Customer Reviews


49 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (19)
3 star:
 (16)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Special debut...
What a great debut from Delta Spirit. Put simply the standard of song writing and musicianship is of a very high standard and at times astonishingly good for a debut. The style is so diverse it is hard to pin down, but the way I would describe them is a mix of folk, country and rock with some intentional lo-fi roots and bluegrass thrown in too (maybe a californian Crowded...
Published on 26 Jan. 2009 by BD

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indifferent generic rock music with spiritual lyrics
We get sent a few CDs free of charge on the Vine programme and we have to write a review. We don't want to be welchers so we want to write an in-depth substantial review for everything we receive. The problem with these albums is that they're just about okay. They plod along competently, and they're neither good or bad. And it's difficult to write a proper review for...
Published on 2 Feb. 2009 by BS on parade


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Special debut..., 26 Jan. 2009
By 
BD "bigdave2020" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ode To Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What a great debut from Delta Spirit. Put simply the standard of song writing and musicianship is of a very high standard and at times astonishingly good for a debut. The style is so diverse it is hard to pin down, but the way I would describe them is a mix of folk, country and rock with some intentional lo-fi roots and bluegrass thrown in too (maybe a californian Crowded house?) What is good to hear on this debut is that the tracks vary in style and tempo as so many debuts can feel very much the same throughout.

A reviewer before me has already described the tracks in detail so I wont repeat it, and naturally there are some tracks that you will prefer, but my advice is to persevere, especially as the crescendo middle eight found in track 10 is gorgeous, and is delivered with a subtlety that Coldplay seem to have forgotten recently.

This is one of the best debut music releases I have ever heard. I can see this band getting a lot of airplay on 6 music and maybe radio2. These guys deserve success and a good set at a summer music festival or two should see them get the exposure they deserve. This is one of those releases that had the warm sound of a future favourite as soon as i started listening. As far as publicity goes I have yet to see a video or a photo of the band and already i rate them highly, so based upon the music alone, this to me is a future classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful debut - Buy it and tell your friends!, 8 Mar. 2009
By 
Robert O. Davidson (glasgow United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
DELTA SPIRIT: ODE TO SUNSHINE

