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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 4.5 Star Debut
The debut album by London Grammar, If You Wait, has, no pun intended, been well worth the wait. The band spent 18 months writing and recording this album, and that patience really shows. It feels to me like there's a lot of bands that rush to get albums out on a wave of hype, then they're rather disappointing, but this is not the case here.
London Grammar's sound...
Published 13 months ago by Sprootie

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit repetitive
I bought this after hearing them perform on tv as i was very impressed with the lead singer and although it is good it doesnt have any stand out tracks and is all a bit samey.
Published 6 months ago by catlady


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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 4.5 Star Debut, 9 Sep 2013
By 
This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
The debut album by London Grammar, If You Wait, has, no pun intended, been well worth the wait. The band spent 18 months writing and recording this album, and that patience really shows. It feels to me like there's a lot of bands that rush to get albums out on a wave of hype, then they're rather disappointing, but this is not the case here.
London Grammar's sound could be summed up as a cross between the XX and Florence Welch. They have the chilled minimalistic vibe of the XX, but then Hannah Reid's voice just takes it to a new level. She can do the softer pieces very well, almost whispering at times, but then when it's required, she soars up. She has a tone in her voice that just fits perfectly with the accompaniment.
The album opens with a gentle synth riff which the guitar gentle picks away over the top of. Reid then begins the album with a very gentle opening, 'Hey now, letters burning by my bed for you'. The track continues like this until a gentle crescendo builds and the sound swells up before gently fading away. 'Hey Now' is there best known track to date, and makes a great opening to the album.
'Stay Awake', the second track starts with a ethereal sound slowly flitting around before a piano and guitar play almost in unison. A driving drum beat is then added and Reid's distinctive vocals are then thrown in.
The beauty of this album is how little seems to be going on at any one point. Everything feels like it's been very carefully considered and honed. Nothing feels like it's redundant. But all of this just draws more attention to Reid's voice and allows it to truly take centre stage as it deserves.
'Wating My Young Years', is a gentle almost soulful ballad. Reid wrote the lyrics about an ex-boyfriend, and it shows with lyrics like 'I'm wasting my young years'. The piano accompaniment with occasional guitar flits is London Grammar summed up in a nut shell.
'Metal & Dust' is another great track. It starts with a brief distorted sample and piano before Reid starts singing. The tracks then gains momentum during the chorus with a drum providing a sharpness to punctuate the rest of the rounded, delicate sound. Toward the end of the track Reid's vocals are heavily distorted and modified as the track grows towards it's pinnacle before gentle fading back.
'Interlude' is a gentle track, but sadly made very little impact on me. It has just Reid singing accompanied by a piano for most of the track. It's probably the weakest point in the album in my opinion, but every album has to have one I suppose.
The final track also shares it's name with the album, 'If you wait'. It's slow and gentle. It swells slowly in the middle and then fades away until it's only the strings guiding you to the close of the album.
This album is a masterclass of the philosophy that less is more. It's beautifully worked and structured and produced brilliantly. However my main fault with this album is that the tracks that are a little bit more varied just end up sounding boring in comparison to the four and five better one's.
In short, this is an excellent debut, one of the best for a while. Perhaps not as good as the XX's debut but not too far away. I'm not quite sure it's a five star album, but definitely worth 4.5 stars. I look forward to see if they can take this sound forwards and produce more great albums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting and emotive debut., 8 Aug 2014
By 
A. Moriarty "mumoftheyear" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
I discovered this band when I heard 'Metal & Dust' during an episode of 'Beauty & The Beast' and was immediately drawn to the voice of Hannah Reid and the power of the melody. I then discovered a cover version of Chris Issak's 'Wicked Game' on the latest Dermot O'Leary Saturday Sessions compilation album and I loved what they did with it. A sparce sound (there are only three of them) that will always sound great live too. No over-production here, thank God.

So when I saw their debut album available for only £5.99 on Amazon (with auto-rip) I couldn't resist it and took a leap of faith. I am so glad that I did. I have listened to it contantly ever since on my computer and, when the CD arrived the next day, in the car too. It is just such a beautiful album. For me, the most important aspects in the music I like to listen to are melody and emotion. I don't necessarily need variety as long as it's not samey. This debut is full of great melodies and I can honestly say there are no weak tracks. It's one of those 'hairs standing up on the back of your neck jobs. 'Metal and Dust' is the most well known track I think and my concern was that it was going to turn out to be head and shoulders above the rest, but that's not the case. I love the overall melanchony nature of it (inevitable when hearing Hannah's voice) but when the beats kick in as well, you have a perfect recipe. My favourite tracks are the opening track 'Hey Now', 'Wasting My Young Years', 'Strong' and the title track as well as the aforementioned' Metal & Dust' but it really is excellent from start to finish.

