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4.5 out of 5 stars22
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2013
A delicious album of beautifully played acoustic songs. Harmonies that remind this listener of the best of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel in their prime. But, somebody has introduced a stunning flat picker who weaves delicious lines through each song in a style very similar to David Rawlings. This is a brilliant sonic introduction to these very talented lads, each LP gets stronger and stronger.
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This is the first Milk Carton Kids album I have heard, and I am very impressed. It is a lovely album of songs sung in duo close-harmony and accompanied by some fine acoustic guitar work. It has a bit of a feel of Simon and Garfunkel about it, but other influences are evident, too. The opening song, Hope of a Lifetime, brought me up short on just its second line as I heard Graham Nash's top line on Teach Your Children exactly reproduced for a bar or two. Honey, Honey is a rocking bluegrass number very reminiscent of Peter, Paul and Mary, and the spirit of the Everly Brothers hovers close by in quite a few places throughout the album...and so on.

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan sing beautifully together and their guitars sound just great. They are plainly very good guitarists - there is some terrific virtuoso stuff on Heaven, for example - but they also have the musical sense to keep it relatively simple most of the time, which is entirely appropriate to the material.

The songs themselves are a varied and thoroughly enjoyable mixture of the tender, the soulful and the joyously vigorous. I really like them, and some - the title track, for instance - have real lyrical substance. Whether these songs have the noble bone structure to give them real enduring beauty will only be clear with time. I suspect they may have it and I will be surprised if this album ever fades to become just a pretty period-piece. I think it's something rather special and recommend it warmly.
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on 2 January 2015
I was apprehensive about buying this album as some reviews hailed it as derivative, harking back to a bygone era when two guitars, some great harmonies and pretty stellar songs was all you needed. Luckily I'm old and untrendy enough to think that all the above can be good and thankfully proceeded as this record is a quiet gem. My only criticism is 'Milk Carton Kids', come on guys!
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on 13 November 2014
Originally heard them on the 'Another Day, Another Time' concert DVD performing alongside Marcus Mumford, Joan Baez, The Punch Brothers, Rhiannon Giddens, Oscar Isaac. They were brilliant. They play guitars like you've never heard and sing like Simon and Garfunkel. The CD 'Ash and Clay is awesome if you like this style of American folk music.
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on 2 July 2013
Came across the band after hearing a song on Bob Harris' show on radio 2. At times they are so like Simon and Garfunkel it is scary, though perhaps understandably they don't always get it spot-on. But overall a lovely easy to listen to album, with a few stand out tracks, especially "honey honey" (track 3).
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on 13 June 2013
I read about this disk in the Sunday Times Culture column. I love it. These guys play beautifully on acoustic guitars and their voices are great too. A cross between the Everlys and Simon/Garfunkel.
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on 24 June 2014
FANTASTIC ALBUM FROM THE MILK CARTON KIDS
TWO SUPERB VINTAGE GUITARS, GIBSON J45 1950's AND 1950's MARTIN TRIPLE 0
PLUS TWO SUBLIME VOICES, GORGEOUS HARMONIES
ONE CAN DRAW PARALELS WITH SIMON AND GARFUNKEL, THE EVERLEY BROTHERS AND THE BEATLES
HERE AND ONE WOULD BE CORRECT, BUT, THESE TWO GUYS ARE ALSO THE GENUINE ARTICLE,
EXTREMELY TALENTED SONGWRITERS AND PERFORMERS
CANT WAIT UNTIL THEY COME TO THE UK!
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on 20 July 2015
Absolutely sublime ! A beautiful collection of songs and a terrific DVD. Yes, you can hear many influences - the Carter Family, the Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings ....... - BUT this pair have their own identity, they are not merely copyists. A wonderful listening and viewing experience. Buy this package, you won't be disappointed. You should also buy their "Monterey" CD.
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on 8 January 2014
Only a few songs really stood out on first listen, but this is a record that demands to be replayed. After it had been on my ipod a while I found myself humming along to bits of melodies that I'd remembered subconsciously. After a few listens I'd say its one of the best albums from last year. The beautifully expressive guitar work is a marvel, and the singers voices intertwine with a delicate power. A must listen.
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on 29 May 2015
fantastic duo using two lovely sounding 1950 guitars vocals up there with crosby=nash this package cd/dvd wort the money for dvd alone very good delivery again by all your music all the way from america and still quicker than most uk third party sellers thank you
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