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on 18 April 2011
I've never bothered to write a review online before but for some reason I feel I have to stick up for this album, which seems to be getting pretty lukewarm reviews generally. I can't understand it. It may not have as many 'stand out' tracks as To Be Still, but as an album it's more consistent, the song writing is more mature, the lyrics more focussed and the group performances far superior. I personally found the orchestration on To Be Still a bit generic and incidental to the songs, like commercial window-dressing. Here the sound is much more integrated and the production is ace. This is up there with the likes of Neil Young and Richard Thompson in my book. Brilliant.
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on 14 May 2012
Alela Diane's second album "Alela Diane & Wild Divine" is a great follow up to the Debut album "To Be Still" which was released in Feb 2009. Her powerful vocal has great sound against her band Wild Divine, who bring an altogether different sound to this second album, somewhat more punchy yet still tender.
This album has less of a hook than others in the genre but this is a strong and dependable second album from the girl from Northern California's gold mines.

There is a hint of Laura Marling here somewhere, with that gentle catch in the throat that spins an emotion into the lyric that is both clever and astringent, the darker tone through this album keeps you mindful of a grounding in her work which can sometimes feel ethereal and optimistic, like a chain phrases like "Death is a hard act to follow" keep you on the shadowy side of the folk line.
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on 5 April 2011
Not as good as 'to be still' but then what is? Sounds like country rock Dylan or country rock era bonnie prince Billy, do a country rock version of Alela Diane................. Very good indeed, not sure what some of the newspaper reviews were on about, very nice, mellow and uplifting.
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on 10 July 2011
Much more of a rock feel than her previous two albums but showing the the lady has definitely got talent and staying power.
The haunting and oft time melancholic lyrics of the previous albums are still in evidence but are given a more up beat approach.
Still I think one of the outstanding artists of recent years and her music is the only thing I could thank Bob Harris for.
His playing of Pirates Gospel almost excuses his banal and self publicising radio career.
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on 18 March 2012
I've just listened to this album whilst on a flight coming home and think it's up there with the best of the female singers around at the moment. Not heard her other albums but as Country rock is my thing (or one of them at least) I'm now buying the album.
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on 6 April 2011
I love the quality of this woman's voice and she has certainly written some great songs. But even so I have to say this new CD is really a bit of a disappointment. As a number of newspaper reviewers have said, it's over-produced and, with some obvious exceptions, the quality of her voice - and so for me the real sense of the songs - gets a bit lost in the mix on a lot of this CD. There are obvious exceptions - The Wind, Of Many Colors and Heartless Highway being my own choice of tracks that are really worth having. For anyone who was really impressed with Alela Diane's skills as a singer/songwriter able to deliver work of the quality of what she did on previous CDs and working with Alina Hardin, this is going to be a bit of a let-down. But if you're looking for a new and improved Sheryl Crow ....
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on 6 November 2015
Another fabulous offering by Alela Diane
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-her songwriting was of the same calibre as her voice. I'm not saying she's a bad song writer, far from it, she's more than competent. Her voice, however, is simply magnificent. I could and would listen to her singing almost anything except opera and rap. The CD on which she was work for hire -Headless Heroes- is brilliant, as is her interpretation of other people's songs. As far as this CD is concerned, it might be her weakest so far because, while pleasant enough, the songs aren't anywhere near earth-shaking.

As for those reviewers who have criticised this album for daring to include the odd bit of electric guitar, I can only conclude that their taste in music is so narrow that they are in danger of vanishing up their own fundament. There's nothing wrong at all with this album except that it underachieves and doesn't come close to being the best that this truly remarkable singer is capable of. That said, I'm still playing it an awful lot.
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on 26 April 2013
This was a birthday present, and very well received . . . . . . . . . . .
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It was to my great annoyance I missed news of the release of this album as this would normally be one of the few artists whose output would go on pre-order rather than `wait and see'.

I discovered her first album, by chance, soon after it was released and was blown away. I will buck the trend and say I found `To Be Still' a minor misstep as, despite the fact it contains her best songs to date, the production and tone of the album felt wrong (try and hear the same songs on the `Songs Whistled Through White Teeth' EP, if you can, before dismissing my comments). Of course `To Be Still' was released on Rough Trade so got significantly bigger push than the first album and thus a lot of new fans (hurray!). So the backlash begins here.

I read one hilarious review which suggested that a `glossy pop sheen' had been added to her music. Well I suppose if they think Dylan added a glossy pop sheen to his music by plugging in then they must be right, after all `Like a Rolling Stone' was a sizeable hit (sell-out!).

I was relieved to find the reports of 'bland poppiness' were completely wrong and pleasantly surprised to find that this is, possibly, Alela's most accomplished and balanced album to date. The production is excellent and unless you are against the intrusion of electric instruments or a `full band sound' on principle then you will find an album of strong songs that retains a great deal of the folky influence and feel of it's predecessors (I would suggest that four or five of the tracks would actually slot seamlessly into the running order of 'To Be Still'). If I had to compare it anything I would say there is a touch of "Neil Young" or "Dylan and The Band" in some of the arrangements. It almost goes without saying that her voice is as great as ever.

It's relatively early days in my listening but I would say the best songs on this album don't quite match the best on the previous record (I'll update later on that) but I think it's a more consistent release. If you enjoyed her previous work then I'd say get this and give it a chance, it is different to what she has done before but that's a good thing ...Isn't it?
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