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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Strength To Strength!
I loved the first IV album, thought their second release Empire & Love was even better and now they have managed to top that with Bending The Dark! Empire & Love was much more of a 'band' album that the first release and Bending The Dark takes that vibe further still.

In terms of personnel, this album does not include Chris Wood (who was busy working on his own...
Published on 29 Aug 2012 by The Professor

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not without merit
In my view, this contains some very pleasant and interesting stuff, which is what I expect of "crossover", but it also contains material that sounds like it belongs to some retro-70s, disco-style, tv-movie score. Why did no one think that that was the time to re-evaluate the musical chemistry and head off in a different direction? It's this weakness that prevents me...
Published 17 months ago by De Writer


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Strength To Strength!, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
I loved the first IV album, thought their second release Empire & Love was even better and now they have managed to top that with Bending The Dark! Empire & Love was much more of a 'band' album that the first release and Bending The Dark takes that vibe further still.

In terms of personnel, this album does not include Chris Wood (who was busy working on his own album) but sees the wonderful Jackie Oates joining as a full member. It's Jackie who opens the album with an acapella The Captain's Apprentice before the band kick in on New York Trader.

Eliza Carthy fans are in for a treat on tracks such as Fisherman, Sick Old Man and the stunningly beautiful Washing Song.

The two instrumental tracks The Guvna & Get Kalsi (the latter being a theme tune for percussionist Johnny Kalsi) both have incredible strong grooves running through them; your can't help but tap your feet ; )

The title track is a 12 minute epic composed by Sheema Mukherjee for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and is a wonderful melting pot of styles ranging from Morris to Bhangra and pretty much everything in between.

If I had to make a criticism it would be the lack of a Martin Carthy lead vocal anywhere on the album; whilst he contributes some beautiful guitar work and backing vocals, I would have loved to hear his voice to the fore on a track or two.

I watched the promo video for this release and as a member of the band says "No one else could make this album" and he's spot on ... IV really are unique. If only all the people who rave over artists such as Bellowhead & Mumford & Sons gave The Imagined Village a listen they would love this album.

I seriously can't understand the Amazon reviewer that stated "Time to call it a day on this project I think" ... you can't be listening to the same album! This collective just goes from strength to strength.

Roll On Album No.4!!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is simply fabulous!, 16 May 2012
By 
T. Phillips (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
I can really say no more. I discovered the Imagined Village first album completely by chance. This is, I guess, what they call that "difficult third album", and it is, in my opinion, just brilliant. It goes way beyond the sort of "fusion" stuff you might expect by looking at the cast of characters, and manages a hat-tip to several different genres, starting from, and always returning to, solid traditional folk values. They've just been updated to 2012, that's all. I can't help thinking that track 3 (Winter Singing) sounds like a modern take on the original Pentangle stuff, and I keep expecting the following track (The Guvna) to burst into something from the Specials or Madness. The final track (the title track to the album) is a wild 12 minutes 22 seconds of all sorts of snatches and homages.

Well done all concerned. My personal choice for Album of the Year already.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A happy discovery!, 15 May 2012
This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
I walked into a record store today and heard this playing and loved it so bought it having never heard of The Imagined Village. I have listened to it twice through already and do not regret my impulse buy at all.
I love the mix of folk/world/techno music and will definitely be seeking out their live gigs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not without merit, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
In my view, this contains some very pleasant and interesting stuff, which is what I expect of "crossover", but it also contains material that sounds like it belongs to some retro-70s, disco-style, tv-movie score. Why did no one think that that was the time to re-evaluate the musical chemistry and head off in a different direction? It's this weakness that prevents me awarding 'Bending the Dark' the **** rating I otherwise would.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE IMAGINED VILLAGE - Bending The Dark, 7 Jun 2012
This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
Unfortunately, due to extensive notes already provided from the press release by the band themselves it should leave hard working (and unpaid) enthusiasts like me little or nothing to say about this latest release from The Imagined Village. I will say this though, I, along with most of my friends are eagerly awaiting the movie "The Avengers Assemble" (it's a bloke thing ladies!) so, when "Bending The Dark" arrived on my doorstep I thought hello, this is the `folk music' equivalent of that band of brothers. Mind you, I'm not sure I can visualise Chris Wood, Martin Carthy or Simon Emmerson in spandex this `folk' super-group certainly know how to flex their creative musical muscles. Gone is the Carthy songbook on which many of the previous recordings were based to be supplemented with (predominantly) contemporary songs from members of the band themselves and from the opening instrumental "The Guvna" it would appear the band have thrown everything into the mix including electronics galore (a nodding wink to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop), a variety of ethnic instrumentation from all corners of the planet and I wouldn't be surprised if they also added the kitchen sink for good measure. Of course in lesser mortal's hands this could be a cumbersome beast but under the deft guidance of Mr Emmerson it proves a thing of beauty. Currently the `folk' band sound augmented by `brass' (Bellowhead and the Unthanks etc) seems very popular with audiences everywhere and with this in mind the use of the Kick Horns on the Gothic "New York Trader" provides the listener with a real sense of `shiver me timbers' whilst clever application of unusual time signatures engaged throughout the recording really do throw you this way and that particularly on Sheema Mukherjee's title track where the use of the variant of "The Cuckoo's Nest" is surprisingly effective. For insomniacs everywhere (and I mean that with the most positive of intentions) I'd suggest you purchase a copy of this CD.

PETE FYFE
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR, 21 May 2012
This review is from: Bending The Dark (MP3 Download)
The Imagined Village just get better and better and this, their third offering, is in my opinion, the best to date.
From the opening track, sang beautifully by new girl Jackie Oates, the album goes from strength to strength and with so much going on there is something new on each listening.
The collective talents blend into something very special and I would urge all music fans to give it a go.
I had the privilege to see the band live on Saturday night in Portsmouth and have already booked tickets to see them again next month in Lincoln.
Definitely my favourite album of the year so far!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Imagined Village do it again, 19 May 2012
By 
Doug "Doug" (York, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
Having bought the first two albums from the Imagined Village it was a no brainer to rush (in this case to the iTunes store) to download this album.

From the first track, "The Captain's Apprentice" to the last track "Bending the Track" this is a superb album, and sees the collective going from strength to strength, with a strong traditional folk heritage blended with other genres this is a unique and superb listen.

I am just about to play it for a third time, and at the moment the "Washing Song" is coming over with "The Captains's Apprentice" as the strongest tracks, but as I am typing this other tracks are calling out to me, so perhaps it is best just to say that if you like traditional folk, but can appreciate the blend of influences from other genres then this is the album for you.

If you have The Imagined Village or the second album, Empire and Love, in your collection already, then you can be confident that this album will live up to your expectations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bending the Dark, 24 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
More from the wonderful Imagined Village collaboration. I love their music and this album is better than ever, even has a reggae track!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Album, 20 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Bending The Dark (MP3 Download)
Better than the second album; but not as good as the first. They have returned a bit to the first album style which is great and it almost gets there
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5.0 out of 5 stars The New Masters of Folk Rock, 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Bending The Dark (Audio CD)
An absolutely amazing band. If you haven't heard them pick any of their albums to try. An eclectic mix of folk based music that is a delight to listen to - and I have, over and over again. Go Try.
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Bending The Dark
Bending The Dark by The Imagined Village (Audio CD - 2012)
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