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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Acron
The second album proper from Ontario's The Acorn is a delicate & intelligent affair.
This band have been tarred with the brush of 'Indie Folk' up until now, but this record should break them out of that pigeon hole quite nicely. I don't know what it is about Canadian bands of recent years, maybe it's the expansive horizons of their homeland, but there is a definite...
Published on 31 Mar 2008 by Echoes And Dust

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Led by the light of melody ".... but not as often as we should have been.
Glory Hope Mountain is the debut UK release for Canada's The Acorn, though the band has previously released two albums in their home country . In 2006 the bands front man Rolf Klausener recorded a series of interviews with his mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, some of which can be heard imperceptibly in the background of "Sister Margaret" on this album. The interviews...
Published on 29 Nov 2008 by russell clarke


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Led by the light of melody ".... but not as often as we should have been., 29 Nov 2008
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope Glory Mountain (Audio CD)
Glory Hope Mountain is the debut UK release for Canada's The Acorn, though the band has previously released two albums in their home country . In 2006 the bands front man Rolf Klausener recorded a series of interviews with his mother, Gloria Esperanza Montoya, some of which can be heard imperceptibly in the background of "Sister Margaret" on this album. The interviews inspired a series of songs about Gloria's life, a poignant tribute from her son, which became Glory Hope Mountain. This bold musical biography chronicles Gloria's abusive childhood in Honduras and her escape to begin a new life in Canada.
So Glory Hope Mountain can be classed as a concept album but it is a palpably sincere project eschewing any pretension or gimmickry .The lyrics are understated but undeniably heartfelt and the vocals resonate with empathy and that word sincerity again.
Klausener embraces his mother's heritage and the cultural traditions of Honduras, using elaborate drumming rhythms and native chanting to put across her journey and also uses instruments like ukuleles, banjo's ,trumpets and marimbas along with piano , guitar and some subtle strings.
The end result however , is rather a mixed bag. For every delicate gradated gem like opener "Hold Your Breath" there is a meandering plodder like "Even While Your Sleeping " which may end up sending the listener off to the fluffy land of nod. "Crooked Legs" employs rambunctious percussion against a sprite like trumpet and while the spooky pedal steel and adroit banjo on the lovely "OH Napoleon " give the album some textural atmosphere it isn't sustained on tracks like "Low Gravity " or the sprightly but mundane Antenna" . "Plateau Ramble " is much more like it with dextrous guitar notes and more fervent vocal but my favourite is the closing "Lullaby (Mountain) " with Ohbijou's Casey Mecija's delicate inflection gliding serenely over dappled acoustics and diaphanous strings.
This album is at it's best when it strips back the layers and just lets the songs breathe and the gentle melodies caress .Sometimes it seems the ambitiousness of the undertaking caused the music to take on more baggage than was entirely necessary and consequently bogged it all down. Better I think as "Crooked Legs" says to be "Led by the light of a melody ".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Acron, 31 Mar 2008
This review is from: Glory Hope Mountain (Audio CD)
The second album proper from Ontario's The Acorn is a delicate & intelligent affair.
This band have been tarred with the brush of 'Indie Folk' up until now, but this record should break them out of that pigeon hole quite nicely. I don't know what it is about Canadian bands of recent years, maybe it's the expansive horizons of their homeland, but there is a definite tendency towards the epic in production (see Arcade Fire, Besenard Lakes et al) and `Glory Hope Mountain' is no exception. 'The Flood Pt1' especially has a scope about it that evokes wide open spaces and 'Antenna' even verges in to Ryan Adams territory.
Whilst the Fire have explored ground previously occupied by Bruce Springsteen of late, The Acorn's influences are certainly more introspective.
Lead singer / songwriter Rolf Klausener is in possession not only a beautifully emotive, quavering voice (certainly chanelling at least one Buckley), but an expert ear for a melody & choice lyric. If you're a fan of Iron & Wine and / or Bright Eyes, this is a record you should give serious consideration to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely album, 22 May 2009
By 
H. Mapplebeck (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope Glory Mountain (Audio CD)
Surprised there aren't more positive review about this album so I thought I'd leave one. I listen to this album regularly, I came to it late and eventually bought it after I realised I'd heard several different songs on the radio and had liked all of them, since then it's very rarely off my stereo.

