Customer Reviews


11 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and original
The decision Thirteen Senses took early in their career to develop their song-writing potential in preference to sacrificing their credibility as a the latest boy band sensation is once again justified by the creation of a superb album. Musically, A Strange Encounter is as inspired as its predecessors. The melodies are beautifully crafted, expertly produced, very...
Published 8 months ago by RossB

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I write this with a heavy heart and overall sense of disappointment.
I have been an avid 13 senses fan from the beginning, and after a long time between the last album (the excellent Crystal Sounds) the difficult second album (Contact) and their debut (The Invitation), this is an absolute disappointment.

Granted, there are a couple of great tracks on here, but at just under 39 minutes in length I feel there are 3 too many...
Published 8 months ago by Karlos


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and original, 18 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
The decision Thirteen Senses took early in their career to develop their song-writing potential in preference to sacrificing their credibility as a the latest boy band sensation is once again justified by the creation of a superb album. Musically, A Strange Encounter is as inspired as its predecessors. The melodies are beautifully crafted, expertly produced, very moving and uplifting; lyrically the songs are captivating,poetic and intense.

The album attempts to conceptualise an elusive central theme elucidated by Will South in a recent interview: 'Every time I look at the stars at night it never fails to be inspiring. I mean, here we are on a giant spinning ball of rock, whizzing through space, essentially in the middle of nowhere. Why? Who knows...certainly not me. But I can at least put some of my rambling thoughts down on paper and make an album about it.'

This theme - man's relationship to the stars perhaps? - is referenced in the lines which frame the album:`One of these days, One of these nights, they'll be calling for you'. There is a possible allusion to the Eagles' 'One of these Nights' here,while at times the melody echoes 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' (South cites The Moody Blues and Mike Oldfield as major influences on the album). The title of the opening track, 'A Brief History', hints at the brevity of human existence, while man's insignificance in the universe is pursued in the third track, 'A Strange Encounter': `are we only a few, lonely hearts killing time in an empty jar?' a reference perhaps to Pink Floyd's 'Wish You Were Here': 'we're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.' This sense of our cosmic loneliness at times informs 'The Hour' (the stars `rule with no desire....the last of the gods on earth..... They can disappear, no way you can leave') and 'In Lunar Light': `all things must come here at last, the light it will fail'.

Then suddenly, just as a sense of despair threatens to become overwhelming, the mood changes. 'Gathered Here a Stranger' introduces a note of optimism, developed in 'Here and Now' and in the inspirational 'Waves', with its anthemic tribute to the redemptive power of human love: `Every star is on its way, you're the only one that stays'. The album is certainly different to its predecessors, 'more self-contained and progressive', as Norman Fleischer puts it. Herein lies its genius and genre: Thirteen Senses have been so artistically successful over the last decade that comparisons with the great 70s progressive bands are starting to become appropriate. And being retro has not done Muse any harm. Thirteen Sense deserve just as much recognition and respect.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange encounter indeed, 5 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
Ah, Thirteen Senses. A band I've loved since I first heard the strident chords of Thru The Glass on Radio 1 one afternoon. Hurrying to buy the album (The Invitation), I discovered a band with superb musicianship and an excellence in the craft of song writing. It displayed light and dark, and everything in between. It had poignant lyrics, brilliant melodies and some spine-tingling moments. Over the next two albums, they continued this display of song-writing/performing talent, never straying far from the blueprint set out in their first album, but with songs that good, I never minded.

This fourth album has been some time in the making, and with the release date pushed back at least twice that I'm aware of, I was expecting great things.

The end result is surprising, but not for the reasons I'd have hoped.

Yes, the craftmanship is there. Yes, the musicianship is still evident. But... there's something missing. There's no Thru The Glass. There's no Salt Wound Routine. No Automatic. No Spirals. No Loneliest Star or Crystal Sounds. And yes, I'm listing song titles. But the reason I'm doing that is because those songs were bold, melodic, inventive, had moments of loudness, boldness, beauty.

