Customer Review

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, political and polemical, 11 July 2012
This review is from: Presents The 8th [CD + DVD] (Audio CD)
I don't usually write Amazon reviews, this is only my second, but felt I needed to add something after the two poor reviews this album has garnered so far. Up front I will say that I think The 8th is a stone-cold masterpiece. If you approach it expecting a typical Paul Heaton album then you may be disappointed, but I would urge you to lose the blinkers and discover one of the best albums of 2012. This is an album that MUST be listened to in one sitting and in the right order - no shuffling here. As a continuous piece or a song cycle it works beautifully. Taking the Seven deadly sins as its starting point the album moves towards revealing a possible 8th. A deadly sin for our craven, modern times. There is a linking story between Heaton's songs that to this reviewer works beautifully and eventually builds to something and is powerful, moving and redemptive. Indeed you could argue that it is the linking narration by American actor Reg E Cathey (from The Wire), channelling Gil Scott-Heron, that is the real star here. Yes, Heaton himself only leads on one song, but the other vocal performances including King Creosote and Jacqui Abbott are excellent and prove that Heaton can still craft a tune even when stepping out of the limelight. Political, polemical, moving (I blubbed at the end) and unlike anything he has done before this is an album that will grow in stature.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Jul 2012 11:50:03 BDT
Tom Cowley says:
Hi Mark,

I attended a performance of The 8th at the Barbican last Thursday and I have to say your review sums up my feelings perfectly. Having never owned a single recording by The Beautiful South or Paul Heaton I went with an open mind and was absolutely blown away.

I got to meet Paul, Reg and all the band afterwards and they said that when they had performed up in Manchester the audience had gone bananas but they felt nervous at first at the Barbican as they felt the audience was a little uncertain but at the end they gave a standing ovation.

Anyway I loved it and I would seriously recommend to any one who loves music to go and see them live. The second set when they cover The Beautiful South's back catalogue is brilliant as well.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 12:59:41 BDT
Mark Nelson says:
Thanks Tom! Nice to know I am not alone ;-)

Posted on 15 Jul 2012 22:19:01 BDT
see the 8th at birmingham with my mum, very nervous for her as i expect she was expecting typical south back catalogue. my god we were blown away. a clear heaton masterpiece and the different contrast in singers just makes it so much more.... love it in every way......
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