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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2012
Beth Jeans Houghton & The Hooves Of Destiny - Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (Mute)
I must stop taking people's Facebook pages as gospel. Beth Jeans Houghton's claims "(She) was born in Transylvania to a pack of albino wolves who raised her on chewing tobacco and stuffed clams. Despite they're hospitality, love conquers all and she soon eloped to scotch corner with her shiny new stallion Peter Andre". I'm sure less than half of that's true. The mild eccentricities of her biography are more than reflected in her music, a merging of Gothic folk, progressive spurts, Kate Bush-esque orchestrated grandeur and pure showmanship. Live, she certainly looks the part, with a bewitching wardrobe of the weird and wondrous; that she's able to carry those feelings of magic and spectacle onto her debut full-length recording is both astonishing and admirable.

The album begins with "Sweet Tooth Bird", with brass and a marching band beat barely settled before Houghton's remarkable vocal takes control. "Humble Digs" seems far more straightforward, but of course it's nothing of the sort as the song breaks down into separate, glorious parts. "Dodecahedron" is lush and quite otherworldly as its dream-lyric unfolds. When taken as a whole "Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose" is really quite enchanting, an exquisite journey into a world that isn't quite there. It's an album to be lived with and cherished - and records like that don't come along too often.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2012
Of all the new albums I've bought this year (quite a few), this is the one I keep returning to. It's a superb debut, combining elements of every musical genre you can think of, but at its heart is great songcraft. There are moments of great intensity and energy, but also wonderful moments of sublety and lightness of touch.

For me, it's my album of the year so far.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 November 2012
Every time I mention Beth's music to someone that doesn't know her and they ask what genre it is, I don't know what to say. You can't pigeonhole her. Herself and the Hooves have their own wonderful sound, which is why I love them. They are pretty much the only modern band I listen to or bother keeping up to date with.I don't think you could ask for a better debut album. And when you think the album's finished there's a nice punk send off at the end.
Also, I've had the privilege of getting to know Beth, and she's the kindest person I've ever met. The Hooves are pretty damn cool too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent debut album from Geordie songstress Beth Jeans Houghton and her band, the Hooves of Destiny. From the surreal band name, album name and album art, through the programme of great music, this is an album that demands attention. Sold as a folk artist, I feel this tag does Beth Jeans Houghton an injustice. Yes, it has recognisable folk elements, but it is a unique blend of many different styles, notably an Indie rock feel. The music is gentle and stirring, multilayered and always sounding fresh and bouncy. Beth's voice is captivating, equally good at slow burning and intense of faster upbeat songs. A few times when listening to it I have been reminded strongly of All About Eve's Julianne Regan, Beth's voice and the style of the material often bears a great similarity. The music is at times very elegant, but underneath there is a great sense of fun just bubbling away.

I just loved the album from start to finish. I really hope there is more to come from this great band. 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2012
By some accounts this long-player was a lengthy gestation for the canny Beth but it has arrived in a world which could really benefit from hearing the drama, playfulness and rhythms from this eclectic cocktail of an album which sounds like it was brewed on a ley line connecting the Tyne to Timbuktu via Tijuana. All the tees, you see. Nice. Sometimes you think it's not possible to create a distinctive sound in 2012 but 'Yours Truly...' somehow seems to meld operatic choruses, folky banjo, demon drums and waltzing electronica into the soundtrack of the year. It seems unfair to try and single out a factor that makes this album distinctive but the voice is extraordinary; the most unique, seductive, beguiling, spine tingling vocals. And to prove the point 'Nightswimmer' is the great connection from this generation to Joni Mitchell's 'Marcie'. And someone heard she bought a one-way ticket. And went west again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2012
Melds experimental freak-folk with pop song writing in a stunning fashion. Beth Jeans Houghton juggles genres effortlessly without appearing schizophrenic or desperate - instead, her combination of choirs, string quartets, horn sections, guitars electric and acoustic, and lofty operatic vocals move seamlessly within this eclectic and wonderful collection of songs, some upbeat A-sides, others more dreamlike and thoughtful.

What separates her from most folk-friendly indie artists is her sense of humour and fun; what separates her from most folk-friendly rock artists is her lack of conservatism and avoidance of cliché or generic belting choruses. Nor, like many 'quirky' female singer-songwriters, does her work feel like it's trying to fit a façade or a mould or a marketing slogan. Her work with the Hooves is genuinely original and creative.

In short, a fantastic LP from a fantastic artist. Perhaps my favourite from 2012 - certainly this is my favourite so far. Would honestly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2013
I was not sure how good this album would be having only
heard one track what a great surprise
the album is consistently good right through
different and entertaining beth houghton should
be a household name what a talent
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 29 February 2012
Bought this CD pretty much 'cold' on the strength of its 4-stars in Q. It should've got five - it's just magnificent. No other word for it. Stunning vocals (lead and otherwise), classy arrangements, cracking pace. Not a weak track on the album. Deserves to be up there with Florence's Ceremonials et al. If Beth Jeans H and the Hooves of Destiny can pull off something of this stature again they're destined for spending a lot of time in the winners' enclosure. This is the sort of 'find' that prompts you to snap up the entire back-catalogue - no previewing and no questions asked. In this case it's just a lone EP so no great outlay. Can't wait for the Hooves next outing.
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on 23 June 2012
Heard a track initially on Jo Whiley so bought the CD and absolutely no regrets - possibly the best music purchase in a couple of years. Beth has incredible and strong voice, backed by Hooves strong musical talent. Content is varied and could be descibed as a bit quirky as it covers so many genres - from brass band through stage musical in one track (Sweet Tooth Bird), acoustic to folk rock in the next track (Atlas) but it works and is truly inspired compared to the current more commercial offerings!! An album I can listen to anytime, anywhere and looking forward to next from this talented goup. Real recommendation to try it.
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on 10 June 2015
A lovely, unique, enchanting debut. Impossible to pigeonhole into any single genre - Beth's incredible voice soars over, under and through an eclectic mix of tracks. Bold, beautiful and brilliant, and a really cohesive work - absorbed in one sitting the album is greater even than the sum of its parts. No fillers here either, if anything the strongest tracks are left to the end to leave you giddily wanting more.

Just beware the (very) sweary bit in the hidden track at the end if your kids are listening! And why wouldn't they be? Good music is rarely as joyful and accessible as this...
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