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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant.....as i've come to expect from the 'Brakes'
A fabulous album...best listened to in the warm summer months. It totally invokes that lazy summer afternoon feeling for me. If you've listened to previous 'Brakes' albums then you wont need me to tell you how good this is...and if your new to the 'Brakes' then i can wholeheartedly recommend it. Excellent.
Published on 26 Feb 2006 by Amazon Customer

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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars this is a nice mess...
This is Turin Brakes' third album. It isn't as good as the previous two albums 'The Optimist' and 'Ether Song'. This album touches upon the greatness of the previous albums with tracks like 'Forever' and single 'Fishing for a Dream', but there are too many 'just ok' tracks here.

The standout tracks which wouldn't be out of place on their earlier albums are...
Published on 28 April 2006 by thom


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant.....as i've come to expect from the 'Brakes', 26 Feb 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Anglesey) - See all my reviews
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A fabulous album...best listened to in the warm summer months. It totally invokes that lazy summer afternoon feeling for me. If you've listened to previous 'Brakes' albums then you wont need me to tell you how good this is...and if your new to the 'Brakes' then i can wholeheartedly recommend it. Excellent.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wound Up, 31 May 2005
By 
Matthew (East Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
Old fans of Turin Brakes, like myself, will find that 'Jackinabox' has a lot more of the acoustic-pop lustre that started to creep in on tracks like 'Pain Killer', from their 2002 album, 'Ether Song'. Admittedly, this album has a much more commercial ambience, but that doesn't mean that it's bad.
What struck me about this cd, in comparison with their other two, is the subtle element of 'soul' which lingers around like a vapour throughout (notably in tracks like 'Asleep With The Fireflies', 'Last Clown' and 'They Can't Buy The Sunshine'). What comes as a shock at first, soon feels justified by the concept of re-invention - the reason why this album should appeal more to the new fans rather than the old.
The highlight of the album (well for me anyway) has to be 'Buildings Wrap Around Me'. It's a beautiful combination of the classic ethereal Turin Brakes sound with the melodic string picking of artists like 'Gordon Lightfoot', who seem to have been forgotten in time's obscure ebb of trend. The result is a wonderfully balmy and tuneful guitar track, worth buying the album for alone.
With the abundance of meaningless synth littering the charts at the moment, it's hard not to be prejudice towards a lot of artists. What's true about the title 'Jackinabox' is that 'Turin Brakes' are are band who's (I don't like saying it) mediocre lyrics, and sometimes melodies, seem to keep them confined within 'the box'; however their passion is certainly still evident and this LP really shows that their music is just waiting to explode onto a new lateral level.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted and underrated, 9 Dec 2005
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
”All in all it’s been a blast, but fame and fortune never last” are the first words sung on JackInABox. Quite a startling opening gambit but lets hope that this doesn’t signify the end of Turin Brakes for this is a very fine album indeed.
JackInABox contains well-crafted, largely acoustic pop-rock with nice softly sung vocals and exquisite guitar-work. The additional presence of tasteful slide guitar on several tracks gives it more of a US west-coast sound than the duo’s previous two LPs with the already quoted opener They Can’t Buy The Sunshine and Asleep With The Fireflies particularly benefiting from some superb six-string playing. Other highlights include the more acoustic opening single Fishing For A Dream and final track Come And Go which is gradually swathed by whooshing synths reminiscent to me of Stereolab, the resolutely uncommercial 90s indie band.
All in all it is indeed quite a blast and Turin Brakes deserve a good measure of fame and fortune for this accomplished LP. An excellent underrated album with some good songs and superb playing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars phew !, 14 Jun 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
The Optimist was awesome. I was sold on the sound as soon as I heard Emergency 72. Harmony-driven, light drums, amazing songwriting giving testament to years spent sitting together watching the world and strumming guitars. The harmonies wrench at the heart and create the deeply melancholic sound of highs and lows, but there was danger ahead ! A danger which has beset the harmonious and melancholic many who have gone before... that they would end up disappearing up their own backsides. I seriously thought Ether Song was the end, a couple of hits and that was it, they were spent, gutted. The boys have proved me wrong.... JackinaBox ! This is what they wanted to do, add a bit of sunshine. The thing is, they're so good at it that this album not only has instant appeal, but "grower" appeal too. Mega. I'm an optimist again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jackinabox, 27 Sep 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
Psych-folk is not exactly a new phenomena -- Turin Brakes has been doing it for four years now.

But this enchantingly mellow British duo add a catchier edge to their third album, "Jackinabox," without losing their heavy dose of spacey folk. It lacks the more uniform sound of their past work, but at least the boys are stretching their creative muscles.

The rock-ier vibe of the opening song signals a bit of a change, with a catchy hook and charmingly upbeat vibe. Despite its list of woes, guitarist/singer Ollie Knights sounds optimistic: "The credit card skyline rises high/crushing the sky and multiplies/they're buying up souls to fill their holes/but we know the one thing they don't know/they can't buy the sunshine..."

That rock sound continues, after a stretch of wavering lament -- expect roiling riffs over satiny blips and bleeps. Ollie Knight also gives his vocal abilities a stretch; his past efforts have been wistful and soft, but here he hardens his singing into a rougher, less dreamy sound. And it's actually very successful, although he sounds like a different singer.

But just because Turin Brakes is experimenting with rock doesn't mean that they've abandoned their past sound. Their dreamy psych-folk reenters after a few songs, and makes up a fair amount of the remaining music. They're even more polished than before, mingling the languid acoustic guitar with even more languid songwriting.

But even that gets a stretch with songs like the swirling, hazy title track, where Knights uneasily sings over a psych-folk rhythm. "My world is on fire/someone get some water/cause I think I'm gonna burn." That sense of unease carries through to the delicate finale, which seems uncertain of the world in general. Or is it their musical direction? It's as murky as their music.

It's certainly a credit to Turin Brakes that, like fellow Britpop band Travis, they can do both languid pop and energetic rock. Their rock'n'roll is a shade less engaging their their folkpop, merely because it's far less unusual. But Knights and bandmate Gale Paridjanian carry off their rock desires with energy and verve.

"Jackinabox" is split between rock and psych-folkpop, and so it's never quite even. But Knights and Paridjanian show that they still have what it takes, and they're not going to let it sit and stagnate.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second time lucky., 25 Aug 2005
By 
Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
My second posting for this record! I don't think i did it much justice the first time round. I listened to it a couple of times and thought that it was quite good, but then I got distracted and stopped listening to it. A couple of weeks later I found it in my glove box, put it on and realised how good it really is.
JackInABox is a very summery record, but there is also a darkness lying not far beneath the surface. The darkness is ultimately what gives the record its edge, and this took me a little while to pick up on. Red Moon is a wonderful country inspired starter. The "shine on" harmonies at the end are really very cool in a "Crosby Stills and Nash" sort of way. Its the sort of song that chills you out from head to toe. Many of the up beat songs have a really stomping, driving quality to them; take Red Moon and (especially) the title track as examples. Nice guitar work, and very singable choruses. As good as the upbeat songs are, I think it's the mid tempo one's that really steal the show. Fishing For a Dream is about as beautiful a song as you will ever hear, "Let's do loneliness in style, lets put on moonlight mile" (Moonlight Mile from The Rolling Stone's Sticky Fingers album) It's dreamsome. Above the clouds is also very pretty, but the real stunner is the final track "Come And Go". It's Extraordinary. What starts of as a simple country infused ballad, gently becomes overpowered by trance like synth washes that build towards a blistering crescendo. Stunning. Wow! A first class record, and on reflection probably their best yet.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enough energy to keep the summer going all year!, 2 Jun 2005
By 
Christopher H W Jones (Usk, Monmouthshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
A fantastic mix of sounds which makes JackInABox such a satisfying album. From the pumping chorus of "Red Moon" to the chilled out floatiness of "Forever" this album has it all. The trademark spine tingling harmonies still shine through and are cleverly mixed with American folksy sounding riffs in songs like "road to nowhere." Admitedly a couple of songs are quite poppy, particularly the album opener, "They can't buy the sunshine" but this adds to the all-encompasing feel of the album.
Following the refreshing sounds of The Optimist and Ether Song, the band have really reached a new level with this album. Most of the tracks will soon be stuck in your head, espcially those with a more funky edge like, "Asleep with the fireflies," the title track, "JackInABox" and the brilliant "Last Clown." The personality of the band is stamped on the record in the optimistic, summery energy of the lyrics and rythms. Some might say that JackInABox isn't as deep or edgy as some albums of today but any such criticism is far outweighed by the fact that it is simply a rich musical joy to listen to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Coldplay, 17 Jun 2005
By 
A. Marczak "mazzarak" (Mordor) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
I bought this album at the same time as buying X+Y and I find this considerably more fun to listen to. The sound of a band enjoying themselves in a recording, that have tried to push their boundaries a little, is much more pleasing to the ear that a band playing by numbers.
This album is far less electric than the last album, Ether Song, or at least it seems that way. The vocal is unmistakeable, and Fishing For a Dream is a great tune!
Reading the other reviews, there are two different views, those who prefer The Optimist, those who prefer Ether Song. I'm in the former camp, and I see this as a major return to form!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smooth and skillful, 26 Nov 2006
By 
Mark Thomas "physics_mark" (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
Following the atmospheric musings of Ether Song, Jack In A Box finds Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian in a noticeably more upbeat mood. The folk-rock sounds definitely remain, as do the powerful and distinctive harmonies, but the overall attitude of the album is of a far sunnier disposition than previous offerings. In particular, opening number 'They Can't Buy the Sunshine' is a glorious and elating slice of life affirmation which is as silky as it is catchy. The title track itself is a wonderful effort with a strumming, bluegrass feel which trundles along in fantastic fashion; the band's live rendition of this song is even more stunning at nearly twice the length. There are some energetic rock-out moments mixed in as well, with `Red Moon', `Over and Over' and `Last Clown' all cleverly written to get the head nodding and the feet tapping. Indeed, some astute production has clearly been applied to polish up each track and keep everything as compact and precise as possible.

The album occasionally strays into melancholy territory, which when placed against the otherwise uplifting feel of the majority of this compilation sits slightly uncomfortably, even if the quality of these calmer pieces remains undeniably high. There is something effortlessly professional about this recording even if there is the unshakeable feeling that despite never slumping in enjoyability, the album never quite seems to reach a pinnacle, either.

Turin Brakes have a knack for making splendid records which are as good for background music as they are for attentive listening, and Jack In A Box is another good example of this ability well applied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turin Brakes Jack InABox, 13 Jun 2005
By 
Philip Taylor (Banbury,England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JackInABox (Audio CD)
If you liked the two previous Albums, The Optimist & Ether Song would also recommend you purchase this one.
I fould the tempo on several tracks slower than the more up-beat style found on the previous albums but combination of the lyrics and accoustic based instrumentation is a real revelation.
Saw the band in Birmingham last week and if you enjoy the other CD's then you must see them live as Gale's brilliant vocals and the bands musical talent and co-ordination are not fully heard on any of the recordings I listened too.
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JackInABox
JackInABox by Turin Brakes (Audio CD - 2005)
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