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4.5 out of 5 stars18
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 March 2011
Beautiful songs sung beautifully - and expertly recorded places her close enough to kiss.
No one evokes the English landscape or seascape like June Tabor
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But I just don't. June Tabor has a wonderful voice. She is a consummate performer of song, usually traditional. I have many of her albums. But, by God, I wish she would lighten up a bit these days. There are two upbeat tracks here, and they're both renditions of French folk songs. Everything else has been reduced to a dirge. In all humility I want to say to her "June, not everything is an Art Song. Not everything has to be sacrificed to the beauty of the sound. Sometimes you need to tell the story and this may involve even ugly sounds at times. These were not all songs-to-cut-your-throat-by. Cheer up!"

Now I know that this is going to annoy the Tabor fans; I know I'll get a lot of Not helpful votes for this review. But it has to be said that there is a whole world of fine singing out there which doesn't leave you wanting to weep at the misery of the human lot. I remember Martin Carthy on stage a few years ago saying "We don't do jolly", but honestly, he's a little ray of sunshine in comparison with the JT of this album.
55 comments|22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
June Tabor's voice is quite a magical one (thankyou Amazon reviewer The Wolf for the heads up to this) The absolute reverse of technologically manipulated all surface no substance muzak, Tabor sings in a way which draws the listener into their own heart and soul. Her voice is both a clear channel for emotion, and deeply engaged with that. She doesn't 'perform' emotion, she enables the emotion in the music to express itself, rather than expressing her own emotion. Her style is therefore that of surrender to the music and words, so that the listener can engage directly with the music, the language, and the musician serving the music.

I'm a big fan of music which is reflective, and initially was a little disappointed at the tracks which showed another side to Tabor - the French songs, which are more upbeat and playful, and also the tracks, such as the wonderful Selkie, and The Brean Lament, where in part she speaks rather than sings the narration, but I'm slowly coming round to the variety. This is the sort of music which you can imagine listening to, sitting in a snug little pub, somewhere on the Hebridean isles, whilst a storm outside is raging, and Tabor and the musicians take you into the deeps of the sea, and where the sea meets the land.

For me the long opening and closing tracks, Finistere and Across The Wide Ocean, express this most sublimely, and, without anything else, make this 5 star Even if a certain Bank does get in the way a little whenever Tabor sings the word Santander in 'Finistere'!
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on 20 October 2011
I have every JT album. This is the best.

It IS sombre, but it's magnificent.

If it doesn't get the BBC "folk album of the year" I must have missed something.
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on 5 April 2011
I can add little to the positive reviews of this music, except to say that where others have sensed an English quality to it, to me it evokes the memory of my daughter coming home from school in France and singing a strange little ditty to me about a 'un petit navire' sailing around the nearby Mediterranean. Now I am lucky enough to see Vidlin Voe several times a week and will never lose that haunting tune from my head.
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on 28 December 2015
The tempo throughout much of this album feels very dirge like. I would expect an album inspired by the sea to be a bit more representative of its different characteristics in sound and pace. This album just sounds very lethargic for the most part and I really don't like the drawn out version of The Great Selkie. More variety in tempo would have made this a much more accomplished album in my opinion.
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on 15 July 2011
For me June can do very little wrong. This CD is as good as I would have expected from this prodigious talent. You've still got it girl - hope my voice is still as good in another 10 years! Ashore
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on 26 April 2011
I love most of her work and this is also good. Only reservation is that you need to be in the right mood to listen to all of this in one go.
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