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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two superb albums in under one year
Not content with producing a superb rendition of Dylan's entire John Wesley Harding album a few months ago, Thea Gilmore now gives us this very beautiful interpretation of the late Sandy Denny's lyrics - melodic, haunting, tasteful - it is all of these things. I love her vocal style and the musical arrangements - this album is a remarkable feat - to take another highly...
Published on 9 Nov 2011 by Mr L N Price

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creditable effort but.......
Putting together this collection of songs from the notes and jottings of the late great Sandy Denny would be a daunting prospect for anyone. Thea Gilmore has made a very creditable effort, but her voice lacks the dynamism needed to do justice to the material and the choices of music are a bit samey (sorry horrible word). Wanted to like it more than I do!!
Published on 31 May 2012 by rt48


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two superb albums in under one year, 9 Nov 2011
This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
Not content with producing a superb rendition of Dylan's entire John Wesley Harding album a few months ago, Thea Gilmore now gives us this very beautiful interpretation of the late Sandy Denny's lyrics - melodic, haunting, tasteful - it is all of these things. I love her vocal style and the musical arrangements - this album is a remarkable feat - to take another highly respected singer/songwriter's words and to so lovingly and respectfully interpret them in such a moving way. Along with John Wesley Harding (an equally great tribute to Dylan in his 70th year) my joint album of the year.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Treasure, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
The most gorgeous and heart-stoppingly moving record I've heard in 2011. Utterly respectful to Sandy Denny's previously unpublished lyrics and composed with sublime taste, this album is an understated triumph. Stunning. A completely unexpected treasure from a great artiste.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like An Old-Fashioned Waltz, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
My expectations were not particularly high for this album. The news that a contemporary singer-songwriter has been given the task of "finishing" the scraps of songs left behind by Sandy Denny suggests a resultant album of only curiosity interest. Moreover, while Sandy Denny wrote some great songs, it's tempting to think that her voice was a central requirement in them.

In fact, this album (though very short at 36 minutes) is very much better than I had any reason to hope. Gilmore does not try to make the songs contemporary, aiming instead to produce a classic album of the 1970s: the arrangements are full, the production rather thick and pop-influenced, just like Denny's own solo albums. The appearance of John Kirkpatrick on accordion is just one of many instrumental touches that grounds the songs securely in Denny's soundworld, and while Gilmore herself does not (and perhaps COULD not) imitate Denny, the inflections are often similar. If you didn't know in advance that Sandy's songwriting was involved in the process, I think that you would still sense her keen influence on Thea's album.

The drawbacks to this album are also Sandy's. The songs are old-fashioned and tend to hog the middle of the road. They are slightly over-produced ... not as much as Denny's later solo albums, but more than one would like. Perhaps too often there are moments in these songs that one feels one has heard elsewhere. At times this is enough to put this album on the edge of "guilty pleasure" territory.

That said, if this album were just a 2011 album that happened to have lyrics by Sandy Denny, it wouldn't really have justified all the work that went into producing it. Instead, it delivers on the almost impossible promise of giving us an album that Sandy might have released: an album that could be compared meaningfully even with The North Star Grassman and The Ravens. I'd be hard-pressed to think of another album of recent years that features ten ballads as strong as these.

I think that it's highly unlikely that Denny would actually have done another album as good as this one ... fortunately Thea Gilmore has done it for her.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seamless, 10 Nov 2011
By 
Sandman "Sandman" (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
Just received this today, so reviewing on first listen: big fan of both Sandy Denny and Thea Gilmore, and the combination here is just gorgeous. Thea was prodigiously good as a teenager, and has just got better and better as the years have gone by. A dozen or so albums later .... "who knows where the time goes?" as they say.

Sandy is of course a legend, and Thea, with Nigel Stonier's help as always, has absolutely done justice to the task of putting her last lyrics to music. A beautiful album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Channelling the magic of Sandy Denny, 29 Nov 2011
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
Thea Gilmore has achieved the impossible. She's created a new Sandy Denny album. Based on poems, first draft lyrics, and other fragments, Gilmore composed and arranged the music which results in ten songs which you can so easily imagine Sandy singing.

It isn't that Gilmore is copying Sandy, not that anyone could. Her own voice is quite distinctive and strong enough that she doesn't have to anyway. The arrangements, music and choice of instruments, the way they are played echo Denny without imitating her. I could even say that Gilmore is channeling Sandy's spirit but that would be out of character for me so I won't in case anyone thinks I'm being sentimental. It's an understated, delicate piece of work which grows on the listener. In my case, a first play didn't have much impact, but with the second I suddenly heard with absolute clarity just how much of Sandy was there in this sincere tribute. Georgia, the final track, is about Sandy's baby whom she tragically never lived to see grow up and here, appropriately, Gilmore does sound the most like Sandy, something that is emphasised by a guitar sound which could have been played by Jerry Donahue on a Fotheringay track.

This is a very fine piece of work and a worthy tribute to someone I still regard as the greatest female singer to come from this country.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take me away!, 7 Nov 2011
By 
Gary Hanna (Newry, N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
This is a truly beautiful and moving album, full of riches and secret depths that leads the listener upon a journey of the heart and soul into the lyrics that Sandy wrote and to which Thea has breathed a life of joy, sorrow, pain, expectation & reflection that is truly stunning on so many levels.
The music is everything one would imagine Sandy herself would have chosen and add to this Thea's gorgeous and poignant vocals and phrasing that perfectly respond to the ebb and flow of Sandy's words that a perfect union is created. The musicianship and production is also outstanding-this is what music should always be but seldom is. Thank You!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If a picture paints a thousand words........., 30 Jan 2012
By 
Blue Northern (Cumbria, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
........then how many does this beautiful album convey? OK, it is words, lyrics, Sandy Denny's lyrics but put those together with Thea Gilmore's music and a sympathetic group of musicians and the sum becomes so much more even than the considerable sum of its parts. This is a truly stunning album which more than does justice to the jottings and notes left by Sandy. I was going to pick out individual songs from this collection but I can't because to do so would suggest there was something lesser about the others. And there isn't, they all stand equally.
If you're in even half a mind whether to buy this, don't - just click the button and get it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sandy Denny revisited, 13 Jan 2012
By 
H. W. English "audiophile" (Loughborough UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
This audio revisit of the jottings/unfinished songs/poems from Sandy Denny's notebooks has produced an excellent cd .
Thea Gilmore ,with musical help, has completed ten of the incomplete works, set them to suitable arrangements and sung them in a style that Sandy Denny would be proud of I'm sure . The whole project was sensitive to the original ideas of Sandy from the start with the full backing of her estate .
There's not a single weak song in this collection , a particular favourite of mine being the final track for her daughter georgia .
There have been many interpreters of Sandy Denny's songs but Thea Gilmore must be among the best .
In all a valuable addition to the Sandy Denny catalogue .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Creditable effort but......., 31 May 2012
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This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
Putting together this collection of songs from the notes and jottings of the late great Sandy Denny would be a daunting prospect for anyone. Thea Gilmore has made a very creditable effort, but her voice lacks the dynamism needed to do justice to the material and the choices of music are a bit samey (sorry horrible word). Wanted to like it more than I do!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review, 1 Jan 2012
This review is from: Don't Stop Singing (Audio CD)
In a word - stunning.

And if "Georgia" doesn't bring a lump to your throat, well...

The album is a masterpiece, thanks to the lyric writing skills of Sandy Denny and the interpretation and voice of Thea Gilmore. I'd quite like to hear a stripped down version, though.
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