Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly beautiful, beguiling album, 24 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Conformist (Audio CD)
I had this album for a while as slightly flattened MP3 files. It was still wonderful to listen to on headphones but sounded watery through my stereo system. So I bought the CD and it came to life even better than expected. I think this is beautiful, radiant music. There isn't a weak track on the album. There are contributions from a host of talented young musicians and singers, including The National, Sam Amidon, Nico Muhly and vocal support from Dawn Landes, Martha Wainwirght and Norah Jones. And also veteran drummer Dougie Browne. The talent sign-up for this release is amazing.

Central to the sound is Thomas Bartlett's breathy, almost whispered vocals. His voice is supported and surrounded by layers of instruments that ebb and flow, build and dissipate creating an experience like an emotional sound swim; if you can imagine what I mean. A glorious feeling of floating within the music itself. Some have labelled it 'Chamber pop' and I think that refers to the introduction of aspects of classical arrangements and composition; it has such depth that what might seem like a straight forward listen at first actually becomes an increasingly rewarding one. I will not try to review the tracks individually because I would end up writing a novella. That said, the highlights for me are 'From Silence', 'Angel's Share', 'The Burgundy Stain' and 'Castles' as stunningly beautiful and intelligent songs. Also 'Tigers' which is a quivering combination of Bartlett's vocals and Nico Muhly playing Celeste.

I doubt I can convey the intensity and beauty of this music but I imagine any real music lovers wil become entranced, captivated and probably mildly addicted. Transcendental.
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