San Diego five-piece `Delta Spirit' have released one of those albums that immediately grabs your attention as being something different yet in some ways familiar. Something that you feel compelled to tell your friends about (as all good music aficionados do when they know they have unearthed a previously undiscovered gem) and play constantly in the car, on your hi-fi and on your iPod.
In these days of so much `landfill indie rock', it is reassuring to hear refreshing new music that excites and makes the hairs on the back of your neck bristle while at the same time feeling rootsy, comfortable and recognizable.
The feel of the album - Ode to Sunshine - is uplifting and full of energy, enthusiasm, great melodic hooks, jangling barroom piano and fantastic vocals. The music is a blend of styles and almost defies categorization - folk, alt-country, blues, soul, indie pop and southern rock influences are all up there in the mix. The listener will hear echoes of The Beatles (John Lennon in particular), a young Springsteen, The Libertines, Bob Dylan, The Black Keys and The Strokes. The songs overflow with a gritty blues and soul based sense of Americana, set in what is essentially a very straight-ahead uncomplicated overall sound, honed, presumably, by extensive gigging. The tight accomplished musicianship, guitar riffs and arrangements act as a perfect foil for the emotional, rasping, throaty vocals of Matthew Vasquez.
The whole thing gels beautifully as a set of songs which range from breathtaking and joyful to intense and powerful.
The sense of familiarity and anticipation is immediately apparent on the relatively short opener - `Tomorrow Goes Away'. The feel and vocal is whimsical, soft and gentle. In fact it could be said that the track wouldn't have sounded out of place on The Beatles' White Album - in say, a `Blackbird' or `Honey Pie' type of way.
The gentle opening tune is immediately followed by the upfront barroom piano that dominates track number two -`Trashcan', a boisterous, good time tune with rasping `Lennon-esque' vocals of the `Twist and Shout' variety. If there is a criticism - it might be that the keyboards are too upfront in the mix, too heavy-handed, but I am nitpicking here because this really is a stand-out track. `People C'Mon' is a jangly guitar based, rhythmic sing-a-long, with a 60s sounding guitar riff and catchy chorus that would be an ideal end-of-set crowd pleaser on the festival circuit. `House Built for Two' is initially less obvious as a potential favourite track; it has a slow, very leisurely but emotional melody and lyric - led by a somewhat funereal piano. However, it has strange habit of creeping into your consciousness when you least expect it in the way that some of the more introspective moments on Lennon's `Imagine' album did all of those years ago. It may well, in the fullness of time, be viewed as the strongest track on the album.
"Strange Vine" opens with a Richard Hawley-like guitar figure and settles into a beautifully crafted song about an evening on the beach. It will sound great on the car stereo this summer. Does it remind me a little of `Sorrow' the 1966 hit by the Merseys'? Maybe! The somewhat similar `Streetwalker' is a mid-tempo, gritty affair with an intensely sung chorus - again the guitar is Hawley-like.
`The next track - `People Turn Around' kicks in with a harmonica intro - sounding very like a mid-60s Bob Dylan - the melody, vocals and anti-war theme continue the Dylan motif. It isn't the strongest song on the album but it comes at an interesting point in the album as a contrast in tempo and tone to the preceding tunes. The opening riff of `Parade' is reminiscent of some of the tracks on the Black Keys' album -Attack and Release - one of the outstanding rock albums of 2008. The vocal is strained, tortured and angst ridden and the song is sure to be a live-show highlight.
Track nine the deeper, earnest `Bleeding Bells' initially sees a return to the 60s Bob Dylan influence. At the outset the vocal is set against a sole acoustic guitar, then the horns kick in and the song develops another tier and becomes bigger in sound and texture. Track ten `Children' has an insistent, impatient drum beat which builds to incorporate a similarly resolute guitar riff and suitably assertive and determined vocal. The melody is perhaps a little weaker but the way the song builds to a climax demands your attention. Finally, to the title track `Ode to Sunshine'. One can only say - another great tune, well structured, well sung - elegant in its effortlessness, simplicity and lack of affectation.
All in all the strength of `Ode to Sunshine' as an album lies in excellent tune-smithery aided and abetted by strong singing and musicianship and an overall feel that manages to mix a number of musical genres seamlessly and with a pace and tone which is measured and well defined.
Robert Davidson
March 2009
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Indifferent generic rock music with spiritual lyrics, 2 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We get sent a few CDs free of charge on the Vine programme and we have to write a review. We don't want to be welchers so we want to write an in-depth substantial review for everything we receive. The problem with these albums is that they're just about okay. They plod along competently, and they're neither good or bad. And it's difficult to write a proper review for them. Even if you sit it out for a few weeks you still can't hear anything worth mentioning. None of the songs jump out, no melodies or pieces of music grips you, and no single lyric leaps out and grabs your attention. So you end up struggling to find anything to say for more than three sentences.

This is my review. There is simply nothing more I can say:
Competently performed up tempo generic rock music. Piano is usually the dominant instrument on almost all the songs and it's performed with bar-room gusto.

The singer's voice is pleasant but a bit limited in range. Unfortunately his voice isn't really up to performing the lyrics which deal with spiritual matters, which kind of demands a Van Morrison or someone who can invest real emotion into the words. The flat voice of the singer is not really suited to these spiritual words.

None of the tunes or lyrics stick in the mind after listening. Nothing leaps out and demands your full attention. The best tracks seemed to be the songs "Trashcan" and "Steetwalker".

I wouldn't recommend it but I wouldn't warn against it either. It's enjoyable enough but too workaday to inspire more than muted or indifferent appreciation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ode to alt/country brilliance!, 6 Jun. 2011
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ode To Sunshine (Audio CD)
I am a recently new convert to Delta Spirit having first got `History From Below' and was quietly impressed. This however has moved me a whole lot more. This is one of those albums that has a cohesiveness that means the whole ensemble fits together.

The band is a four piece from Long Beach California who The Times said play `rough and ready bar room pop and alt country'. They are renowned too for being multi instrumentalists - Kelly Winrich being the main man on this front. There are so many textures and sounds that you have to concentrate to get the full benefit.

On track 4 the sumptuous `House built for two', there is what sounds like milk or beer bottles being banged at off times and this is a lament so the added acoustics of a forlorn bar really works. There are balalaikas a plenty or mandolins, I can't figure but love them both and a great piano riff on `Strange Vine', which is one of the stand out tracks.

Mathew Vasquez has one of those gravely voices that is still clear and resonant and adds to the pure and raw emotion of the songs. Stand out tracks have to be `People turn around' and `Streetwalker'. This is one of the albums that I keep coming back to and it seems to grow on me more each time. Also recommended is the recent collaboration with `Deer Tick' and `Dawes' in the shape of `supergroup' - `Middle Brother'. Alt country has found a new guardian in this gifted and brilliant quartet.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply the best new music i've heard in ages, 31 Jan. 2009
By 
Curlynob (Eastleigh, Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I just got a reviewers copy of Delta Spirit's debut album Ode To Sunshine and I am absolutely loving it. The album is out on March 16th but the single Trashcan is available on Itunes and has received some UK Radio airplay. Ode to Sunshine is a raw, cool mix of pschedelia, protest folk, grungey chords and swaggering indie rock. Children with its pounding Paint It Black drums, swirling guitar and harmonica is just about the best thing I've heard in ages. There are some calmer moments like the Rubber Soul / Kinks inspired Tomorrow Goes Away and the tender bar-room piano of House Built for Two, but for the most part this album struts, swaggers and drives along.

If you've clocked this band on your radar and are waiting for the album, you will not, repeat will not, be dissapointed. In answer to another reviewers question, who will like this album? Anyone who likes Alt Country acts like Ryan Adams and Wilco will have a feast here and be left wanting more. Did I mention how good Children is? You can here it on the bands MySpace page if you don't believe me...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An American Starsailor?, 11 Feb. 2009
By 
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing that struck me when I listened to this album was a vague resemblence to Starsailor's first album, although the songs aren't as immediately catchy. The songs have a similar feel to them, although the vocals here are noticably more American (as you'd expect), with a rougher edge. Quite a few of the songs also feature a jangly 'pub-sounding' piano in the background, too. These are positives to my ears, as I liked Starsailor's first album very much - I don't think this is quite as good, and doesn't really live up to the hype that the marketing boys have been trying to give it.

The tempo tends to be a sort of bar-room waltz, and the songs have an earnest edge. Nice stuff, but I'm stiill waiting for one of the songs to grab me; I'm still owed a ray of sunshine.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic debut!, 16 Dec. 2008
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
It's such a great feeling to hear new music for the first time and for it to be so good that you immediately know you're hearing something quite special. Well, I'm delighted to say that San Diego's Delta Spirit have, in the form of their debut, 'Ode To Sunshine', made such an album. Quite simply, it's fantastic. An infectious collection of instant, catchy classics - an album full of sublime melodies, inventive instrumentation, sing-a-long tunes which could provide the score for heartbroken, teary drunkards ('House Built For Two') and a fresh, revitalising sound which also manages to sound as if could have come from any of the last five decades in modern musical history.

It's difficult to pin down exactly what it is, but these guys just have that certain something. The opening track on the album, 'Tomorrow Goes Away' only lasts for 1:30, but it contains so many musical ideas that many bands could have got a couple of songs from it and yet it works. In fact, it more than works - it's an extremely good opener. There are so many individual elements on this album that come together to produce such a satisfying listen. For example, check out the gorgeous honky-tonk piano sound on the undeniably brilliant 'Trashcan', the minor key mini-masterpiece of 'People C'mon' which simultaneously manages to have a vintage and yet timeless feel about it and the guitar-work on the superb toe-tapper, 'Streetwalker', which causes the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.

Even the songs which you would describe as "album tracks" are effortlessly good. 'Strange Vine', a country-tinged song, rolls along delightfully, 'People Turn Around' is a soulful, passionate piece which reminds me of some of Conor Oberst's recent work and the last track on the album, 'Ode To Sunshine', a bold, bright composition in waltz time, is an uplifting, classy finish to a marvellous debut. I don't quite know how this album has managed to stay below the radar, but Delta Spirit deserve to make it big - perhaps another album as good as this will make the world sit up and notice. I'm quietly confident that they have enough talent to do just that, but, in the meantime, make sure that you are one of the people who can say that they appreciated Delta Spirit's talent before the rest of the world finally caught on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Here's to a Glorious Summer, 12 April 2009
By 
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although I'd had this album recommended to me, I was slightly wary when Windows Media initially identified it as 'Country' (a genre hitherto absent from my library). It turns out that I needn't have feared, however. While there's certainly an Americana twang to this album, I'd say that Delta Spirit have at least as much in common with alternative indie-rock acts like Ambulance LTD and Ok Go. Perhaps surprisingly, though, one of the acts that they remind me of most of all is Brighton-based, "alt. country punks" Brakes (although Delta Spirit are never quite as punk; I always preferred Brakes' softer side anyway).

