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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars those bones can keep on singing for me
I'm trying to work out where my head has been buried for the last decade of this band's existence. The Handsome Family are husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks. Singing Bones is a collection of magical musical stories that sound like ancient hand-me-down myths after a couple of listens. Its musical pedigree takes in all those dusty troubadors in black - Hank...
Published on 18 Nov. 2003 by Demian Stimson

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
disappointing - doesn't have the magic of their live preformances
Published 1 month ago by jane brayne


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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars those bones can keep on singing for me, 18 Nov. 2003
By 
Demian Stimson (England (Home of the Rugby World Cup)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
I'm trying to work out where my head has been buried for the last decade of this band's existence. The Handsome Family are husband and wife Brett and Rennie Sparks. Singing Bones is a collection of magical musical stories that sound like ancient hand-me-down myths after a couple of listens. Its musical pedigree takes in all those dusty troubadors in black - Hank Williams, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, the sweet sadness of a Gram Parsons ballad, the gritty spirituality of a Johnny Cash rocker. While the music is always strong, the lyrics mark them out as something different and special, standing comparison with the magical realism of writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Italo Calvino or, perhaps more appropriately, Angela Carter. The Bottomless Hole could be one of Calvino's Cosmicomics' stories set to music, if Calvino had been writing them on Krazy Kat's enchanted mesa in Coconino County. If you think Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash are depressing then you won't like this record. If, however, you find something joyous and life affirming in their darkness, and if So Long Marianne makes you want to dance, and if Ring of Fire makes you want to stamp and shout, then this record will make you want to smile and sway and thousand-yard-stare at the sunhaze for signs of the rapture. Or just the next Handsome Family cd.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another top score., 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
Each one I purchase meets the quality of the last, fantastic content of music I listen to time after time, it's been some time since I acquired music as desirable as this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 28 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
I love this album, gripping from the first to the last song! My favourites are "Far from any Road" and "Falling Peaches" so wonderful melodies with great dark lyrics. Just awesome! Definitive must have for people of being sick hearing the same songs again and again over the radio, this is rather different stuff. Buy!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent CD, 16 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
We hadn't heard of the Handsome Family until watching True Detective. We absolutely loved the theme song from that so looked it up on Amazon and ended up buying the CD. The Handsome Family are excellent and although the CD was expensive I can honestly say the music on it is great, such easy listening. I will definitely be buying more CD's by them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not their best but still good, 2 July 2012
By 
A. J. Gilpin (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
Having already reviewed the previous five Handsomes studio releases, (Odessa 4 stars, Milk and Scissors 4, Through The Trees 5, In The Air 4, Twilight 5) Singing Bones is next in line. I can't help comparing this album to In The Air and there are two reasons for this. Firstly, both that album and this follow what I consider to be their two masterpieces, Through the Trees and Twilight. Secondly, they both start slowly before bursting into life with the fourth track. Of course! that is coincidental, not to mention a purely subjective observation on my part but it gives the impression that the Handsomes, after the aforementioned peaks, were just treading water with their following albums. That's not to say that The Singing Bones isn't good, because it is. Hell, their worst (not that this is their worst) is still better than most artists' best!

The standout track for me is Fallen Peaches. This is the track that led me to loving this band's music. It featured on a Mojo music magazine freebie CD last year. I sent it to a friend of mine who I thought would like it and it transpired that he had some of their albums. Then earlier this year, he alerted me to a gig of theirs in Oxford and we went to see them. I still hadn't delved into their music at this point but, in preparation for the gig, I quickly put that right, finding their back catalogue uniformly excellent. They were brilliant live and Renee Sparks even served me on the merchandise counter when I bought Through The Trees. Anyway, this is turning into an anecdote more than a review...so back to the album.

The Singing Bones is probably their slowest, quietest album up to that point and, as such, their most country sounding release. After a pedestrian start, it is, in the main, very good throughout and, like all their previous albums, reaches a 4 star rating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars " Definitely worth it for that alone but now I have discovered the Handsome Family and find I'm beginning to like the other song, 30 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
I got this because of the haunting theme from the TV series "True Detective." Definitely worth it for that alone but now I have discovered the Handsome Family and find I'm beginning to like the other songs on the CD too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, 7 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
Brilliant album from a group I had never heard of before the True Detective TV series. It does not grow on you immediately, gothic country, but persevere and it is truly good stuff with very interesting and entertaining lyric's!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great service, 9 May 2014
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This review is from: Singing Bones (Audio CD)
The CD arrived the next day after order in perfect condition. A very atmospheric CD which has rightly achieved prominence as a result of "Far from any road" being used as the theme tune to "True Detectives".
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5.0 out of 5 stars my best buy for many a year, 5 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Singing Bones (CD) (Audio CD)
Just bought this CD, my best buy for many a year. Talk about a total chill out album, it does the business, impossible to pigeon hole or compare, just one of those unique albums that come along every few years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Detected a True Classic, 7 Sept. 2014
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L. H. Parsons (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Singing Bones (MP3 Download)
Unusual album, found out about it as the theme song to the True Detectives with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, what a great track that is.
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Singing Bones
Singing Bones by The Handsome Family
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