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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drop anchor
After years of craving for a sign of life of Britain's most passionate and charismatic singer I have the pleasure of announcing his return. Martin Rossiter, formerly Gene's frontman, is finally back on track. This record is the result of a carefully planned and scheduled campaign with fans and supporters helping to realize the production. I found myself obsessed with...
Published 21 months ago by 60's Fanatic

versus
3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keep the window closed!
I've given this album a number of listens largely since there are so many 5 star reviews. However, I find it pretty dull and do not get the sense of emotional depth which some reviews mention. Rather than heart wrenching I find it over-wrought, and the lyrics tend toward cliche and are often quite insipid. The piano in too many tracks is over-bearing and lacks...
Published 19 months ago by Peter


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drop anchor, 26 Nov 2012
After years of craving for a sign of life of Britain's most passionate and charismatic singer I have the pleasure of announcing his return. Martin Rossiter, formerly Gene's frontman, is finally back on track. This record is the result of a carefully planned and scheduled campaign with fans and supporters helping to realize the production. I found myself obsessed with the first earcatcher "Drop anchor" months ago, a track heralding a stripped to the bone record and showing that just piano and voice are enough for creating a unique atmosphere in which Martin Rossiter's vocal abilities are brilliantly put on display. Here and there one is of course drawing parallels to earlier Gene material like "Drawn to the deep end", or the piano versions of "I can't help myself" and "A car that sped", but then again this is an album best listened to in contemplation, letting oneself in for the lyrical I that is authentically personified by Martin Rossiter. Other highlights on this record are "I must be Jesus" and "Three points on a compass". Maybe it's a bit far fetched, but as for the aspect of stripping down a production to its roots, this album is as daring and unique as Billy Bragg's "Back to basics" back in 1985. The only drop of bitterness is the slight delay of the vinyl version of this album that I've ordered, but still I was given the chance to download the tracks on time. All in all a fantastic release that lets me come back for more. This long player is definitley going to spin on and on my turntable for ages!

Postscript 15th January: Have just received the album today which has a much warmer and deeper sound than the downloads; lyrics are also included - this makes an old man very happy! Drop anchor is my personal favourite for the album of the year award!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Album of the year ., 3 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Defenestration of St Martin (MP3 Download)
Simple and Stunning. Just one of the best voices in the business and a simple piano.
Stripped to the minimum this shows off the wonderful clear voice of Rossiter and the pure craftmanship of top quality songwriting at is absolute best.
Melancholic, disturbing, thought provoking and yet haunting and beautiful.
I have always loved Rossiters voice and songwriting since Gene first hit the stage but this takes him and his gift to a whole new level.
If this doesnt get a Mercury nomination next year then I will eat the winning album.
Thank You Mr Rossiter
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs From A Wounded Heart, 8 Dec 2012
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
'Three Points Of A Compass', the opening song on Martin Rossiter's album,
is hard to listen to. Here's a man baring his soul, cleaning out his closet
and reconciling himself to the past in words and music of such raw, burning
intensity that our throats tighten and although tempted to look away from
the brutally self-evident pain we are rooted to the spot like a rabbit caught
in the headlights. Not since I first heard Nick Cave's sublime 'Into Your Arms'
have I heard a composition which put my head and heart into such a spin.
It makes you want to reach out and give him a big hug; he sounds so horribly
alone and in a very dark place. The experience is emotionally overwhelming.

'The Defenestration Of St Martin' is a bold piece of work. Largely scored for
voice and piano, these ten stripped-down and tightly structured songs may
well prove Mr Rossiter to be one of the finest writers of his generation.
He has a very fine voice; a rich baritone; his diction precise and implacably
English; a perfectly-judged subtle vibrato adding further depth and texture.

Although the first number is a hard act to follow there are, nonetheless, a
great many more treasures evident in the set. The mood of the album rarely
falters : introspective, confessional and unrelentingly personal, these are the
outpourings of a man trying to find peace with himself with visceral honesty.

Whether in the quasi-medieval elegance of 'Sing It Loud'; the powerful anthemic
ebb and flow of 'Where Are The Pixels' and the delicate moonlit warmth and more
hopeful sentiments of 'Darling Sorrow' (where love and redemption appear, for a
few moments, at least possible), we are transfixed by Mr Rossiter's melancholy muse.

It's not all heavy weather though. The delicious irony of 'I Must Be Jesus' proves
that our host has a sense of humour too. Channeling the late, great David Ackles,
the dry-as-a-bone irreverence of its lyrics made me laugh out loud. A real cracker!

Yet another sparkling gem of an album destined for my year's top ten.

Essential.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True style and brilliance!, 29 Nov 2012
This review is from: The Defenestration of St Martin (MP3 Download)
This simple album brings home all the wonderful songwriting of Martin Rossiter without any further complication of pigeon-holing or forcing into a 'genre'
There are several genres for this beautiful work of art - perfection, stunning, outstanding - would be my tags if i ever got round to filing this album; which not be going on the shelf for a while!

