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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soaring choruses and ethereal synths
If you imagine the lyrical inventiveness of Edwyn Collins or Jeff Buckley mixed up with the lush electronica of Siggur Ros or pulsing beats of OMD you may have some idea of what to expect here. Saunders' crystal clear voice soars and surges throughout and the most pleasing thing for me is that this album is made up of actual songs, not just "soundscapes" carelessly...
Published 3 months ago by Big Jim

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting start, not a good album
Fairly standard indie, although there are hints of it being on the epic scale of M83 (which unfortunately it isn't). Saying that, would be interested to see how the artist's sound develops from here. Definitely give it a listen first before considering a purchase.
Published 3 months ago by TheGoodDoctor


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soaring choruses and ethereal synths, 7 April 2014
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
If you imagine the lyrical inventiveness of Edwyn Collins or Jeff Buckley mixed up with the lush electronica of Siggur Ros or pulsing beats of OMD you may have some idea of what to expect here. Saunders' crystal clear voice soars and surges throughout and the most pleasing thing for me is that this album is made up of actual songs, not just "soundscapes" carelessly churned out as filler. Indeed the album's title gives a big clue as to its content as the lyrics often deal with desolate situations but these are offset by the genuinely beautiful melodies. I thought that Asgeir's "In the Silence" would be a hard act to follow this year but we have a genuine contender here. Lovely!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Religious music for atheists? (And everyone else...), 21 April 2014
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Mr. Simon R. Young "bluntknife" (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
I gave up buying music (and books and DVDs) for Lent this year (2014), happened across PT Saunders on Youtube, and made this album my first Easter music purchase. A great choice! I know little about the guy but his chorister background (referred to by another reviewer) comes through both in the arrangements and in some of his lyrical references. However, please don't think you need to be any kind of religious believer to appreciate this music - the themes are universal - but if you are you're bound to tune into certain 'layers' (to borrow another reviewer's image).

I can't quite pin down who Saunders reminds me of. The cover art, lyrics and some of the production recall Dan Deacon's great album America from 2012, though Beautiful Desolation is far less apocalyptic. I don't get the Coldplay comparisons made by some magazines and websites. Quite a few reviewers are calling this space rock which may be as helpful a description as any (I suppose you could bracket it with dream pop as well). Listening to Beautiful Desolation is like watching the stars on a clear night or seeing a bonfire burn in a distant field: there's a sense of scale, of remoteness, and a warmth you know is there but lies beyond touch. Or maybe I'm just no good at these similes.

And finally, to return to the lyrics: this is a guy who loves women, who empathizes with the female point of view, without reducing women to objects of male fantasy - which is kind of refreshing given the drift of so much pop music these days. O yes, before I forget, I'm awarding Saunders an extra star for his thorough-going decency. How many up-and-coming musicians take the time to thank the parents of their bandmates in their liner notes? What a guy!

What more can I say? Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars stunning debut., 15 Jun 2014
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I. MACQUEEN "imac493" (Truro,UK) - See all my reviews
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this lad has some skills, demo it, i did, and then bought it. Such a breath of fresh air compared to what is churned out from his peers. Just try it....please!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing work!, 5 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
Sensational! The identity of this album is unique. It's pure, magic, suprising and beautiful. Such a great artist! I love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lose yourself., 2 Jun 2014
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Loretta Smith (Northumberland,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
Beautiful music, a pleasure to listen to. I hadn't heard of this talented man before,but I certainly know who he is now. LOVELY.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning album by new artist - where's the info sheet?, 4 May 2014
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This is a wonderful record. What a discovery. Magnificent, uplifting production of heartfelt songs from this singer songwriter and his band. Fantastic live too, if you get the chance!
Only fault is that I would've like an album sized info sheet with the record. There is only beautiful desolation and no info with this version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb album that you can listen to time and time again, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
Great melodies with thoughtful lyrics all performed to a superb standard. I found myself playing some of the tunes over and over in my head which gives you an indication of how much I enjoyed the album. I've seen them live too and they don't disappoint.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This kid is awesome!!!, 18 April 2014
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So I bought the download of this album , was so impressed I went to check when he was playing live, last night i saw this guy at the Lexington in kIngs X - about 100 people in there and i counted my self lucky to be watching this guy up close as he will fill big arenas soon if there is any justice.

Just great voice , great lyrics, great melodies, he has it all. Whoever your label is Mr Saunders they need to propel you to the next level as talent wise you are already way ahead!
And a funny guy to boot as well - good luck
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey in Space and Mind, 12 April 2014
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This review is from: Beautiful Desolation (Audio CD)
Shrek explained that ogres have layers. So does good music and Good Women. The outer layers the pure voice and harmonies of Beautiful Desolation betray Paul Thomas Saunders’ childhood as a chorister performing great exquisite music that explores mystery and fills the great space of cathedrals. Kawai Celeste is a direct reference to these angelic voices. Another layer has its roots in the popular music of the 50’s and 60’s blasting from the family jukebox. The space around the voice and its clarity is reminiscent of the great seminal music from the Sun and Muscle Shoals studios in the American South – the music that shaped British rock. The guitar break in Samara even shadows Hank Marvin’s pure sound. Saunders admits his indebtedness to Joe Meek, the pioneering record producer who expanded the sonic range of popular music and reverb, and whose Telstar brought space into the charts.
Vangelis is also an oft-quoted influence that Saunders cites, but others, such as the Kraftwerk – or even ZZ Top – are evident in the driving beat of High Heals and Lunar Veteran’s. Springsteen’s early recordings also appear in the agony and ecstasy in the story telling, and screams when the pain is too much for words. It is after this cataclysmic synthesis of the beauty of music that Beautiful Desolation raises something profound. As in great works of fine art and literature, the mastery of crafting beauty is used to explore deeper issues: of injustice, unfairness, decline, loneliness and pain. These are addressed in the subject of the songs and the cutting lines that jolt the listener. As a debut album Beautiful Desolation is amazing. What is even more amazing is that this exploration of the universe of space and human experience is the creation of a young man in a bedroom studio in Leeds. Maybe Tardis had landed.
Yes, listen to this music to let its layers unfold, also because it is great.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting start, not a good album, 11 April 2014
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Fairly standard indie, although there are hints of it being on the epic scale of M83 (which unfortunately it isn't). Saying that, would be interested to see how the artist's sound develops from here. Definitely give it a listen first before considering a purchase.
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Beautiful Desolation
Beautiful Desolation by Paul Thomas Saunders (Audio CD - 2014)
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