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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Album.
Alela Diane(Menig)hails from Nevada City and only started to write and play in 2003. `The Pirate's Gospel' was originally recorded in her father's home studio(Tom Menig produces and appears on the album)and self released in 2004. Apparently she came to the attention fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom, who arranged her first live show. The album got a bit of a polish...
Published on 3 Dec 2007 by William J. Walker

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a Voice
On one hand I was a little dissapointed by the repetative content of the tracks, but one track stands out that is The pirates Gospel. This CD is worth having just for the pleasure of hearing Alela Diane Sing.
Published on 2 May 2009 by W. J. O'sullivan


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Album., 3 Dec 2007
By 
William J. Walker "Billyjay" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Alela Diane(Menig)hails from Nevada City and only started to write and play in 2003. `The Pirate's Gospel' was originally recorded in her father's home studio(Tom Menig produces and appears on the album)and self released in 2004. Apparently she came to the attention fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom, who arranged her first live show. The album got a bit of a polish and an `official' release in 2006.

I've seen this artist compared to Gillian Welch, Jolie Holland, and Josephine Foster. I'm most strongly reminded of The Be Good Tanyas and would add them to the list. Which isn't to say she sounds, that much, like any of the former, but that, in common with those performers, she seems to have reached far into the past for her inspiration before adding a twist of her own. In the process she has created music that, while rooted firmly in earlier times, is fresh, vibrant and ultimately timeless.

I guess this is a folk album(that's how most reviewers have categorised it)but all the songs are self-penned, and musically, it has a blend of styles that would place it outside of any specific folk tradition. As well as folk I hear a touch of blues, gospel and with all the piratical references there is a nautical flavour too. Forget all that though, because the thing that makes this album so good is the quality of the songs.

The album opens strongly with `Tired Feet' a deceptively simple song that you may find lodged in your head for days, thereafter the record never flags, sure some of the songs are stronger than others(the title track, `Clickity Clack' and `Oh My Mama' are just three of my favourites)but all the songs hang together to create a perfectly gorgeous album. Considering this was essentially a `home recording' you would never know it, as all the performances are of the highest standard. I haven't mentioned her wonderful voice which matches the quality of the material beautifully.

Incidentally there are three(!)different versions of this CD around at the moment. The uk edition(featuring a not particularly flattering photo of Alela)has the original 11 track album and 2 bonus tracks `Heavy Walls' and `Gypsy Eyes' which are well worth having(strangely though they are not listed anywhere on the CD case). There is an American import(with a painted sail ship on the cover)which, perhaps has the nicest packaging(gatefold cardboard sleeve and better photo on the insert)but only has the 11 tracks. Finally there is an Australian import(same cover as U.S. edition but different insert)available which has 2 bonus tracks (but `Pink Roses' Substitutes for `Gypsy Eyes')and features an `enhanced' section containing a video for `Pieces Of String'.

There seems to be a lot of solo-female artists around at the moment but don't let this one get lost in the crowd. Alela Diane is a fabulous talent. Don't miss out.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the heart pirate, 15 Feb 2007
This review is from: Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Alela Diane's first album proper is a thing of rare and simple beauty. In the vein of singer songwriters of the 70's like Judee Sill or Joni Mitchell she has a voice which i find captivating. The arrangements are deceptively simple, just acoustic guitar or piano, and the odd chorus of voices. Her voice sits on top of the melodies so that you can feel her in the room with you, and her lyrics about home, family, the country and odd little things are easy to relate to. She has arrived quietly but with the classic 'yo,ho,ho-ing' in the title track and the lovely 'clickity clack' it is a debut of great promise. Unaffected, unpretentious, sad, wistful and sighing with lonely love it is somehow not of this time...

Before this release she handmade the albums with little bits of sewing, probably sitting with her cats, now that's real 'folk'...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple and soulful, 19 Sep 2007
By 
J. Pudney - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
It's not often that you come across something totally different. I remember listening to Buffy St Marie too many years ago and being totally moved by the way her voice spoke of something deep and spiritual. This CD took me back there. It's amazing. It's raw. It's simple and so meaningful. Sit back and revel in this wonderfully simple and unspoiled miracle. I LOVE IT!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands you still in your tracks, 19 April 2007
By 
delcampo (brixton village) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Alela Diane plays guitar and sings her own songs in an american folk / country / blues style. I'm not keen on making comparisons, but as an indication of where it's coming from: if you like Gillian Welch, Iris Dement, Eric Taylor, Vic Chesnutt, and so on, well, you get the idea. She has her own distinct personality, she plays and sings without pretension, with an almost religious spirituality pervading her words and her lovely voice. This is a very special album, sometimes melancholy, almost bleak, but rooted with soul and a sure belief in the beauty of life and the world around us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This girl can write!, 8 Nov 2007
This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Seriously a challenger for one of the best female singer songwriters of our time. Her voice echoes, leaving a haunting history behind. You know when you visited a castle as a child, and snuck away up the spiral staircase on your own? She sounds like that.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great discovery - try it for yourself, 4 April 2007
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
I'm not what you would call a fan of "singer-songwriter with her acoustic guitar" style music. So really, it stands to reason that I wouldn't be particularly drawn to Alela Diane.

And to be honest, despite the album being recommended to me, I wasn't expecting all that much from it when I put it in the CD player. I can be notoriously quick to reach for the skip track button at times, but it was about five or six tracks in when I realised that I hadn't reached for that once. And I didn't throughout an entire listen through. Which is some kind of recommendation in itself.

On the one level this is gentle, acoustic folk but like all good folk music it's power is in it's story's. Each song is a little gem from a different world.

I have to say that my favourite songs are the ones that most lift from the sparse "girl and her guitar" formula. Pieces of String, is enhanced by the cute accompaniment of a some children singing whilst the title track has a low and moody backing vocal that transports it onto an entirely different level.

I shouldn't pass this review without recognising Alela's wonderful voice; it's surprising to realise that she's only a twenty-something on her label debut. There's a "lived in" feeling to her voice that, once again, ensures that proceedings are lifted to another level.

Admittedly, this isn't an album which is for everyone. A lot of people will find that this isn't their thing at all but if the idea of an acoustic folk sound with some country and blues influences showing through sounds your kind of thing, then you need to check this out right away. And as mentioned previously, if it can turn my mind then it may well turn any open mind as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Southing songs, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Love southing songs and her voice that swing so perfect with the lyrics and the music wave that comes out from my speakers
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 27 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
I'd never heard of Alela Diane until very recently and find her haunting sound very compelling and her words tell a story every time. The songs get into your soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 30 April 2010
By 
A. C. Pearce (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
Great album. Especially love the tracks 'The Rifle', 'The Pirates Gospel' and 'Oh, Mama!', which can bring me to tears!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Pirate's Gospel (Audio CD)
This is an excellent album, and the early songs are particularly brilliant. The album as a whole is very good, with The Rifle, Pirate's Gospel and Tired Feet making good singles.
Alela Diane has a very Folk feel to her music, and there is a good balance between melodic singing (with basic harmony) and other instruments like acoustic guitar. Most songs have a beat to them but are predominantly "unplugged."
The singers voice is soulful and sweet. Overall earns thorough recommendations
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