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9 Reviews
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Country Blues, 15 Feb 2012
By 
Angel Delta (Southsea Hants) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
With an exciting blend of country and soul and fronted by the amazing voice of the supremely talented Yolanda Quartey, Phantom Limb sound as though they should have been conceived in Muscle Shoals, Alabama rather than Bristol, England.

Few bands are fortunate to have a singer as evocative and inspiring as Yolanda and notwithstanding the influences of Mahalia Jackson, Mavis Staples. Etta James and Aretha Franklin the sound she makes is entirely her own.

"Pines" is the groups second studio album, recorded in California and produced by Marc Ford of The Black Crowes. It features eleven songs written by the band members, one by Ford and a cd bonus track, Hank Williams' "Angels Of Death". The original songs are all high on emotion, melodically beautiful and with emotive lyrics. "It's The Only Way" is heart wrenching.

The four piece band give Quartey the backing her stunning voice deserves and guitars, pedal steel, drums, piano, Hammond organ and close harmony vocals make an intoxicating brew. This is contemporary British music at its very best. Phantom Limb deserve greater recognition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy stuff, 1 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. Stephen H. Lyall (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
This follow up continues the high standards of the original album. As others have remarked a heady mix of soul, country and blues but there is all sorts in there. Obviously the first thing that hits you is the powerful and versatile voice of the wonderful Yolanda Quartey but the talented band provide the perfect musical background to whatever direction each track takes. An album full of great music by a band who deserve a wider platform for their music. Also excellent live performers - watching them cut loose on 'harder than stone' from this album and several others from their first album is an experience to savour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, 20 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
This is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. What a lovely surprise. Yolandas voice is evocative and haunting. Highly recommend
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oustanding Album Country/Soul/Blues, 16 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
I was browsing the Naim Label website which is full of gems and literally stumbled across this gem.
This is a very fine,accomplished package indeed. As others have said the compositions are wondefully soulful
and melodic. The vocalist gives a quite superb delivery and the musicianship is absolutely bang on. Every note played
for the right reasons, no technical flashiness here just exactly what is required. The sort of album you can play quietly in the background without jarring at all, or even better turn the volume up and immerse yourself in the passion and emotion that
the band has put into their work. Dont waste your energy trying to pigeon hole the genre just kick back and enjoy. SUPERB!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best yet!, 16 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
This album has the warmest sound of anything I've heard for years;Yolande and the guys have managed to produce a perfect mix of country,soul and gospel which is almost unique.If you have a listen to their new single Gravy Train I'm sure you'll want the whole set. Beautiful and highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2012):, 2 Mar 2012
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
Phantom Limb - The Pines (Naim Edge)
Think of Bristol and it's bands or artists like Massive Attack and Tricky that quickly come to mind. Think further back and it's the city's post-punk and reggae heritage, represented by bands like Glaxo Babies, Essential Bop and Talisman. I don't know where Phantom Limb fit into the Bristolian musical landscape; the natural habitat of their country-soul / southern rock hybrid is somewhere below the Mason-Dixie line. Not that location was ever a problem for Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Rolling Stones or The Band, who all appropriated southern American music and made some wonderful records.

Phantom Limb isn't up there with those three groups, but still make plenty of satisfying music on "The Pines". Singer Yolanda Quartey has got an emotive soul voice, and the band is fully versed in the Muscle Shoals tradition. The big numbers, "Give Me A Reason" and "Harder Than Stone" are showcases for Quartey's dynamic vocals, but they're better still when they rock a little; "Gravy Train" rolls sweetly and "Missy" usurps some of the spirit of The Black Crowes, which isn't altogether surprising, as the album was produced in California by Crowes' guitarist Marc Ford.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yolanda Quartey rules OK, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
Phantom Limb are much more than Yolanda Quartey's backing band, yet it is her voice, sweet and rich like golden syrup, that dominates this album.I've listened to the lush sound of the title track again and again.I find it hard to pigeonhole as either country, jazz or soft rock, but I'm sure fans of all those genres would adore this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 18 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
What voices this group have, they really can belt them out. The production on this album is incredible too, I love it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "The Pines" is Phantom Limb at their best and tops their debut by some distance, 26 Dec 2012
By 
Amillionmiles (Hove, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pines (Audio CD)
It is often that, when artists blend genres and musical styles, they find a truly winning combination. Such is the case for Phantom Limb who have managed to blend Country music, Blues and Soul with lead singer Yolanda Quartey's powerful Gospel vocals. The result is close to perfection on their sophomore release "The Pines" which is a huge leap forward for the band in terms of defining their unique style and writing varied material.

The energetic opener "The Pines" is a melodic blend of Country music and Blues with an infectious chorus and superb vocals from Yolanda making it an instant favourite for me. "Tumbling Down" is a breathtakingly soothing Blues track with a powerful melody and lyrics and is a second highlight on here. "Give Me A Reason" is a straight up Blues song with a twist in the chorus. "I'll Have Mercy" has a sweet sing-along Gospel inspired chorus and is another powerful and effective mix of Country and Blues. The third highlight "It's The Only Way" is a beautifully written Country song sung with such raw emotion and heartache whilst the fourth highlight "Laugh Like You're Mad" is another Country inspired gem that allows the listener to drift away into the beautiful melody of the song. "Gravy Train" is a catchy song with that trademark Blues influenced sound whilst the addictive Country vibe of "Badge Of Descension" plods along very steadily, preceeding the soothing atmospheric Soft Rock ballad "Hollow Eyes". "Missy", an infectious blend of Blues, Gospel and Country, has such a fantastic chorus and overall feel good quality to it which makes it a fifth favourite for me. "Harder Than Stone" is a well crafted Country song with a strong chorus and "High And Dry" an epic Country Pop ballad with a beautiful atmospheric melody and well thought out arrangements. The final song "Angel Of Death" is a superb traditional sounding Country ballad with melancolic lyrics, powerful Gospel vocals from the wonderful Yolanda Quartey and a fantastic melody making it the sixth highlight on "The Pines".

It is very rare that I find myself becoming increasingly captivated and excited about a band, but this is what has happened when I have repeatedly put "The Pines" into my CD player. Phantom Limb have managed to create a beautiful chilled acoustic set of songs that stand apart from other Country and Blues releases. This album sets a very high standard for the group to exceed, but I rest assured that they will acheive this once again.
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The Pines
The Pines by Phantom Limb (Audio CD - 2012)
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