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38 Reviews
5 star:
 (26)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (2)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine, fresh take on great ballads
I like this album very much overall. It takes some guts to record some of these ballads after they have achieved legendary status in versions by truly great performers, but by and large Mitchell and Hamer pull it off very well.

I confess that I was a bit dubious about two US musicians, however good, recording these ancient British songs. I used to love to...
Published 20 months ago by Sid Nuncius

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A rather sentimentalised ballad collection
I bought this disc without ever having heard it or the performers before, because it seemed like a brave attempt to devote a whole album to some of the ballads catalogued by Francis James Child, albeit that only seven ballads are included. Of course, not all of the ballads have come down through the oral tradition, and this presents the singer with particular challenges...
Published 18 months ago by R. Ogier


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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleasant, 25 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Child Ballads (MP3 Download)
I tried this on spec, not being an avid folk music lover and so I make no comment on whether they do the songs justice compared to earlier versions. I have only played it a few times as yet, and am only at the level of listening to the tunes and the (pleasant) voices of the duo, not concentrating on the words. However, on that fairly simplistic basis, I am enjoying this album very much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story telling of days of yore, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
Drowning, curses, endless pregnancies, what more could you want from an album. A great adaptation of centuries old English and Scottish tales which gets better listen after listen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely reinterpretations, 6 Mar 2013
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P. Monk (UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this after seeing Anais and Jefferson in a tiny pub room in Nottingham, where they played with minimal amplification. The recordings are very similar to the live performances, with a little extra instrumentation. The guitar playing and vocal harmonies are sweet but never sickly, bringing an American twang to the old folk standards. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant!, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
I have become completely obsessed with this album. It simultaneously manages to make you hang on to every single word of each story, whilst being completely contemporary. Buy this album - it restored my faith is ballad singing!
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Same old..., 27 Feb 2013
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C. Lowe (Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
I really don't like this. All the songs have been done before and better! I can't bear the singer's voice - high pitched and squeaky like she's been sucking on a helium balloon. Sorry to be a party pooper as most of the reviews are positive but it's not for me.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really my kind of music, 30 April 2013
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Lee Faber "fablee" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
There is nothing wrong with this album, but I thought it would be very different. The reality is that it's a bit too 'Greensleeves' for me and a bit boring and repetitive, but the voices are lovely.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing Album, 6 Mar 2013
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Mr. M. Parker "Bluegrasser" (Farnborough, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
I became familiar with the Child Ballads in the 1960's from the singing of Peggy Seeger and, later, Ewan McColl and welcomed news of a new recording. However, this CD turned out to be a great disappointment. It is in a really tatty thin card cover with no sleeve notes: the diction in the vocal line, often two confused voices in unison, is so muddled as to be unintelligible at times and only the instrumental accompaniement is of anything like a professional standard. To cap it all there is little more than 50 minutes of music, very poor value.

I could not recomment this album to anyone and hope that someone will soon realease a better recording of these essential building blocks of Anglo-American culture. Fortunately the original books are now available as reasonably priced paperbacks.
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst records I have ever heard., 11 Mar 2013
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C. Gould - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Child Ballads (Audio CD)
These people have little or no idea what the word ballad means. THEY ARE STORIES. The twee harmonies and overblown guitar overwhelm the narative. It becomes almost impossible to follow the tale.
If you are interested in the ballads as collected by Francis James Child, then I suggest you look for recordings by Jeannie Robertson, Ewan McColl,Martin Carthy et al.
Do not waste your money on this.
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Child Ballads
Child Ballads by Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
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