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4.7 out of 5 stars47
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 17 February 2014
Just downloaded this from a rival download site (eye chewns) but prefer the reviews and content of Amazon, so had to log on to write a quick review.

June Tabor collaboration aside, this is the follow up of Meet You There - to my ears, the most complete and satisfying collection of Oystertunes. With the task of following up a landmark album, the loss of Chopper, you would forgive the band of feeling a little pressure. Should this have been the fact, it certainly doesnt show. Diamonds on the Water picks up where Meet You There left off, and the band turn in another set of gentle, melodic, warm and beautiful songs. Gone is the young-man angst of Shouting End of Life, the boistrous nature of Blood Wedding, back in is the warmth and strength of the songs that made MYT such a great experience and is exploited again.

The bar is set high with the the opening salvo of A Clowns Heart and A River Runs that showcase the band in their most melodic mood, great vocals set to aching melodies. The high standard of the opening two is surpassed by Lay Your Dreams Down Gently, for me the album highlight up there with Bury Me Standing from MYT. A lot of bands this far in their careers struggle to replicate the success of early releases, The Oysters buck that trend with songwriting reaching a consistency that realises stronger and stronger albums the further they go in their careers. As if often the case, they visit songs of relationships, environmental and social commentary, each one handled with skill. Even if you aren't a little left of centre, like this lot, it is hard to deny the sincerity, the gravity and the skill of writing and delivery. The Oysterband are a rare commodity and fully deserve their place in Folk royalty.

If you are new to The Oysterband, firstly, where have you been? Secondly start here, then Meet You There, then keep working backwards through their catalogue. Many pearls await you...
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on 11 March 2014
I have been a fan of the Oysters for more years than I (or probably they) wish to remember and I suspect that I possess all of their recorded work, including their collaborations with other singers and musicians. This album sounds like typical Oysterband and would fit at any point into their work of the last 15 or 20 years. This is a little bit surprising to me, as there are some changes of line-up, most notably the departure of "Chopper", a.k.a. Ray Cooper, and I thought this might be the opportunity for some small adjustments to the sound. But if one likes the Oysterband one can't dislike this record. I have one quibble: The Oysters sometimes include a traditional song and on this album it's the well-known "Once I Had A Sweetheart". I would have preferred a less common choice, particularly since I think that the Pentangle nailed this particular song in a modern version some four decades or so ago.
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Just to add my two penn'orth to the chorus of praise here for this album. It is excellent, with fine songwriting, great instrumental work and some really good singing including the sort of fine harmonies I love to hear on an English folk album.

It does an old Morrisman's heart good to see (and hear) the wonderful array of talent in English folk at the moment and to see it in such good hands. The Oysterband are among the best of those hands and I suggest that anyone with any interest in contemporary folk music should read NA Davis's excellent review here, listen to a few samples perhaps and then snap this up. It's a little gem.
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on 17 February 2014
Fans of contempory folk music have been spoilt this month with releases from Seth Lakeman and this wonderful album from the Oysterband. Following Ragged Kingdom was never going to be easy but this one does it and by the time the album ends you will hit repeat and listen to it again.
As with 2007's Meet You There this is a collection of lyrically and beautifully melodic folk songs with just enough "rock" moments to give it some spice, not to the same degree as the Levellers but enough none the less. It will not take many listens for this album to engage, it’s a very immediate album and set, I am sure, to be one the folk albums of the year.
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on 11 July 2014
All but one track are original songs written by band members. This is definitely my favourite album of theirs as it has a wealth of beautifully written songs with good melodies and strong poetic lyrics. Having heard almost all of their previous material ( which is brilliant of course) this album is a welcome change. If you are fans you will not be disappointed and if you are new to Oysterband I recommend this album which I think is ,technically and musically their best. If you like good strong lyrics and melodies both up-tempo and ballad you will love this album.
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on 28 July 2014
One of favourite bands don't disappoint on this record, losing two of there members hasn't weakened there songwriting . A very emotive record, particularly lyrically , a river runs, lay your dreams down gently and spirit of dust are some of the best songs put on record, If your new to the oysterband it's a good place to start and it's a mystery why there not bigger. With pop culture overwhelmed with spoilt rich kids and mediocre rock bands, this how music should be honest and emotional. Buy it.
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on 13 March 2014
First new album since the June Tabor 'Ragged Kingdom' collaboration, that was 2011, and it's been well worth the wait! All new material, but those of us who've seen them live recently will already be familiar with many of the tracks. I must admit I bought it out of loyalty, but I haven't stopped playing it since
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on 2 March 2014
This is not the Oysterband of 'The Shouting End of Life' or 'Holy Bandits' More reflective, mellow and melodic. 'Spirit of Dust' has a great uplifting singalong chorus and is bound to be a great live track. 'Call You Friend' is probably the most upbeat song here. 'Once I Had A Sweetheart' is a beautiful traditional offering, John Jones proving again what a great singer he is. 'Like A Swimmer In The Ocean' ends the album in beautiful, acoustic reflective mood. Look forward to Sheffield on March 21st!
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on 25 March 2014
This is a great album. There is good variety and balance to the album . Each time I listen I pick up something different.
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on 24 July 2014
Been around for a long while now,surely too long to bring out another great album of original songs .Yes they have! perhaps lacking the anger of old but full of great melodies and stories.An absolute classic,a must buy.
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