I was first tempted to buy this album, not when I heard that Charlie Winston was the brother of the supremely talented Tom Baxter, but because of hearing the huge noises from his French admirers, as this album has been available France since January 2009. It was only after I purchased the CD did I learn of his sibling connections and the fact that Peter Gabriel had personally given Charlie a recording contract with his Real World record label. In fact, it was only after I'd listened to the album a couple of times and was so blown away by the music, did I ask the question, "Who IS this guy?" and found out a little more about him. So, basically, what I'm saying is forget the family connection, Charlie has got where he is today because of his immense talent. The music speaks for itself - and, believe me, the music is something special!
There is a nice fusion of different styles throughout the album. A bit of pop, more than a splash of jazz, a touch of soul and a hint of folk/rock. There are times when Winston reminds me of Randy Newman in his youth, but his voice is a little more melodic. Every eclectic track is engaging for different reasons. The dark, rhythmic opener, "In Your Hands" is a superb introduction to the album and builds up to a blistering climax. The Latin rhythms of "Like A Hobo" drive the track forward and also make your feet tap involuntarily. "I Love Your Smile" is my very favourite track, it's just so wonderfully uplifting and very heart-warming. "My Life As A Duck" is simultaneously beautiful, bizarre and hilarious - it has refused to leave my head ever since I first heard it, causing unexpected smiles from time to time.
A delicate piano riff and tasteful strings provide the heavenly backing to Charlie's emotive vocals on the outstanding "Boxes". "Calling Me" and "Every Step" are achingly yearning slices of gentle folk. "Tongue Tied" is a fantastic soul track and I just love the way Charlie's voice comes back in after a short silence towards the end of the song, just brilliant. "Soundtrack To Falling In Love" is every bit as glorious as the title suggests, with a thrilling ending. "My Name", the final track, is just magnificent. In fact, nearly everything on this release is superb. The only track I'm not overly keen on is "Kick The Bucket", a song about the inevitability of death which features beatboxing. It's catchy enough, but is, for me, the weakest song on this thoroughly pleasing album. Charlie Winston is a true talent and this, his second album, has impressed me highly. Don't miss out on one of the most outstanding and remarkable albums of 2009.
on 5 September 2009
Saw them as Winston years ago. Bought cd from them. Loved it, googled them since, found nothing. Was on holiday in France, shazam'd song on radio, was Charlie Winston. Went to hypermarche and bought the album. Have not fallen for an album so much in many many years. Each song is different, melodies are beautiful and lead you a merry dance- totally unpredictable but utterly beguiling, as are the beautiful and sometimes extrovert, but wonderfully heartfelt lyrics. Production is pristine and understated, until it needs to be full blown, where it sweeps you off your feet and takes you away to a world where classic albums should take you. His voice makes you hang on every word, and a song like Boxes only come along very very rarely.I guess I liked it.Buy it.
on 4 February 2010
I'm glad to see amazon.co.uk has finally caught up with Charlie Winston. He's been big here in France for some time now (I believe he's also a Suffolk boy who's migrated to Paris, the same as myself!), and the radio has almost played his album to death since its release. I was a fan of his brother Tom Baxter (I believe Charlie's used his middle name as his stage name?)
Apart from the seeming simplicity of his music, and easy listening, the lyics were the first things to attract me... Charlie has a number of statements, social critics, and existential ponderings that I think many can relate to, but as he says in his lyrics, he's not trying to sound like a preacher. I think with a little more time his popularity will continue to increase the world over.
on 7 November 2009
I can't add any further praise to that already given by other reviewers, other than wow!
I saw the video for In Your Hands on Amazon a few weeks ago and was immediately taken to it. Not since Joseph Arthur (who ironically started the same way Charlie Winston has - with Peter Gabriel and Real World) have I ever been taken by somebody that quickly. The first three songs are brilliant, My Life as a Duck is mad and the depth and range of his voice is breathtaking.
I can see why France took to him so strongly. Will the UK do the same, maybe yes maybe no.
Who cares - I love it!!
on 21 August 2013
If you love great music and songwriting that isn't 'pop', this is an artist and album that you should hear. What a talent. Charlie Winston is a highly creative guy that fuses genres of songs to make new ones. This is a brilliant album and contains a few gems that will stay with you long after the music has stopped playing. However, you may have to follow my example and press 'repeat' on your player, as once this is on, it's very difficult to take it off! His passion for music seeps into your veins and makes you want to see him live...if only. Buy it, you won't regret it.
on 10 June 2012
Fantastic album - Charlie has a beautiful voice and his songs put a big smile on my face - I made my seventy year old mother listen to 'I love your smile' and it made her smile too. I have been listening to this album repeatedly in my car since it arrived last Friday and can't imagine ever getting to the point where I have heard it too much. Everyone should have a Charlie Winston CD to listen to and 'Hobo' is my favourite. Some of the songs are jazzy, some more reflective but all very individual - Charlie Winston has a style all of his own.
on 6 December 2013
I was introduced to this CD whilst staying with my friend on a recent trip to Paris. It is classed as easy listening in my opinion. It is excellent. His focals are fresh, his voice is wonderful and its a very modern CD. A touch of jazz here and there which i like and truly melodic all the way through. Cannot wait to purchase the others. I know he is popular in France its a pity he hasnt blown us away yet. No doubt that will come.