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153 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely change of pace
This album has really brightened a dark January. It's a simply lovely, slightly melancholy change of pace for the fabulous SEB. Her voice has never sounded as fabulous as it does on this collection of stripped-back tracks. Her song-writing collaboration with Ed Harcourt has paid creative dividends, every song here is a memorable keeper. I won't mind if Sophie returns to...
Published 8 months ago by Mr. D. Glennon

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars ... I had heard two of the tracks and really liked them. Not sure about the other tracks but ...
Bought the album because I had heard two of the tracks and really liked them. Not sure about the other tracks but they might grow on me with playing.
Published 1 month ago by Annie


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely change of pace, 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
This album has really brightened a dark January. It's a simply lovely, slightly melancholy change of pace for the fabulous SEB. Her voice has never sounded as fabulous as it does on this collection of stripped-back tracks. Her song-writing collaboration with Ed Harcourt has paid creative dividends, every song here is a memorable keeper. I won't mind if Sophie returns to more dance-oriented pop for her next album, but this is certainly a lovely change of pace in the meantime. Heartily recommended for fans and newcomers alike. I don't often buy CDs these day, opting more often for the convenience of downloading, but I'm very happy to add this one to my collection. I hope it's a huge success for Sophie!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
I heard "Young Blood" on Radio 2 and thought it was superb so had to buy this album...it is superb. There are so many great songs on this......I have played it so many times. I was never tempted to buy any of her other albums but so glad I got this one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
Did not know this singer until I heard her on breakfast TV. Found her style quite unusual and calming - and this does mean repetitive. Her range is varied and enchanting. I listened to her when I am working on the computer and her voice brings warmth into the room.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Short of Perfect, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
I was introduced to Sophie during Strictly Come Dancing as I expect a lot of her younger listeners did. She seemed like a lovely person thus I googled her and discovered a new world of streamlined yet artful pop. Wanderlust, however, moves completely away from the whole dance diva routine and into a lot deeper, traditional sound.

The opener, Birth of An Empire is grand, boisterous and plays to Sophie's strengths. The use of Russian sounding strings along with Sophie's delicate, ornate vocals is really something to behold. It is followed up by the equally as strong Until The Stars Collide which features my favourite, a harpsichord! This song is quite deep and sad and Sophie really sells her sadness with her vocals.

Runaway Dreamer, The Deer & The Wolf and Young Blood tone things down a bit but doesn't tone the quality down one bit. Young Blood, being the first single really deserved more airtime than it was given and in my opinion was capable of being a major hit. Lets hope that Runaway Dreamer has better success in the charts!

The album then brakes into the dreamlike Interlude which feels like it may have been ripped from Alice in Wonderland. The production of the vocals on this track is slightly iffy but the clever sampling still pulls it through.

The second half of the album is a lot darker and involves a lot of ghost stories. 13 Little Dolls has an eerie atmosphere, Love Is A Camera tells the tale of a witch and Cry To the Beat of The Band is a lot more loud and foreboding - perhaps a slight Tom Waits influence shining through.

The closing track When The Storm Has Blown Over is a nice contrast to the sweeping arrangements of the tracks before it and ties a neat ribbon on a beautiful album. I urge anyone to try this album - this is one of the best I have heard in ages.

10/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sophie Delivers On Her Promise, 17 Feb 2014
This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
Immediate strains of Eastern European strings introduce opening track “Birth Of An Empire.” With Cello and violin provided by sisters Amy and Gita Langley (who’s contributions appear throughout many of the tracks) fans of classic orchestral rock like Led Zepplin’s “Kashmir” will find these cultural influences familiar. Over Harcourt’s piano structures, Sophie voice has never sounded better as she presents the imagery of national pride and its ever changing landscape. Every empire is initially begun through the birth of a single child. The legacy continues to grow as each successive generation strives to make their mark. The songs chorus vocals are full and majestic without sounding artificial. An impressive instrumental break commences as the string section, deep tom toms and familiar bass patterns come together, providing a timely bridge. Background vocals are actually placed in front of the lines “break through the web that I have spun” and “it doesn’t matter where you are when I am gone.” These vocals become even more creative on the songs outro where military style snare drumming leads into the more fluid chorus. “The pull of where you’re from is far too strong” becomes the central takeaway message.