The album loosely is based on the singers mother's journey from Honduras. The album is instrumentally warm and varied (they are great live as well by the way), I've read a few reviews whinging about the lyrics but I personally love the imagery of the lyrics, some are less meaningful but who cares, with lines like

"I looked up and picked out a map in the sky. No need for the nude of the moon, as I'm guided by fireflies; and they whisper prayers to my feet as I tiptoe throught gardens minding the slumber of parakeets"

are so evocative and beautiful that I'm more inclined to go with the singer on the lyrics that are less cogent, and lets face it there are much worst lyricist out there! I find them vivid enough to understand the story but sufficiently vague so they are not be purely biographical.

I'd definitely recommend buying the album, it's such a warm and loving tribute to a mothers love and struggles to achieve a better life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Warning: may induce soporific bouts of happiness, 19 Nov 2008
By 
Mr. Scott Considine "esssea" (somehwere only I know) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glory Hope Mountain (Audio CD)
I was sent this album to listen to last week and I must admit it has been a genuine surprise.

There is a warmth and resonance to the vocals - which I find to be very similar to those of Rufus Wainwright (in his quieter moments) - which keep me engaged.

Following around five, six complete listens, I can say that Im not too intimate with the context of the lyrics and can only hope that the songs are not about really dark subject matters... otherwise I will feel guilty for luxuriating in the sound and timbre of the piece as a whole.

I would recommend this to people that enjoy Bon Iver, early Iron and Wine, Smog, Elliott Smith (sic) and maybe Bonnie Prince Billy.
Also if you enjoy things from the 70's like Jackson Brown, Joni Mitchell and the like you may want to give this album an audience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A valley-wide soundscape, 8 Jan 2014
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hope Glory Mountain (Audio CD)
Buying this record you will have a fair idea what you are going into, the Bella Union record label specialises in this kind of music, warm, lush instruments with a melancholy, almost pastoral feel to the sound.

With stablemates such as Fleet Foxes, John Grant and The Low Anthem to compare themselves against, The Acorn stand tall and proud amongst such luminaries.

There is a kind of lo-fi feel to this record, we hear plenty of string scratching and de-tuned, almost boxy sounding guitars. However, this lo-fi sound is given some polish and sheen and finds a middle ground between home made and studio polished.

This is all to the good as the dripping melancholy of the vocals combined with the heartbeat guitars open up a vast and wide soundscape that sounds so much better when given some professional polish.

The lyrics are deep, meaningful and sung with emotion and feel, the tunes, whilst not instantly hooking into your heart, will slowy, insidiously, ease themselves into your soul and will occupy a special place there.

I have been listening to this group for years and have never tired of the album.

A special record that should have scored The Acorn a lot more attention than what it did. But, then again, there are many great artists you can say that about.

Special.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pretty allright actually, 8 Mar 2009
By 
Terry Williams "tellthetruth.." (Newton le Willows, Bedale, North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glory Hope Mountain (Audio CD)
great record,
tell you the truth i had to listen to a couple of songs before i got into it, it was a new genre for me and the african beat really gets you going + and dont ask me why I think that album cover is fantastic!
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indeed, 7 Dec 2009
This review is from: Hope Glory Mountain (Audio CD)
Not usually inclined to leave reviews unless an injustice has occurred.
I feel this way about a 3 star review for this album, so here's a 5 to bump up the average.....
The songs on this record are very affecting, and more importantly, very good. Since seeing them performed live at End Of The Road 2009, the band have catapulted themselves right up my most played on iTunes, and find themsleves in such exalted company as Herman Dune, Vetiver, Cave Singers, Felice Brothers, Low Anthem. In such fine company they belong - the songs speak for themselves, and anyone inclined toward any of the above named bands will find a lot to delight in with Glory Hope Mountain.
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Hope Glory Mountain
Hope Glory Mountain by The Acorn (Audio CD - 2008)
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