Certainly any fears that I'd initially had were soon allayed by the infectious start to the album. The gentle 'Tomorrow Goes Away' is a brief, but pleasant, introduction before the somewhat more frenetic 'Trashcan' illustrates the band's punkier side (I think they even use trashcans in it). Things continue on a fairly promising vein, before reaching another high-point with the single 'Streetwalker'. Sadly, I have to say I think that things do tail off a little after that. In particular, I'm not so keen on the band's lower tempo numbers; though they have a certain soulfulness (and slight but not overly-preachy religious element) I'm not sure the singer's gravely voice can really pull off the slower songs 100% convincingly.

Mind you, that's not to detract too much from a promising debut. I certainly find the whole record listenable and refreshing, despite a number of rather retro influences. If the band can more consistently reach the heights of the aforementioned tracks then their second album could be something really special. As it is, this is certainly a debut worth listening out for if you enjoy soulful/'countrified' indie-rock and the likes of Brakes, Fleet Foxes, Cold War Kids or Alabama 3.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Ode to a Good Time, 31 Jan. 2009
By 
Cat Mac "tagatha" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Ode to Sunshine (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are still a handful of small record companies that get it right. They make records because they love the music, and for that reason, make me want to buy any records that they produce because just being on the label is a stamp of approval.

Rounder records is most definitely one of those companies, and they strike gold yet again with Delta Spirit. This quartet are from San Diego, and while you might be expecting Sunshine soaked songs about how great life is (as you are led to believe with the title), this is a little bit different. It's like these guys are taking all of their modern pop sensibilities and transporting it back through some proper rootsy/souly material.

On many occasions there is a piano at the fore that sounds like it hasn't been tuned in about 30 years, but no one cares because it's a party! There is a really great feel of jam-band about the album, but it's obviously been carefully constructed by 4 guys who are total audio-philes.

You get taken from an almost Zombies-esque opener 'Tommorow Goes Away' through the Ryan Adams tinged sounds of 'People C'mon', and from there you're into Wilco territory...but without the self flagellation. There's also more than a little hint of Mr Neil Young.

And conversely - that's the only thing that prevents me giving this 5 stars. Don't get me wrong, it's a great album, and if you buy it you won't be disappointed, but there is just a teeny tiny lack of originality. Could just be the mark of a band still feeling out their sound though, so I'm giving benefit of the doubt. Buy the record!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant debut!, 16 Dec. 2008
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ode To Sunshine (Audio CD)
It's such a great feeling to hear new music for the first time and for it to be so good that you immediately know you're hearing something quite special. Well, I'm delighted to say that San Diego's Delta Spirit have, in the form of their debut, 'Ode To Sunshine', made such an album. Quite simply, it's fantastic. An infectious collection of instant, catchy classics - an album full of sublime melodies, inventive instrumentation, sing-a-long tunes which could provide the score for heartbroken, teary drunkards ('House Built For Two') and a fresh, revitalising sound which also manages to sound as if could have come from any of the last five decades in modern musical history.

It's difficult to pin down exactly what it is, but these guys just have that certain something. The opening track on the album, 'Tomorrow Goes Away' only lasts for 1:30, but it contains so many musical ideas that many bands could have got a couple of songs from it and yet it works. In fact, it more than works - it's an extremely good opener. There are so many individual elements on this album that come together to produce such a satisfying listen. For example, check out the gorgeous honky-tonk piano sound on the undeniably brilliant 'Trashcan', the minor key mini-masterpiece of 'People C'mon' which simultaneously manages to have a vintage and yet timeless feel about it and the guitar-work on the superb toe-tapper, 'Streetwalker', which causes the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.

Even the songs which you would describe as "album tracks" are effortlessly good. 'Strange Vine', a country-tinged song, rolls along delightfully, 'People Turn Around' is a soulful, passionate piece which reminds me of some of Conor Oberst's recent work and the last track on the album, 'Ode To Sunshine', a bold, bright composition in waltz time, is an uplifting, classy finish to a marvellous debut. I don't quite know how this album has managed to stay below the radar, but Delta Spirit deserve to make it big - perhaps another album as good as this will make the world sit up and notice. I'm quietly confident that they have enough talent to do just that, but, in the meantime, make sure that you are one of the people who can say that they appreciated Delta Spirit's talent before the rest of the world finally caught on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Ode to Sunshine
Ode to Sunshine by Delta Spirit (Audio CD - 2008)
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews