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3.9 out of 5 stars15
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 22 October 2013
If you liked Bible Belt, or even if you've never heard it you MUST listen to this album. Looking at all the comparisons to all the singers Diane reminds you of (I need to add Stevie Nicks and Delores O'Riordan of The Cranberries to the list) shows you the remarkable tone and range demonstrated by this outstanding NYC based singer/songwriter.
I hope that she would win more fans from her recent collaboration with Devlin, even though their musical styles are so different (another reason why the single worked. Do yourself a favour and add this album to your collection - you won't regret it!
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on 28 June 2014
Really disappointed with this cd - I had been waiting a long time for a follow up to her first fantastic album but this was not what I had expected from her. She appears to have had a total change of direction in her music (I know, other reviewers did warn me but I wanted to hear it for myself!) and having loved her old style this album just wasn't for me.
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on 15 June 2014
Some mixed reviews so far. I can relate to both the positive ones and the negative ones !
If you are a Diane Birch fan, you will find lots to love about this album and maybe lots to be disappointed with.
I decided to simply add my brief views in the hope that they provide enough encouragement for you to make your own mind up.

Speak a little louder
Plodding monotonous. The heavy echo and mushiness of the production just get in the way of whatever emotion was supposed to be in the lyrics.

Lighthouse.
Diane seems to be have been told to go to the back of the studio and the big sound takes centre stage, which is a great shame.

All the love you got
Finally, we get to hear Diane’s voice with some clarity. The soaring vocals and strong melody make this the first decent track.

Tell Me Tomorrow
Now this should have been the album’s opening track. This motors along really nicely, and is a real grower.

Superstars
One of the best tracks on the album. Haunting and beautiful.

Pretty in Pain and Love and War
Good quality pop songs,

Frozen Over
OK, but a little too repetitive

Diamonds in the Dust
Diane’s been sent to the back again while the production team take over.

UNFKD
Astonishingly beautiful. Diane at her best.

It Plays On
A strong finish for the std album

Walk the Rainbow to the End
Absolutely delightful – how on earth did this get “relegated” to be on the deluxe version only ?

Adelaide and Staring at You
Nothing special, but again totally swamped by the production.

Hold on a Little Longer and Truer Than Blue
Just beautiful – so glad I bought the deluxe version.
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on 10 August 2015
Maybe I loved Bible Belt too much, but I'm having trouble with this one. A great deal of what I liked best about that excellent first album seems to me to be largely absent here, except in occasional flashes which keep hope alive. Maybe this album embodies exactly what she wanted to do, in which case I'll trust her and keep trying, but the impression I can't avoid is that too many other hands have become involved in a possibly misguided attempt to broaden her appeal. Both the writing and the performances seem to me to be less sharp, less well-focused, less characterful. I persist in believing that Diane Birch is an outstanding talent that will survive this disappointment.
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on 5 January 2014
I love Bible Belt, Diane Birch's first album and her performances on "Live at Daryls House" are ones I revisit time and time again. There's even a "YouTube" of her scat sax solo taken from that show: also well worth searching out.

So when I heard Homer Steinweiss (Dap-Kings drummer) was producing the new album I was encouraged. Nick Movshon was on Bass too, again great credentials for a retro soul sound that would suit her voice.

Anticipation increased further when one of the first tracks of the new album was co-written with Eg White, someone who has worked with Adele, amongst many others.

First listen of "Speak a Little Louder" was disappointing to say the least. I decided to listen to it for another week before writing a review. In the end I left it till well after Christmas...

Well, I got the retro sounds expected but not from the decade I anticipated!
"Speak a Little Louder" starts out and I'm expecting Gary Newman to start singing.
"Tell me Tomorrow" has "Hey,hey,hey" backing vocals that Bananarama would be proud of!
"Superstars" has Duran Duran keyboard samples off to a tee, "Diamonds in the Dust" their guitar sound and John Taylor (Duran Bassist) plays on the best track, "All the Love you Got". Given the quality of this track and its timeless feel and tempo, virtually everything else just seems hopelessly derivative and clunky.
"Frozen Over" is early Madonna circa "Like a Virgin". Walk the Rainbow" starts off like The Baby's "Isn't it Time", and "Staring at You" evokes New Order and "Blue Monday". There's also just time to mention numerous Abbaesque "Man after Midnight" type bass lines on some of the few up-tempo numbers, all which all seem too derivative for their own good.

I guess in the hiatus between "Bible Belt" and this album, a number of new female artists have come to the fore and Diane seems to have upped her game with her vocal performances. I don't regard Emeli Sande and Ellie Goulding as in the same league but this album seems to have too many ponderous big voiced ballads that lack any subtlety vocally and instrumentally , much like the previous 2 singers mentioned.

I've forced myself to listen to this album time and time again and with the exception of "All the Love you Got" (a great track), it's one that does not reveal hidden depths but continues to irritate with its naffness!
It would appear some of the worst traits of 80's and 90's pop have been thrown in by the Producer to give it a retro feel when in fact these are superfluous and the songs should speak for themselves. Just watched "It Plays On" on CBS News with Diane on keys and a guitarist, it sounds so much better than the overproduced album track to me!

Looking forward to the third album, hopefully produced by Betty Wright again?
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on 4 December 2015
there were a lot of comments that this album was not as good as bible belt. I would totally disagree.
I really like diane birch's songwritting and music.
I look forward to her next album.
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on 4 July 2015
I loved Bible Belt so I was glad to get this follow up album, albeit long after it was released. Diane Birch is pretty unique and brings a touch of class to the pop scene.
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on 3 May 2016
such a disappointing follow up to her excellent debut, Bible Belt...why oh why did Diane have to go down the Florence route.
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on 23 July 2015
Love this album. Diane Birch has a wonderful distinctive voice. All the songs are catchy and individual. Would recommend.
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on 29 October 2013
Wanted to like it like the last review ,overproduced,commercial she is so talented its a reall shame .sometimes little and less is better.her first album was a classic ,it took her three years to make this album ,maybe she was given the wrong advice from producers ect her first album was a solo venture and it really shows she doesn't need any help from others she's talented enough to do it alone!!!
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