This new album has a lot of beauty. It has melody. It has some inventiveness (particularly Stars Make Progress). And to be honest, there isn't a bad track on it. But all the songs are the same tone. The crashing guitars of Thru The Glass are gone. The drive of Loneliest Star is gone. It's very far from a bad album, but its as if someone has taken all the upbeat songs from the album and left us with all the melancholy ones. There are also too many instrumentals - a shame when the singer has such a unique and brilliant voice. Waves is probably the most obvious candidate for radio play, and In Time has a typically Thirteen Senses melody which gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it.

Perhaps it reflects the mood of the band over the past few years - I don't know, I've never met them. But it's not quite the album I hoped it would be. If it's the album they truly wanted to make, then I certainly respect that. But I'd love them to cheer up a bit and write some of those soaring powerful songs that made me rush out and buy their debut 11 years ago.

Finally, a message to the band. Guys, if you're reading this, don't stop making records - you have a talent that should be recognised far more than it is by the public at large.

**UPDATE - I've added another star. I was sat at work this morning and realised one of the tunes had ear-wormed it's way into my brain. A bit later on in the day, another one popped into my head. This album is a slow burner. It's not as immediate as their other work, but it's beauty is undeniable**
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I write this with a heavy heart and overall sense of disappointment., 5 May 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
I have been an avid 13 senses fan from the beginning, and after a long time between the last album (the excellent Crystal Sounds) the difficult second album (Contact) and their debut (The Invitation), this is an absolute disappointment.

Granted, there are a couple of great tracks on here, but at just under 39 minutes in length I feel there are 3 too many fillers, and as a fan I would rather they took another 6 months or so to add some songs and took out some of the interludes.

Waves is the stand out track for me, the only one that I could see getting any sort of radio play, which is a shame as the offerings previously you could offer up numerous singles. I just wish I was a DJ or station controller as this excellent band have been largely ignored in the past, and for me this album means that trend is set to continue.

The album production is faultless, and the artwork is kinda cool, although I have only been able to buy a digital download so far.

In summing up, I'm disappointed. It's too short, with too many instrumentals, and not a patch on anything they have previously done save for 1 track which is great but doesn't quite reach the dizzying heights of Into Fire, Home, Follow me or a number of others.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait, 9 May 2014
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
Beautifully crafted album from a vastly underrated band. Piano led gorgeous melodies. Dont be put off buying because its a concept album its one that actually works
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting sounds & vocals delivered perfectly, 7 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
The wait in my opinion was worth it, although different from their previous releases it will stand out on its own merit. A lot of instrumental sound that seems to tie every track together. Vocals fit the songs perfectly.if I have to pick my favourites Strange Encounter & in lunar light, but they are all great haunting sounds & vocals delivered perfectly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a massive disappointment but still a sense of unfinished anticipation..., 5 May 2014
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
Like the previous reviewer I too have a been a huge fan of the band since the beginning and I agree with him too on the first three albums and the lack of popular acclaim - why aren't bands like this getting Brit Awards instead of the usual, over-hyped, 'everyone-must-by-this-album-cos-all-the-music-media-think-it's-cool' rubbish?...
I particularly like Thirteen Senses' gentler moments - songs like 'Time' and 'K-Song' are heartachingly beautiful while the musicality and perfection of a song like 'Animals' should not just be confined to fans' own playlists and CD collections. 'A Strange Encounter' is therefore a beautiful album but I too can't help being surprised at the number of short songs (I don't like short songs!) on the tracklist and, on listening to the album, the lack of 'proper' songs with lyrics.
It comes across as very much a concept album and, while many might find this sort of thing pretentious and self-indulgent, in principal I don't have a problem with the idea. As a kind of concept album therefore it works in the sense that it seems to describe a journey and tell a story - this isn't me too descending into pretentious journo speak, I genuinely think that's what it does.
But, and this too is my disappointment, 'A Strange Encounter' is not really a proper album in the sense we know it. I applaud Thirteen Senses for their bravery in maybe defying convention and in releasing something that they have clearly wanted to do for a while but it does still leave that 'when is the next proper album going to be then' taste in the mouth. As we wait so long in between albums that anticipation then is still there.
The Suede singer Brett Anderson released a stunning album not so long ago full of beautiful, gentle but intelligent ballads. 'A Strange Encounter' would have been so much better had it been full of proper songs like this and would still have allowed the band to indulge their need to produce an album of quieter moments.
I love Thirteen Senses and I will always buy their music but I want to see them grow by retaining what they are good at and bringing in new sounds, textures and moods into their music - listen to the new Embrace album for example as a band who have done exactly that.
So, when I got the e-mail about 'A Strange Encounter' I was really excited by it. The album does contain some wonderful, wonderful music - the track 'Stars Make Progress' is an incredible piece of work - but it still leaves us waiting for an album that makes us say, yes this is what I have been waiting for.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't underestimate this album..., 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
I think the key to understanding 'A Strange Encounter' is not to have any expectations before listening to it. Not having a pre-planned idea of how you think it should be. Keep an open mind and it will get inside you in a heartbreakingly beautiful way. This album is not a bunch of catchy hits, it is something that needs to be listened to as a whole to get what it's all about. The songs are all stunning, but they can only truly be appreciated if you treat them as part of an album. 'A Strange Encounter' takes you on a journey to somewhere incredible which is not something you can experience often. There are a lot of lovely instrumental parts in the album, which really compliment Will South's unique and ethereal vocals. I am finding it really addictive, and it's hard not to reapeat it over and over. Give it a chance, and you'll love it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Finally doing it their own way, 13 Jun. 2014
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
It's nice when a band finally dismiss what the music critics think of them. Thirteen Senses are a band that have done just that. It took them a while.