I will be watching out for this band and waiting for their next offering with baited breath. In the meantime, I think this recording is not likely to be far from my CD/MP3 player.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautiful!, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
I never leave reviews but this is such a stirring unique album, I couldn't not. This woman is amazing.....people compare her to Florence Welch and I understand why, but this vocalist does heartbreakingly sad like Florence could never do (not being mean, it's just true). Very few albums manage to make a tear roll down my face, but this is one of them. It's not all sad and melancholic but my god, they do it so well! Beautifully produced, a pleasure to own. Thank you London Grammar.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic first album, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
I first heard London Grammar on the radio and her voice blew me way. I started telling my friends about them. It has an incredible resonance, a bit of Florence,a bit of Goldfrapp and a bit of originality. A beautiful beautiful album,every track is incredible, I hope they go on to make many more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good indeed, 20 Sep 2013
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
I'm always dubious when there is a lot of fuss and hype about a new album from an "exciting new band" because it's often just very ordinary stuff being cleverly marketed. Not here, though. I tried this without much expectation and was very impressed.

London Grammar's sound is haunting and mournful with generally restrained but very smart production so that these songs shine like melancholy gems. They are tuneful and quite varied, and although they're about well-worn themes they treat them with a lyrical originality which is very refreshing. I find lines like "Stay awake with me..." very evocative, for example. The instrumental work is very good, and Hannah Reid's vocals are both ætherial and powerful by turns - I was reminded of Judy Tzuke in some places and Annie Lennox in others - and she radiates emotional tenderness and integrity. I'm very well out of my teens now (to say the least), but listening to this I was suddenly nursing a bruised and yearning young heart again.

This is a little bit of class, and I suspect will become one of those albums whose sound defines a year for many people. Very warmly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Expected, 24 Jan 2014
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This review is from: If You Wait: Deluxe (Audio CD)
Bought this for my girlfriend as a Christmas present but really fallen in love with it myself!

The first track Hey Now is my favourite for sure.

Not an upbeat album but very melodic and enchanting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If You Wait (Deluxe Edition)., 14 Oct 2014
By 
J. Mcdonald "Yelochre" (Glasgow, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If You Wait: Deluxe (Audio CD)
Hauntingly beautiful, nocturnal, music to chill out to - no matter how you perceive London Grammar's sound, this is an easy CD to like and one that stays in your mind.

The quality of Hannah Reid's voice is immediately transfixing; a classic, deep-toned mezzo in range with an artlessly unaffected style - she sings with her natural accent and doesn't over-decorate. With excellent diction in delivering the words, she possesses a commanding maturity of sound for her years; when I first heard her I though I was listening to the versatile and much respected June Tabor - it's heartening to discover a young singer of this quality enjoying popularity with such a wide listenership.
The trio's music is very nicely conceived; electronica, perhaps, (why bother labelling it?) but utterly timeless. A basic keyboards and electric/acoustic guitar line-up, slightly melancholic - but never gloomy - the songs are varied and with plenty of melodic value; lyrically pleasing if not exactly profound, but Reid could sing the yellow pages and make it feel like poetry.
The deluxe version is definitely the one to go for; the six extra songs - including "Help Me Lose My Mind" with Disclosure - are well worth the extra pound or so if you're buying the CD. No Lyrics are included, so if the MP3 download is your preference you won't miss out - the lyrics are easily found on the internet anyway.

This is a fine debut album and the band's music seems to be popping up all across the media right now - I just hope over-exposure doesn't blunt enthusiasm for their next release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Can't Wait ( for the next release)., 8 Aug 2014
This review is from: If You Wait (Audio CD)
I'm sixty one years of age and I thought this cd was truly beguiling and inspirational. The lead singer's voice is captivating, pitch perfect and it has a soulful quality to it. One of the best voices I have heard since Dusty Springfield. This cd is a must for any serious music lover of whatever age. The music will last beyond any generation, it is that good. London Grammar have a very bright future!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best album in a long time, 27 Sep 2014
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This review is from: If You Wait: Deluxe (Audio CD)
I don't take much notice of a lot of the new pop / chart music that comes out these days; shows like X Factor have flooded the scene with cheap knock-off, soon forgotten filler.
A complete turnoff for anyone over the age of 12.
But every now and then a thoroughly decent act emerges worthy of the attention of even the most jaded music lover. A chance hearing of a London Grammar single on a station I wouldn't normally have on, literally caused me to stop what I was doing and just.. listen. I loved it. The album become a must-have buy on the strength of that single, and maybe one other. Having now listened to it many, many times, I can honestly say it is one of my standout music purchases of recent years. Hannah Reid's soaring vocals are utterly sublime; this girl has a hell of a voice, and the guys on instruments are just as creative and talented. The compositions clearly have had a lot of thought go into them. The pedigree of the production team is evident with clean, balanced, beautifully crafted arrangements. As another reviewer pointed out "less is more" and that is one of the album's main strengths. There's not a bad song on the album, not even an average one in my opinion, but my favourites are Wasting My Young Years, If You Wait, Strong, and Help Me Lose My Mind (collaboration with dance act Disclosure).
Amazing first effort. These guys deserve to go far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't stop playing it!, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: If You Wait (MP3 Download)
I love it and can't stop playing it! I couldn't leave home without putting Stay Awake with Me, Nightcall, Sights and If You Wait onto my phone and playing it really loudly and singing along in my car. I discovered London Grammar whilst being poorly and not being able to get out of bed for a day. I watched hours of footage from the Glastonbury festival on the BBC iplayer and was flicking the line up, learning about lots of new bands but couldn't tear myself away from London Grammar's hour set at Glastonbury.
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