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31 Reviews
5 star:
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Strength To Strength
Conor J. O'Brien is a fine song writer. No doubt about it. Villagers' 2010
album 'Becoming A Jackal' was a quietly menacing and thoroughly engrossing
affair. The kind of stuff which gave you the shivers in a very nice way.

Their new release 'Awayland' opens up a few new avenues. The sound, though
still substantially acoustic in nature, has...
Published 19 months ago by The Wolf

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Patchy album
A few good songs: in particular, 'The Waves', 'Nothing Arrived' and 'In a Newfound Land You Are Free'.

The most beautiful bit of the album is the first two thirds of the opening song, 'My Lighthouse', which is criminally ruined by a really unpleasant key-change ending.

A quite lyrical album in places but slightly silly and even cheesy in others...
Published 11 months ago by Our Mutual Fiend


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Strength To Strength, 14 Jan 2013
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Conor J. O'Brien is a fine song writer. No doubt about it. Villagers' 2010
album 'Becoming A Jackal' was a quietly menacing and thoroughly engrossing
affair. The kind of stuff which gave you the shivers in a very nice way.

Their new release 'Awayland' opens up a few new avenues. The sound, though
still substantially acoustic in nature, has thickened and gained in complexity
without losing any of its immediacy and appeal. Take 'Earthly Pleasure', for
example, a dense brew of crashing guitar, brutal percussion and shivering
strings, together with the kind of memorable chorus which has you reaching
for the repeat button the moment it's over; or perhaps the almost jaunty 'The
Waves' with its energetic quasi-caribbean rhythms and the superb 'Grateful
Song', with its uplifting sense of breadth and drama, to witness the artistic
development of an artist firing on all six creative cylinders. There are some
wonderfully simple moments too : 'In A Newfound Land You Are Free' is the kind
of song which you'll be drawn back to again and again for its gorgeous melody
and perfectly focused piano accompaniment and restrained vocal performance.

So early on in the New Year Villagers may well have delivered one of 2013's
musical highlights. It fully deserves our undivided attention and applause.

Highly Recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better Live!, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Over the first few listens Awayland has grown from a strong 3-4 stars to an absolutely guaranteed 5. Like all great albums it has hidden depths and guarantees longevity by unveiling itself over several listens. As the title suggests, seeing this performed live at the Leadmill in Sheffiled on Friday enhanced my enjoyment of a superb and varied collection of songs. I really believe this should go one further than Becoming a Jackal and win the Mercury music prize.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wow! how could they better becoming a jackal?, 22 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Ok. I have waited and waited for the villagers to bring out this album. I pre ordered it as soon as amazon advised it was coming out.
I prefer having hard copy CD's so had to wait a week until it arrived in NZ. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely.
This is a great follow up and easily up there with becoming a jackal. Conor J O'Brien is sheer genius. Tough to pick a favourite track
but hard to get Nothing Arrived out of my head. With this CD something certainly did arrive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love It, 21 May 2013
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This review is from: Awayland [VINYL] (Vinyl)
I originally brought the album because I love the track the 'Bell' which had been getting lots of airplay on radio six. With a couple of plays of each side I now love it all! It is just so well crafted.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "Difficult" Second Album, 18 Jan 2013
By 
robotfish "robotfish" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
I was only slightly persuaded that the Villagers were any good by the first album. I really enjoyed Ship of Fools & Becoming a Jackal & The Meaning of the Ritual, but thought the album as a whole lacked a bit of heart & soul.

I was subsequently knocked out by a performance at the Borderline in London, the songs sounded alive. Plus we got to hear much of this new collection - most of which sounded wonderful.

Now I have the CD, and it mostly is wonderful. The songwriting is assured, the melodies are naggingly good and the playing is great. I still think there is a lack of something soulful herein, but have no doubt that Conor O'Brien is making his way slowly towards creating a masterpiece. He certainly has the talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 12 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Villagers are so underated. If you appreciate interesting music supported by haunting vocals then this album is a must. Haven't stopped playing it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album, 7 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Villagers come of age. A more electronic sound on this album, but the songwriting remains as strong as on 'Jackal'. The production is lush and the it sounds big. Definitely recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars class album, 9 April 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
one of the best albums I have listened in ages, on par with their first album, becoming a jackal. Awayland is 9 out of 10 music..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awayland, 4 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
Had never heard of this band, until they were on the radio immediately bought cd am now an addict. Great
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful, 22 Feb 2013
This review is from: Awayland (Audio CD)
This album is a thing of beauty, raw emotion reaching from every song. Conor o'Brien wonderful talent. Strong influences coming through from Devine comedy, radio head and some very original songs too. A five star album, they more thinly spread these days!
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