“Until The Stars Collide” delivers on the promised live-in-the-studio feel from the advance video blogs taken during these recording sessions and shared with her fans over the past year. This is particularly noticeable in the straight forward drumming, driving harpsichord and start-stop tandem bass guitar /drum accents. “Fiction is all I’m holding on to” completes an overall literary metaphor of books used to describe an important relationship. While a clever musical reference is made to Sophie’s earlier works as the song pivots on chorus ending words “moving on.” There is a slightly warped presence to guitar chords strummed on the “everybody knows” bridge, creating a floating sensation. The title itself is sung with an angelic sheen around it, as if calling to the ghost of Emily Dickinson.

“Runaway Daydreamer” continues the emphasis on middle eastern string sections, before settling on a single electric pianos. There Sophie presents a tale of personal musing against this unencumbered musical backdrop. Live-in-the-studio drums return before the massive vocal hook emerges. Here the multilayered vocals reveal creative design, using proper recording studio techniques for the best possible results. A playful nod to the Temptations (and Rolling Stones cover of) “Just My Imagination” (running away with me) emerges. Having previously composed and recorded a song called “Me and My Imagination” on 2007’s “Trip The Light Fantastic,” a historical depth emerges from this returned to theme. The joys of a “secret escape” are extolled, sharing a theme that approaches “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” territory.

“The Deer And The Wolf” introduce guitar as the dominant instrument, with a strong riff providing forward momentum. This track also appears to have developed out of the full band playing together, as opposed to a producer meticulously assembling looped passages. This throwback style of recording where the band is all playing together has delivered refreshingly natural sounding results. Of particular note is deep pocket driving bass guitar, especially on the bridge. The songs subject matter deals with how opposite forces in this life need each other for universal balance. Catchy sing-along hooks emerge on both the “Come away come away darling” bridge as well as the “On and on and on my love” chorus.

Centrally located in the tracklist order comes the first song (and first single) initially revealed from this collection, the beautiful and unfeigned “Young Blood.” With an active piano melody leading the way, percussionist Phil Wilkinson plays soft jazzy brush strokes on snare drum over Amy Langley’s deep Cello notes. The orchestral feel is completed through Arnulf Lindner’s Double Bass contributions. All of this provides the necessary sonic environment for Sophie’s lovely, heartfelt vocals. These lyrics reference how a part of you still sees the person you love as the way they originally were when you first met them. The passage of time does not really change any of that. An inquisitive question is then posed “is that how you see me?” Subtle lyrical details come in to focus, as first bridge line “Remember when” initially uses “we were the diamonds in the coal” in place of “we used to talk of growing old.” While on the melodic and thoroughly addictive chorus, the word ‘take’ replaces ‘see’ on the turnaround line “There’ll be a day to take the best of us.”

Read more about this record here: [...]
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cd, 22 Jan 2014
By 
A. Soares (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
I bought the special booklet version, the photos and the packaging are very beautiful.
The songs are good, not the usual dance/electro feel, but great pop music for grown ups. Her voice is very distinctive and it shines on balads like Young Blood and Runaway Daydreamer.
The opening track, Birth of a Nation, is an epic, eastern feel powerhouse, love it.
This is a new direction for Sophie, and it truly deserves praise.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!!!, 25 Feb 2014
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BRILLIANT!
TREAT YOURSELF,OR BETTER STILL,GET SOMEONE ELSE TO TREAT YOU.
A MASTERPIECE FROM AN ARTIST THAT I HAVEN'T REALLY LISTENED TO BEFORE, BUT SO PLEASED THAT I HAVE NOW.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good work Sophie, 20 Jan 2014
By 
r (weybridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
Something different, something better. A long way from previous chart pop, but equally not as 'serious' as life long jazz and club singers. A mix of tempos and of orchestration and production styles from rockin to a bit slushy. Strangely reminds me of Robbie I somehow. Overall good. Next album should be interesting.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different sound, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (MP3 Download)
First SEB album I've bought as it was not 'Pop' great lyric writting and eclectic sound ......quite eastern european; fantastic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back with a bang !, 14 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Wanderlust (Audio CD)
Bought this album off the strength of the first single having heard it on radio two. Fabulous album, lots of superb tracks.
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Wanderlust
Wanderlust by Sophie Ellis Bextor (Audio CD - 2014)
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