Cracking set of songs and every accolade is absolutely deserved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best record I have heard in a very, very, very long time., 23 Feb 2013
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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Cast out, and unjustly forgotten by the cloth-eared ambulance chasers that are the press and media, Martin Rossiter - vocal god, formerly of Gene, who suffered by being brilliant surrounded by sludge that drowned them in a screaming morass of mediocre options such as Shed Seven and Menswear - breaks cover with his first solo record. With just a voice and a piano, Rossiter writes songs that are so much further on from any of his then contemporaries, it's embarrassing for the rest, in what will become for me, very probably, my record of the year.

"Three Points On A Compass", just one man and a piano, is a ten minute eulogy on the nature of absent fathers. The only thing you gave me was this name, this stupid name. Whereas many of his contemporaries create a tinderbox of wrapping and lies to obscure the fact there is nothing at the heart of the work, and nothing for them to say, and it is all guitars and lights signifying nothing, Rossiter takes the opposite approach that less is more, and in this, a beautiful, sincere album, one man and a piano explore the world in a way that is both timeless and relevant, as if the outside world is just clouds around who we are. When you look at the world, and how we live within it, like an astronaut would after landing, how absurd is life? Here, Martin addresses the heart and the mind and the soul, not merely in the context of the world, but with an acute understanding of what it is that makes a man a man. Though there is a mild touch of Queen in "I Must Be Jesus", though that is no bad thing at all.

These are not necessarily easy songs : not for this the sudden pop rush of a song from fifteen years ago, but a considered and careful song. The world has changed since the last millenia and this must have done the same. Over 50 minutes, Rossiter writes a suite of powerful, sincere, and utterly genuine songs that cut to the heart. If you'd prefer to listen to Ben Howard I pity your musical poverty, and am jealous of the simple way in which you must see the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great songwriting, insightful and often haunting, 29 Jan 2013
By 
B. Cairns (UK) - See all my reviews
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I liked Gene from way back and came across this by accident, and liking their songwriting I figured this would be worth a listen.
I love the hymnal theme of the album. The songwriting is excellent, very thoughtful, insightful and meaningful - with beautiful tunes which improve on repeated listening.
It's clearly very personal and confessional which makes it all the more powerful. The songs demand you to sit and listen rather than having them on the background whilst you go about your day to day...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional., 31 Dec 2012
By 
A. Sweeney "I don't care what you call me" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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Back in the days of Britpop, there were a band called Gene who were loved by many, hated by plenty for, supposedly, being a rip-off of The Smiths but largely ignored or treated with indifference by most. The biggest problem about Gene is that not enough people actually listened to them, which is a crying shame, because they were actually a brilliant bunch of musicians with some killer songs. They faded away at the very start of the 21st century and became little more than the occasional feature in music magazines' "Whatever happened to..." column. I was one of the people who loved Gene. This is why the announcement of a solo album by Martin Rossiter, the distinctive singer of Gene really piqued my interest and I bought it, blindly, without knowing anything about it, other than the title. I'm so glad I did.

Without any hyperbole, this album really is one of the very best things I have heard all year. With nine out of the ten tracks featuring little more than Rossiter's voice and a piano, this could have quite easily been dull and samey. The usually brilliant Rufus Wainwright, for example, sorely tested my patience with his 2010 piano and voice album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu. However, Martin's songs - all of them - are absolutely magnificent, meaningful, personal, emotional pieces with the music and lyrics allowed the space to express their meaning and each track being a thing of shimmering beauty. It's very difficult to choose between the tracks, the opening track "Three Points On A Compass" is remarkable, the piano work on "Where There Are Pixels" is simply gorgeous and the bit where the band kick into life on the last track "Let The Waves Carry You" is a truly great moment, but each and every song on this album is superb. Gene certainly were a great band, but this album has become the singularly greatest thing that Rossiter has put his name to - and I don't think anyone saw that coming, apart from Martin himself, maybe...?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 7 Dec 2012
By 
W. Leggate (UK) - See all my reviews
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I was a massive fan of Gene and always loved Martin Rossiter and his voice. So this album for me like many other fans is long overdue. This album is simply beautiful from start to finish. It is very chilled out, the lyrics are great and his voice is amazing as always.

Favourites include Three Points on a Compass which is so moving, No One Left to Blame, Where are the Pixels and the single Drop Anchor.

This is a simple but stunningly beautiful album. Buy it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful album, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Defenestration of St Martin (MP3 Download)
A very beautiful album, which I bought after reading some great reviews.

The single Drop anchor will give you a good feel for what to expect, and the album is almost exclusively Martin Rossiter with the simple backdrop of a piano, with a few exceptions.

Beautiful melodies, poignant lyrics, a rich voice and as intriguing as the song titles suggest!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 22 Sep 2013
Sublime, touching and beautiful collection of songs. As with anything music worth its place there is a slow burn of a few listens before it really releases all its inner beauty and strengths. And there are many these moments on this CD. Thoroughly recommend.
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