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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoother follow up to Steeltown,
Less hard rock than the awesome Steeltown which precedes it, this is still great rock music with a message.
On this l.p. BC takes on more conventional song writing, but there is a transcendence here that you find in few other commercially successful groups (Style Council, Simple Minds come to mind). Great e-bow work makes you think you hear keyboards when you don't.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Soaring romance and adventure,Steeltown', the Bigs returned in 1986 with a set full of soaring majestic romance, Boys Own adventure, soldiers, witches, heroes and tales of the high seas - all polished up with the pop sensibilities that were evident on their 1983 debut, `The Crossing'.
Dumping their two album partnership with Steve Lillywhite for Robin Millar, who had produced the glossy dance pop beats of Sade, Everything but the Girl and Fine Young Cannibals, this third outing takes on a more immediate sound than its predecessors with a slick, pop rock sheen. As a result, `The Seer' is a much brasher, more commercially minded work than they were.
As an overall set, the songs are also far more immediately accessible than on the first two albums and more determinedly upbeat in approach. And Adamson's poetic lyrics are sumptuous. The opening single, `Look Away' is a rollicking rock track about a man on the run after committing a murder, desperately trying to retain the trust of his woman and convince her to ignore the stories she will hear about him. There is Wild West undertone to this that finds its perfect sonic partner in the third track, `The Teacher', about a young man's first love. In between, Kate Bush provides haunting backing vocals to the title track, an epic Celtic journey through the visions of rape and pillage foretold by a Seer who "washed her hair among the stones". On the slower side, `Eiledon' is an ode to a beautiful land ("I may walk in cities where the wolf once had his fill") and `Hold the Heart', a ballad of a man hoping his lover will come back to him ("I would lie and curse the day, And visit places where we lay alone, And find them turned to stone").Then things pick up again with the grand rocking adventure of `Remembrance Day', `The Red Fox' and the breathtaking album closer, `The Sailor'. The only real low points are provided by `I Walk the Hill' and `One Great Thing', the two trademark bagpipe guitar tracks that, third album out, sound distinctly stale and clichéd.
Musicianship by the band is stirling, as always, and Stuart Adamson's voice would never again sound quite as full-throatedly lush as it does on this recording. That said, the sheer effervescence of its grand storytelling tends to make it feel ever so slightly lacking in weight.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More great things from Big Country,
By A Customer
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third time lucky, another top notch effort.,
Whilst there are no bad songs on this, the first seven tracks are a feast of musical excellence, especially the big drummed 'Look Away' (BC's biggest hit single) The beautiful seering 'Eiledon', the catchy anthemic 'One Great Thing' and the brooding ballad 'Hold The Heart'. Other highlights IMO are 'The Sailor' and 'Song Of The South'.
Whilst this is a good album, I don't like it quite as much as 'Steeltown' which proceeded it. It feels more commercial and like a collection of singles rather than a coherent album. However it is certainly worthy of five stars.
This album has a distinctly mid-80s feel to it, which may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view. Overall one of Big Country's best works.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Lot?,
5.0 out of 5 stars bloomin' fantastic album,
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This review is from: The Seer (MP3 Download)I saw them back on the mid 80s and ever since have regarded it as the best gig I've ever seen (with The Wonderstuff in support would you believe). I saw them play again two years ago and it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up all over again despite the absence of Stuart Adamson. That gig made me go out and get a digital copy The Crossing. I saw them live again last week in Southampton and their terrific rendition of Look Away made me decide I had to get The Seer - which I'd had on vinyl back in the 80s. This album is full of great tracks - brilliantly written lyrics, masterful musicianship and uncompromising delivery. See them live if you can!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Seer Saw A Inevitable And Thankful Return To Class Form,
Brilliant rebellious rocker 'Look Away' starts the album off in fine form-an ingenious story told swiftly with a desperately sad pay-off intriguingly balancing the lively guitar-work. The title track follows and is a spectacular apocalyptic tale of a future that could well mirror a war-torn past and guest star Kate Bush interacts with Stuart to spellbinding effect. Surprise single 'The Teacher' is wrapped in mystery and atmosphere, but upbeat too, and it makes a much better single than the almost cheesy 'spread the loveness around' of 'One Great Thing'-the least enticing thing here but still passable enough. More longing and regret pour through parts of many other songs here-'Eiledon', 'Rememberance Day' and the lovely 'Hold The Heart' that nails the soft-torn ballad in exactly the right way that was attempted two years before to incosequential effect on 'Steeltown'. It is probably this album which could lay claim to being their best 80s one-but rest assured-by 1990 they would change direction so swiftly and brilliantly that many people still have trouble coming to terms with it!
People! And they say they don't want repetition. When they get change they don't want THAT either. I think the worst thing in music is to repeat yourself and Stu with his intense military interest and bagpipe march preferences was guilty of that in the 80s to an extent. But I would urge anyone to get those 90s CDs-his last two from 1995 & 1999 walked almost all over the best 80s ones-such is their freshness, depth, relevance and insight-and yes, humour too. But do get 'The Seer'-my cassette just about hanging on so I'll be updating it soon!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh What Memories !,
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