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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I sat down ready and excited to listen to this CD, and I admit the first listen to it I was quite dissapointed. For some reason I was thinking it was going to have a Belle and Sebastian-esq sound to it, but that is exactly the whole point of the CD, Stewart put it together because the songs didnt fit belle and sebastian.
I have no idea how many times I have heard the CD-Im loving it! The girls all have beautiful voices and all fit in together, the sound is sexy and fresh and as usual with Murdock his lyrics are unique and you will only get them on many listens after, which then brings me to the only fault of the Cd, it is suppose to be a story put to words and I have read the story and I cant really fit it to the music/lyrics. Some little snippets have some reference about her eating and having to have routine, the only three songs which I think have relavance is God help the Girl, I just want your jeans and A down and dusky blonde....which are some of the best songs :) But none the less I love this cant get the tunes out of my head!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Over three years in the making this new album from Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian is well worth the wait.Thick with melody and narrative it really draws you in to the story of our heroine.Mainly sung by Catherine Ireton with help from Stuart each track is an appealing vignette that grows on every listen.Very 'musical' it works on every level.I am always wary of 'concept' albums but this is like nothing I have heard for a long time.I had only one minor gripe,the re-arranged 'Funny Little Frog' doesnt really work for me but really that is a small price to pay for this beautiful album.9/10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2009
I've been a Belle and Sebastian fan for years and bought the CD on that basis. I never thought that it would be as good as this though. The album consists of great Stuart Murdoch songs being taken to a whole new level by some very talented female vocalists. Catherine Ireton deserves to be singled out as her voice brings a warmth to the songs that Murdoch probably never could. Her voice has a bit of a Karen Carpenter ring to it and there's no bigger compliment than that in my opinion. Act of the Apostle (formerly Act of the Apostle II) has been transformed into something really incredible and it's hard to listen to the version on The Life Pursuit without thinking about how it pales compared to this.

So in summary. If you're a Belle and Sebastian fan I think you're going to love this. This has so much cross over potential though and anyone with a love of great melodies and literate lyrics should also be smitten. I really hope that it's not the last we hear of Catherine Ireton.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2009
I haven't yet read the story but am on my 4th repeat of the album (must also read the lyrics in full as at the moment I'm just picking up the odd fascinating snippet)and in the unlikely event of the concept turning out to be nonsense the music is so gorgeous Stuart and the girls could be singing the Yellow Pages and it'd still be just fab .

I think, and this is a bold statement ,this may be even better than Belle & Sebastian. The songs are all wonderful, it's crisply produced, gorgeous strings, swirling lush harmonies. Do hope there are plans to perform this in full in concert.

Favourite song so far is I'll Have To dance With Cassie. I love the bossy instruction the singer gives to " shuffle to the left " and
" boogie to the right"
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on 29 November 2009
First bought this several months back, and played it once, and didn't really get it. Fortunately I gave it another chance this week, and have fallen in love with it. It seems to go very nicely with rain! I mean that in a positive way though, in the same way that rain looks better in a black and white early sixties film, perhaps a French one. Full of stylishy dressed beautiful young existentialist men and women, those wonderful Citroen cars, neon lit signs and billowing Gauloise smoke...maybe it's 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' I am subliminally thinking of.

I am really enjoying all the female singers featured on this album. However, Catherine Ireton, the singer on perhaps 4 or 5 songs woven through the album, has something particularly clear, chiming and gorgeous about her voice. Another reviewer has mentioned Karen Carpenter, blessed with one of the most extraordinary female voices of the last 40 years. I agree in that it's a voice that's equally as pleasant on the ear, with a rare combination of such gorgeous velvety tones and sparkingly clear diction.

But I realised that I have been reminded more of the female vocalist from The Seekers - Judith Durham - particularly when she sang that haunting song, 'The Carnival is Over'. She also sang the theme to the kitchen sink sixties classic film, 'Georgy Girl'. And it's the cinematic quality that I like about this slightly retro album. It's not dated though, it's timeless. I was also reminded on a couple of tracks of good old St. Etienne, who inhabited similar territory in the late eighties.

Hiding Neath My Umbrella has to be mentioned too - such clever song-writing, beautiful lyrics and melodies, delivered so perfectly as a boy girl duet. Stuart Murdoch's vocals are similar to Robin Sardsted, the one (or maybe two) hit wonder, who hypnotised us in the early seventies with 'Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?'

So glad I went back to it. The things we miss when we're not in the right frame of mind...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2010
I'm not a Belle & Sebastian fan and at first listen, I wasn't sure about this. I thought it was a bit like terrible 60s girl singers. However, it's really grown on me. The tunes are catchy, the vocals beautiful and the lyrics continue the story of Eve from the sleeve notes brilliantly - as well as being hilarious at times.
I'm completely addicted to it now, particularly Pretty Eve in the Tub and Funny Little Frog.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2009
Stuart Murdoch is one of the finest songwriters of his generation. For this wonderful record he has joined forces with women who can really sing, and the result is something timeless and almost perfect.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2009
I am not a great fan of female vocalists but this is absolutely fantastic. Apart from the true greats (Bowie, Elvis and The Beach Boys) only two albums have blown me away in 20 years. Them being The Stone Roses and Suede's debut outings. This however has now joined them.

Every song with its simple yet highly polished melody is perfect for all occasions. The story is simple- a girl who shines at school then fails in society. But to be honest it doesn't really matter. Although the songs gel in to each other they can be taken on there own merits.

There is some male input (Murdoch from Belle and Sebastian) and Hannon from Divine Comedy turn up in parts to great effect. In fact Neil Hannons' voice is so perfect in its pitch, it could have been computer generated.

There is no favourite track, they are all literally so good it defies favouritism.

The girls sound so sexy I am certain this audio porn is appealing to many a teenage boy.

I can simply not find fault with this album. Read my other reviews. I am not one of those who lend themselves to sycophantic praise willy nilly.

Brilliant, wonderful, subliminal.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2009
I think it took a few listens before my whole family
fell for this album. No overall favourite track but each of
us loved different bits. Its an uplifting album which could not fail to put you in a good mood.
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on 1 August 2009
I confess to a certain fetish for the likes of Belle and Sebastian, so no wonder I like this album. The choice of musical tropes and the variety of the voices make for a satisfying experience.
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