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41 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 2nd album
They've moved on a little from Beachcomber's Windowsill but not so far as to lose the charm that they have. Once again lyrics and vocals are sublime.
I have one gripe in that you can't hear the lyrics of all the tracks clearly, something that was a big plus on 'Beachcomber's'. I want give it 4.5 but based on that and the fact that after 50 years of music listening...
Published 17 months ago by Buster Blister

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The lull before the storm.......
We're all here because the debut Stornoway album was nothing short of extraordinary and sublime. So, we move on to the "difficult second album" stage of their career.

I'm a big Stornoway fan and I was very excited to hear the album, especially after seeing them live recently and hearing a few of the new songs. The band are superb musician's and are great live...
Published 17 months ago by Team McLaren


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 2nd album, 11 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
They've moved on a little from Beachcomber's Windowsill but not so far as to lose the charm that they have. Once again lyrics and vocals are sublime.
I have one gripe in that you can't hear the lyrics of all the tracks clearly, something that was a big plus on 'Beachcomber's'. I want give it 4.5 but based on that and the fact that after 50 years of music listening 'Beachcomber's' is in my top ten albums I'm going to have to give it a four.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On firm ground with difficult second album, 18 Mar 2013
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Dire Straits stormed out of the blocks with their eponymous first album, and then nearly disappeared without trace with the follow up Communique (I don't think even Mark Knopfler's mum likes Lady Writer).

I really, really didn't want that to happen to Stornoway after a first album that is one of my desert island choices, so it was with some trepidation that I downloaded this and pressed play.

Fortunately I needn't have worried. Everything is in place and working as well as ever: weird bird references, recherche instrumentation, intelligent songs you can sing along to - check, check, check.

You have to worry that groups like Stornoway are as endangered as the albatross given the current state of popular music, but I'm glad to say they seem to be in wonderful health.

Buy without fear of remorse.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece, 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
Stornoway seem to possess an unfathomable gift to keep turning out faultless music. They have such a distinct sound that never fails to hit the right spot. Lead singer Brian Briggs oozes talent from every pore of his body - this guy's mastery of clever lyrics and brilliant music is unstoppable. All hail Stornoway!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful 2nd album, 15 Mar 2013
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After waiting so long for Stornoway's second album, I was hoping for great things. I can now relax as the band have once again delivered. After a little apprehension on my first listen, the songs just grow and grow and grow. With every listen, the songs just get better and better. The beautiful lyrics are more poetic than just sung lines - genius song writing.
November Song, Invite to Eternity and The Bigger Picture are the highlights for me. However, all of the tracks are fabulous and you will not be disappoined.
Highly recommended. Bring on summer, I'm missing the beach :-)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The lull before the storm......., 23 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
We're all here because the debut Stornoway album was nothing short of extraordinary and sublime. So, we move on to the "difficult second album" stage of their career.

I'm a big Stornoway fan and I was very excited to hear the album, especially after seeing them live recently and hearing a few of the new songs. The band are superb musician's and are great live. And the new songs sounded great. So I had high expectation of the album even if I was surprised to read in advance that it was 9 tracks.

Well, I've given it a couple of weeks listen and by any other standards it would've been an excellent debut album by a new band but instead we have the benchmark of the first album and the high expectation that comes from that. And in that regard, it does disappoint a little. I mostly concur with the views of the other luke-warm reviews; it's clear the band have matured as musicians but sometimes the melody is lost in a a very cluttered soundscape and the vocals are certainly pushed too far back, unlike the first album.

There are 3 or 4 excellent songs on the album (the lead single, The Bigger Picture etc.) but the rest of the tracks are weak by their standards. Lyrically though it's 5-stars throughout.

Stornoway will come back stronger and I'm sure their third album will be with us sooner rather than later and I'm also sure this album will still garner positive reviews and new fans alike. I hope it does. I guess what I'm missing is a cohesive sound and perhaps this album is just trying to be a little too clever for it's own good?

Am excited to see you guys perform next week in London. Always five stars review live. And I hope work on the third album (which I'm confident will be their best to-date) starts after you've recovered from the touring.

You guys are great.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Keep an eye on the bigger picture, 16 Mar 2013
By 
B. Warburton "Lord Barry of Bannockburn" (East Anglia-ish) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
It's hard to write anything critical of Stornoway because they are so individually talented and appear to be such nice people that you are really rooting for them - however if the basic question is "does this album match their last?" then the answer unfortunately appears to be "no". That's not to say it's bad, but there's not just much in the way of stand-out tracks and their debut was so good it was always going to be hard to match - there's no contenders to rival "Fuel Up" to be found here sadly.

Self producing their album doesn't seem to have done them much harm as the sound is good and they should be proud of their recording achievements, although as other reviewers have noted occasionally the vocal is slightly buried. However, this is probably down to a bit too much going on musically on some of these tracks for Brian's voice to overcome, as this was also the case when having just watched them play live again recently. Maybe a producer would have helped them, as they say, keep their eye on the bigger picture.

Album opener "Take Me As I Am" starts off promisingly but unfortunately descends into a little bit of a musical freakout. The album ambles on reasonably if slightly forgettably, taking in the decent but similarly bloated at a shade over six minutes (A Belated) Invite to Eternity, until reaching its low point "Hook, Line and Sinker" which really has very little to recommend it. Not sure how this track made it past quality control and onto an album of only nine tracks.

Luckily "Knock Me on the Head" starts to pick things up with a well produced Japanese intro before moving into a classic Stornoway feel, a real relief even if it doesn't end up delivering as one of their very best. The good form continues and my favourite tracks are to be found at back of the album. "The Ones We Hurt the Most" (of which they did a very moving live acoustic version which the recording doesn't quite match with its school assembly drum sound) is my personal highpoint and pushes all the right buttons. "November Song" will be very familiar to Stornoway fans as it has long been included in their set (it's the one with the refrain "There's a clock on my wall, sometimes I hear it in my dreams") - I thought they must have just put out as B side somewhere, so was pleased to find it perfectly captured on this album. "The Great Procrastinator", is quite a sweet and undeniably catchy little affair, even if some might be slightly bewildered by the 1930's detective sounding clarinet intro.

I'll keep on listening to this and hope it will grow on me in time. Really hope the band carry on doing what they're doing, am sure they have many more classics left in them. They have a great band identity and individually they're all fantastic musicians, especially multi instrumentalist Jon and Ollie's highly inventive bass playing. This may not be the album to break them into the bigtime - but then again, probably neither they nor us would that for them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
Excellent service. Brilliant album.
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3.0 out of 5 stars does not grab me like the first one, 16 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
disappointed to be behonest - really loved beachcombing but this has not really left any impression on me at all
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fab, 2 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
I love this band and so this CD was no surprise The standard of music and vocals is excellent as usual Just wonder why more people haven't heard from them
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 2nd album, 10 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Tales from Terra Firma (Audio CD)
Being a huge fan of Stornoway's debut album, I had high expectations for this 2nd one and it certainly didn't disappoint. The music is catchy as always and after a first full listen, I immediately wanted to hear it again. Would definitely recommend this album to any Stornoway fan.
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Tales from Terra Firma by Stornoway (Audio CD - 2013)
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