiny voice of Paul Buchanan. "High" had a lot to live up to after the sublime "Peace at last" but it meets its target and then some. Soon after the opening bars of "the days of our lives", Buchanan's voice soars to reach exquisite emotional highs that we expect of him but still never fail to leave us gasping in awe. "I would never" is a beautiful love song that finds our hero acknowledging his devotion to his beloved. "Broken loves" is no less moving as the father-son relationship is lamented. I defy anybody to put this on their MP3 player, turn it up, listen to the whole thing and NOT sigh as the final notes of "stay close" drip away. I was emotionally drained and fulfilled at at the same time if that is possible, and it gets better with each listen. This is simply beautiful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like Walter Matthau........, 18 Sep 2004
By 
P. Cottom "petercottom" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
I won't dwell on the amount of their output - other reviewers have done that, but when highlights have been mentioned I'm surprised "Because of Toledo" hasn't been singled out for special mention: a simple guitar/ voice song that gentley swirls with minimal accompaniment - quiet strings here, a horn there, a simple harmony in the heartbreaking, almost wordless middle eight. It's the most beautiful, haunting, lonely, melancholic song this side of....well, Mars, actually, and that's the key to Blue Nile - nothing surplus, nothing to swamp, nothing to distract. Paul Buchanan doesn't have a technical voice - it's lived in, the voice of a beloved yet wounded bloodhound. If it was a person, it would be Walter Matthau. Yet, it's right up there with the other great Scottish voices - Billy Mckenzie, Gary Clark, Hamish Stuart, Roddy Frame.
So who do Blue Nile sound like? Well, that's just it. They sound like no one else. Since 1983's "A Walk Across the Rooftops" Blue Nile fans have been quietly swimming in the river, the whereabouts known to only a few. We want you to buy this so you can share what we have found, but - HANG ON A MINUTE - that could lead to success, a bigger record company, pressure from the suits, interviews (aaarggh!), duets with Ronan/ covers by the Sugarbabes. On second thoughts, that sounds a bit too much like "The Beach" and we all know what happened there. Maybe things should just stay the way they are, and I'll continue to quietly grow old to a soundtrack provided, from time to time, by The Blue Nile.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Evans, 9 Aug 2004
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
After the opening chine of a repeated piano chord, the unmistakable voice of Mr.Paul Buchanan opens up with the first line from the forthcoming Cd ...."She lives in a house in London,she lives in a house in Town".And once you have taken in the first track "Days of our lives", you know that you are in for another quality Cd from the boys.I decided to part with some hard earned to a cyber tinker on e-bay to get this early, and have listened to it quite a few times and would say that it is not as immediate as "Peace at last". The second track,and new single is a slow (Like they would ever record a 12 bar boogie!)love song proclaiming"I would never turn my back on your love" and this is followed by the hypnotic piano intro to "Broken Lives" which has a steam train like rhythm to it- there is noticably more piano on this CD than on previous work.I do not claim to be a very good reviewer,so i am not going to review it all (Just to say that Soul Boy is an immediate highlight and the pace of the music is picked up on Track.5 "She saw the World") but I do know a quality bit of work when I hear it.If you have the previous three cd's from "The Blue Nile" you are going to be at the local store first thing on the day of release,or put your pre-order in here,and you will be looking forward to hearing more fragile,soulful,quality songs that were more than worth waiting for.Your ears are in for another treat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Documentary of the Imagination, 30 Aug 2004
By 
S. Rainford (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: High (Audio CD)
No doubt you're familiar with the Blue Nile, no doubt you've been waiting for this masterpiece for quite some time. You don't need me to tell you that this is another wonderful journey of everyday life. Although 3 of these tracks (Days of Or Lives, I Would Never and Broken Loves) were written during the creation of 'Peace at Last', 'High' is a move away from the poppiness of 'Peace..' and a return to the simplicity of 'A Walk Across the Rooftops'. Some who say this is not a worthy return need to listen again. And again. Like a master craftsman turning wood, Paul Buchanans voice soars, weaving emotion with tonal colours, no lyric left unemphasised, no song left unfinished. Your emotions are in for another rollercoaster - as Mr Buchanan says, "I know as well as anyone when the hairs on the back of my neck move." Move they will. Maybe the closing comments should be left to Paul Buchanan man himself: "it's always been a documentary of the imagination" Enough said. Purchase and Enjoy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning as ever !!, 27 Sep 2004
By 
B. Hughes (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: High [Digipak] (Audio CD)
The waiting time gets longer (10 years until the next ?), but the Blue Nile improves with the years. It is a serious error of judgement to think that more from the Blue Nile would be better; each successive album displays a depth of honesty and personal growth that only comes from long days of meditation and heart-searching. It can't be rushed. That unmistakeable haunting sound from the first bar, the melancholy underpinnings, and the sparse but finely considered lyrics are all there. Blue Nile have again created highly emotive images from simple language and beautiful melodies; the lyrics are instantly accessible, but over time they generate different layers of appreciation and understanding. Long may Blue Nile continue to create unique '3am on a damp Glasgow morning' albums like this.
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