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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late Night Reflections
This is the third Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn (Everything but the Girl) CD I have reviewed. It is quieter, more reflective, and so personal it's as if we are listening in on conversations between these two gifted artists. I find myself popping this one in late at night a lot.
Every fan of this eclectic British duo were happy to receive another EBTG album as Ben Watt...
Published on 15 Jan 2003

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but predictable
EBTG makes relaxing music which always balances on the verge of becoming predictable and even dull. They just stayed on the right side here but they made better records
Published 19 months ago by Frank Hendriks


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Late Night Reflections, 15 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This is the third Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn (Everything but the Girl) CD I have reviewed. It is quieter, more reflective, and so personal it's as if we are listening in on conversations between these two gifted artists. I find myself popping this one in late at night a lot.
Every fan of this eclectic British duo were happy to receive another EBTG album as Ben Watt had spent months in the hospital, a rare intestinal disorder ravaging his body and nearly killing him. His final recovery left Ben a shell of his former self, with a continuing life long battle to maintain his weight and health, only three feet of intestine left. It is little wonder that this is a quiet and reflective effort.
Every song is something special on this one. From the opening song "Rollercoaster" to the short and poignant "Disenchanted" there is just one elegantly produced and intellectually engaging pop song after another. When the lusciously smooth vocals of Tracey Thorn are added to the mix what you have is magic. The only way I can think of to describe her vocals is maybe if you took Annie Lennox's wonderful voice, took the edge off, and replaced it with a smoother tone.....?
"Two Star" and "I Don't Understand Anything" are particular highlights in a CD full of them. Oddly enough, "Missing," the dance floor sensation which finally got them noticed in America, is the only song out of place here. But it's a great song to listen to so just enjoy it as well. If you pick this up and just listen to the first three cuts, you'll be hooked.
Want to listen in to Tracey Thorn talking to Ben Watt in a sweetly arranged song? Here are some words to 'Disenchanted':
"Look at you now, your disenchanted, can't believe how things can change. How much can you withstand? The wasted time, the money spent, a sign that reads 'For sale or Rent.' You know your not the only one to wait so long. I wonder can you try again? Are you that strong?"
If you think pop music can't be well produced, catchy, and still be about something, then give this one a try...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bedsit music has never sounded so good!!!, 19 Jan 2002
If you're a fan of 'bedsit' music then you can do no better than Everything But The Girl to give you a taste of life in the not so fast lane. Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn's world is one of loneliness, misunderstanding, confusion, emotional turmoil, and insecurity. This is probably why they have built up such a loyal fan base. They manage to connect with so many people by tackling taboo subjects such as these and the ultimate fragility of the human heart. They're sensitive souls, these two.
They are also incredibly talented, in a refreshing and delightfully understated way. 'Amplified Heart' just served to reinforce this view, which is one that I have held of them for years. Tracey Thorn has got a lovely voice, there's no other way to describe it, and she sings in such a soulful and emotional way, it is hard not to get totally absorbed in the songs she sings here. The opening track 'Rollercoaster' illustrates the world I have described previously and sets the standard for the rest of the recording. 'I still haven't got over it even now, I want to spend huge amounts of time on my own', is the opening line, and then later on she sings, 'I want to spend huge amounts of time in my room'. Everything But The Girl are the only band in history who can make wallowing in self pity sound simply wonderful. You get more of the same on the next track, 'Troubled Mind', which is a slightly faster pace than the preceeding track. The best thing about EBTG is that they make such great use of instrumentation to convey feeling. The instrumental breaks on 'Rollercoaster' sound like whining, but Tracey Thorn can get away with whining. Not many people can.
On the next track, 'I Don't Understand Anything', she is really crying out to be understood. Help her Ben, help her! 'Walking to You' follows, and Ben is heard on joint lead vocals with Tracey. Ben isn't the greatest singer, but because he is such a creative genius, he is forgiven. In any case, Ben and Tracey harmonise so well together it ends up sounding fantastic anyway. You then get more inner turmoil on the next track 'Get Me' on which Tracey pleads, 'Do you really get me?'. I think we do Tracey, I think we do.
Things cheer up a bit towards the end, with the excellent 'We Walk The Same Line' and the positive '25th December'.
The best tracks are probably 'Walking To You' (excellent harmonies), and two tracks solely written by Tracey: 'I Don't Understand Anything' and 'We Walk The Same Line', which demonstrate what a great songwriter she is as well as a vocalist.
If you live in a bedsit already you'll love it. If you don't, try to imagine what it's like with the help of this album. Or better still just enjoy the album for being 11 tracks of excellent, thought provoking music, from what are surely a still very underrated pair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favourite EBTG album (today...), 22 Jan 2011
By 
M. Saxby (Fleet, England) - See all my reviews
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This is stripped back, relaxed album from EBTG on the whole.

Mostly guitar and drums gently providing a backdrop for, mostly, Tracey's lovely voice (although Ben gets in on the act now and then).

Less self indulgent and more commercial than Eden, it's still a million miles away from their later dance oriented stuff (which I also like).

As always some of the lyrics cut like a knife and Tracey Thorn's delivery adds to their poigniancy.

I'm on a bit of an EBTG rediscovery at the moment and this is my favourite album at the moment.

Shockingly I'd never heard the album version of Missing before (always the Todd Terry remix - which is here too as a bonus track) and it's like rediscovering a lost love is even more beautiful and warm than you remember.

Best couple of quid I've spent in a long, long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pure class, 7 Oct 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (West Bromwich, West Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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Originally had this album on vinyl years ago and it still sounds as good as it did way back then.Tracey Thorn has a superb voice and everything she sings has pure raw emotion in it.
EBTG were and are a top class duo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great update, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
An old favorite made even better with bonus material, really adds to the enjoyment and helps you understand how they develop their albums
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best EBTG album..........., 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
Amplified Heart is the best EBTG album of all....There's more to be discovered than MISSING here. I have the original release but i decided to get this 2CD expanded edition. Love those Demos & Live tracks so much. Tracey & Ben are so talented! Love their voices :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Version Delight, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
You know the album, so just to say that in this particular case it is definitely worth the 'upgrade' to the deluxe version. The extra songs and versions are excellent. Particularly like the songs ' Richard Says' (who is this Richard? Same guy in Last Time I Saw Richard?) and Back at Square One. Nice Home Demo of Troubled Mind. If you like Tracey's voice - and don't we all - the Home Demo's are always worth hearing to catch that soulful singing in an earlier, more raw form. And some great live versions here too. Great album, super extras.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential EBTG, 26 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
Another great reissue of EBTG, includes home demos , live recording and bsides - also remixes of the classic Missing
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5.0 out of 5 stars sublime, 20 Dec 2013
By 
E. Novo "edouardo" (madrid) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
one more gem from the band that never made a bad record
the reissue is like a box of candy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best reissue ever, 11 Dec 2013
By 
J. Matysik (Oakland CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Amplified Heart (Audio CD)
Most reissues put a bunch of crap that should have never seen the light of day onto an old cd and call it a deluxe cd. This is an exception. There are different versions and demos of songs from Amplified Heart that enhance the experience. I especially like the live versions since there isn't that much out there of EBTG live.
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