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6 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Answered Prayers, 20 Feb 2012
By 
B Wolf (Hereford, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
Pray to be Free is an album of darkness and light. The sombre tones of James Levy's Cohen-like voice mingling with the melodic lightness and strength of Allison Pierce's give a sense of depth and personality to the tunes. Those tunes are pleasing from the first listen and the lyrics have an interesting twist on your standard love song. I particularly enjoy the harmonies between the two very different voices, bringing quite a sensual feel to this album.

It's a little bit folky, with a pinch of country and a smattering of rock n roll. A playful, grown-up affair of the heart, but with a dark undertow running through it.

Great stuff - well worth a listen!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good musicianship complements the vocals, 10 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
As a fan of the Pierces I checked out this album and I liked what I heard.

There's an interesting contrast between the sweetness of Alison Pierce's vocals and the almost melancholic voice of James Levy.

Good musicianship complements the vocals and leads to a more upbeat sound than I had expected from the sample song extracts on the Amazon website.

I've played it numerous times now and have not tired of it.

Worth purchasing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Red Love, Betrayal.....and Bar mitzvahs, 13 Jan 2013
By 
Iain (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
James Levy and Allison Pierce have cut a heart-shaped gem of an album....albeit then run through with the blade! Smooth musical backing, lush arrangements and production (courtesy of Coldplay's Guy Berryman) are married to sometimes edgy sentiments ('I feel like dancing... on your grave boy')and unusual and/or risque themes (see bar mitzvahs in 'The Precious Age of Thirteen' and the melodrama of 'Keep My Baby'). James' and Allison's vocals blend well together in unison and apart when trading verses and lines.
'Pray To Be Free' is mostly a platform for Levy's back catalogue of songs recast as duets with Allison (moonlighting from The Pierces) or done afresh. New songs also feature and Allison contributes too with the happy/sad country pop of 'Cry Myself To Sleep' and is co-credited with writing the title track. Musically the album draws from a number of influences (Lee and Nancy, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Serge Gainsbourg) and mines a rich seam of Americana with its more folkier and slightly countryfied numbers - the title track employs a fair amount of reverb a la Fleet Foxes (Allison is a fan).
Several tracks feature just Levy as a vocalist and these make an interesting contrast with the tracks he has cut with Pierce, although it would be be nice to hear the duo one day collaborate and sing more extensively together on an album. Their commitments outside the Blood Red Rose concept notwithstanding, i'm sure another outing under said moniker would be a twisted heartfelt delight.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really like this album, 11 Feb 2012
This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
Heard this the single on Radio 2 and thought it was Lee Hazelwood. When I heard it was James Levy I thought I would give it a try. Can't recommend this enough - really enjoyable album. Great tunes and the two vocals work really well together.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect album?, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
After having been a fan of The Pierces since buying their 2011 album You & I, I've recently been acquiring their (fantastic) back catalogue, and came across Allison Pierce's collaboration with James Levy. I really wish I'd known about this album sooner, it's absolutely brilliant. James has the sort of deep, velvety, smooth-toned voice of a Lee Hazelwood or Leonard Cohen and he sounds even better when paired with Allison. Some of the songs have rather dark, unusual lyrics but they don't take themselves too seriously - there is no pretentiousness on this album, just some really beautiful, well-written, well-produced songs. And special mention has to go to Guy Berryman who really has done a great job producing this album, the instrumentation is just perfect. I've been listening to this album a lot since I got it a few days ago, and every time I listen to it, I like it more and more. Now, does Catherine have any side projects I should know about?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 29 Aug 2014
This review is from: Pray To Be Free (Audio CD)
A welcome collaboration that works well.
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Pray To Be Free
Pray To Be Free by James Levy And The Blood Red Rose (Audio CD - 2012)
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