I've always liked Thirteen Senses, there's just something about them that makes them different and a little special. Like many other followers, frankly I'm a little bored of the Coldplay comparison, after all and as far as I'm aware, Coldplay never invented piano driven melodies. I'm old enough to remember life before Coldplay and I'm sure I've heard the Coldplay style well before their debut, Parachutes. Lazy journalism I guess.

Thirteen Senses strength has always being in the song writing department. They have gift of crafting great tunes & melodies and will probably write for others if they ever decide to call it a day. I hope not, I've yet to see them live which is a great shame. I will though.

Their new album, 'A Strange Encounter' is a complete change of pace. Conceptual post rock is exactly the direction I think they should explore more. It's something they are very comfortable with and very good at. For me Thirteen Senses are comparable with the brilliant Hope of The States, who are sadly missed but Thirteen Senses don't just fill the void, they are much more than that. Sure, they have tinkled with post rock in the past and now they have delivered an almost brilliant concept album of very good quality.

Yes, they are still comparable's here, unashamedly nods and winks I think they would agree. Grandaddy/Jason Lytle (In Lunar Light), Pink Floyd (Here and Now & Waves), Sigur Ros (Gathered Here A Stranger), the brilliant This Will Destroy You & M83(Lost). Coldplay no.

4 albums in and completely gone is the trying too hard to please the NME, 90's sounding indie pop tracks and replaced with an epic journey (be it a short journey - which is why the 4 stars) with melodic nuggets of magic and produced with such beautiful ease. This is an album more mature than their years and sounding more grounded than anything prior, akin to being around for 30 years or more and soaking up their favourite influences, paying homage to dads record collections everywhere.

Their past 3 releases have been very good but I always knew they had a brilliant album in them. They have made it with 'A Strange Encounter'. More importantly, it's an epiphany moment for them, sounding like a bunch of very talented lads who have finally figured out what they are all about. Good for them I say. Now please tour it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars It's A Superb Encounter., 25 May 2014
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
If you are reading this then you will have already listened to the soundbites. They just give a glimpse of the craftmanship behind each of the songs. Don't think about it anymore just buy it. My only criticism is that it's not currently available as a physical disc or as a FLAC file, maybe in time?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but, 21 Jun. 2014
By 
Mr. Clive Winter "CBW" (Gloucesershire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Strange Encounter (MP3 Download)
Its Good but I love this band , takes a while to get into it , I myself think this is a experiment gone wrong ,sounds like tracks discarded
from the last album tarted up
I like to see them , get back to a grittier sound , using their great harmonies sounds guitars, a talented band who need to go back to the drawing board
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Strange Encounter
A Strange Encounter by Thirteen Senses
Buy MP3 Album£7.49
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews