Customer Reviews


36 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (6)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
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


20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible Belter
Diane Birch wrote a fair bit of Bible Belt (great name) in London, but it earned its release in America in 2009, a whole year before it's British release. This is perhaps because gospel-inspired soul is more popular in the US than here. But if you're willing to look beyond the genre, this album is well worth getting hold of.

Birch's father travelled the world...
Published on 7 May 2010 by Peter

versus
4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mmmm - rather disappointing
It's true that many tracks on this CD are really excellent, but it isn't uniformly that good and some tracks seem little better than empty pop songs. The tag 'folk pop' is absolutely wrong for many tracks. I'd advise you to listen to ALL the samples before you decide to buy. I didn't, which is unusual for me. I bought the CD after hearing just a couple of tracks. That's a...
Published on 9 July 2010 by A. J. Sturgess


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bible Belter, 7 May 2010
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
Diane Birch wrote a fair bit of Bible Belt (great name) in London, but it earned its release in America in 2009, a whole year before it's British release. This is perhaps because gospel-inspired soul is more popular in the US than here. But if you're willing to look beyond the genre, this album is well worth getting hold of.

Birch's father travelled the world as a preacher, and she apparently had limited access to popular music until she was a teenager, but learned the piano from the age of seven. She is a mean pianist, playing acoustic and Rhodes electric pianos. Her singing is individual and confident, with a wide rich register. The band is laid-back and supportive, with an average age rather higher than Birch's youthful 27. Lenny Kaye is one of the guitarists, and there's a small orchestra on a couple of tracks too.

Some of the tracks sound a little middle-of-the-roady, but they all have something to make them special. The first half of Photograph, for example, is a rather staid waltz-time track, but then it bursts into a spectacular Hey-Jude-style jam with a gospel chorus, strings and a horn section. The muted trumpet on the hook to the track Rewind is another masterstroke - simple, but effective, and the lyric is powerful too. Birch's lyrics have mainly secular themes, but draw heavily on gospel styles. Birch performed Valentino on Later... with Jools Holland on BBC TV, which is a reasonable endorsement in itself.

Diane Birch has a compelling voice, songs that are catchy and while still fitting into a gospel/soul/bluesy genre, still have enough originality to keep me pressing replay.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm A Believer !, 5 Jun 2010
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
Goodness gracious me! It's very hard to believe that 'Bible Belt' is a
debut album. Diane Birch exudes a confident, classy style which would
be rare in any artist with many more years experience under their belt.

Ms Birch can sing the blues. She can do gospel too. Did I mention soul?!
The album is a sassy collection of thirteen tracks which demonstrate her
innate ability to pin down the essence of a good tune with easy aplomb.

There is a wonderfully limber and expressive voice and mind at work in
this music, well served by Steve Greenberg and Betty Wright's consummate
production skills. The arrangements and orchestrations are all top notch!

Old beyond her years, time and again Ms Birch delivers vocal performances
of stunning skill, ingenuity and emotional conviction.
Opening track 'Fire Escape' could have been recorded at almost any point
during the past four decades and found favour with lovers of fine music.
It is a slow blues number, delivered with raw and unaffected emotion.
The Hammond organ, warmly poised brass and delicious backing vocals
provide the framework within which Ms Birch is able to show off the full
range of her vocal powers. Her focus never slips or blurs for a moment.

The spirit of 'Tapestry'-era Carole King is alive and well in the cracking
composition 'Fools'; another skillfully crafted melody which punches way
above its weight, leaving sweet memories in its wake.

'Nothing but A Miracle' demonstrates song writing of the very highest
calibre and quality. The late, great Laura Nyro came to mind for a moment
(a measure of just how good it is!) but Ms Birch is certainly not content to
walk in anybody's shadow. She wears her influences lightly and with love!

'Forgiveness' is a benign spiritual for godless times. A terrifically powerful
vocal performance lifted high into the clouds by a magnificently fruity
brass arrangement and glorious gospel harmonies. Pure heaven!!

Final track 'Magic View' is an understated and deeply moving gem of a
song in which Ms Birch gives us her very best work.
(Her fearless top notes are a joy to hear!) The quietly incandescent string
arrangement helps carry the arrangement to its sublime conclusion.

I heard her songs. I saw her face. Now I'm a believer!

Essential.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless classic soul blues, 3 Jun 2010
By 
Mr. Clive Cohen (Herts. England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
I've played this back-to-back many times & it just gets better, several tracks aleady seem like soul standards. Great voice & backing band, Diane Birch seems imbued in the heritage, the only critcism might be she's so soaked it in it, it's almost formulaic, but just about teeters on the right side with her personality winning over. Go and get it - a genuine mood enhancer
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 A Stunning Debut, 25 Oct 2010
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
One of the most pleasing aspects of this CD is the variety of styles on offer. From the gloriously bluesy feel of the opener 'Fire Escape` with its strong sultry vocals she moves effortlessly to the catchy lightweight pop of 'Valentino`. Perhaps the strongest sequence of the CD follows as the classy Ms Birch performs three brilliantly well-crafted songs that in another era might have merited chart success.'Fools` has strong echoes of Carole King from the 'Tapestry` era whilst 'Nothing but a Miracle` references Laura Nyro.

My personal favourite is 'Rewind` a slow burning ballad with a memorable piano refrain. These tracks have an urban soul theme with sensitive lyrics tracking the experiences of a young woman adapting to life in the city.

Later songs like 'Rise Up` and 'Don't Wait Up` have a jazzy mature feel to them with autobiographical lyrics whilst 'Photograph` and'Mirror Mirror` succeed with their killer melodies. It is to Diane Birch's credit that many of these songs seem like they've always been written. Most of the songs are driven by the piano and the Hammond organ but there is excellent musicianship on hand to broaden out the sound with brass riffs and gospel choruses. The CD ends with the evocative 'Magic View` on which Ms Birch's limpid cocals celebrate her adopted city of New York.
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 Great voice, great music, 14 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
I bought this, based on hearing VALENTINO on radio. I loved Diane's voice and her collection of soul/jazz music is emotional. You cannot be insensitive to the tunes or messages therein. A great CD - very Nashville!
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 Tapestry II, 18 Aug 2010
This review is from: Bible Belt (MP3 Download)
I discovered this album after searching for "Valentino" after it got a lot of air play on BBC Radio 2.
Others have mentioned Carole King in their reviews, and this is another to say the same... Diane Birch is simply stunning.
This album, could well be "Tapestry II". Yes a couple of tracks are a little "poppy" but the same could be said for Tapestry.

Stunning voice, stunning musicality, stunning Lyrics.
Gold old fashioned easy listening, with a bluesy, soulful feel.

It's hard to believe that this is a debut album. All I hope is that Diane hasn't peaked too early. As far as I can tell, there is very little room for improvement.

I'm listening as I type this, and it really is like "Tapestry II" I hear so much Carole King it's hard to believe it's not her.
Stunning, simply stunning!
Give it a listen and then buy it. We have to keep this lass producing albums!
There are not enough stars to truly rate this album!
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 A Real Belt..er, 1 Aug 2010
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
Never heard of Diane prior to seeing her at Cannock Chase leading the night for Simply Red. What a great introduction to the night and to Diane. Sounded so like singers I enjoy - Carole King, Elkie Brooks, etc. Immediately came and bought her Bible Belt. Really excellent to listen to each song and fully enjoy a new person on the block. Look forward to her next CD (or Live performance)
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 This album is "Nothing But A Miracle.", 15 July 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
Well, where do I start? This album is fantastic, and so is the artist -- Diane Birch. This is possible the greatest release of 2010, in the UK, anyway. I first found out about Diane whilst watching "Later, with Jools Holland." I was blown away! She was fantastic, and very unique. So different to any other artists. Every song on this album is fantastic, they just make you want to get up and sing! Many of the songs have an athemy feel, which, in my opinion, is what is needed to make a great album -- you just have to get up and sing along. This album is much better than the current incoherent, discontinuous rubbish in the current UK charts. This album is a MUST HAVE. Although it didn't too well in the UK charts, the album has had much critical appraise!
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 Diane Birch, 31 Dec 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
After ordering this for my best friend's christmas present, I decided to buy this for myself, and I'm very pleased with this CD. Diane Birch combines a country/folk sound with elements of gospel and a little bit of pop. She sounds slightly like Carol King, and her unique voice suits poppy beats like those in "Valentino" along with the church-like sound of "Forgiveness". My favourite songs are "Choo choo" and "Rewind". An interesting mix of styles, and may I say a brilliant pianist.
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 Norah Jones sings Exile on Main Street, 22 Jun 2010
This review is from: Bible Belt (Audio CD)
If Norah Jones sang "Shine a Light" from The Stones' "Exile on Main Street" it might sound like this excellent album. This is not the "Bible Belt" of an evangelical Southern Preacher but the "Bible Belt" that would have been cast across the end of a seedy motel room in some desert town after Gram Parsons had unbuckled it.It is soulfull songwriting with a dash of gospel and jazz, basic four piece backing with appropriately layered horns or strings only when they add something extra to the mix and I cannot stop playing it. Early choice for album of the year.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bible Belt
Bible Belt by Diane Birch (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews