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Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another decent Tunng album, 3 Mar. 2010
This review is from: And Then We Saw Land (Audio CD)
I like this band a lot. I first came across them with the release of 'Comments of the Inner Chorus' and saw them live at Glastonbury in 2007 and then again playing with Tinariwen last year. Both times they were truly an excellent live band. I loved 'Comments of the Inner Chorus' - a lot. There next effort, 'Good Arrows', wasn't bad, more up and down than 'Inner Chorus' in my opinion but I still enjoyed it. So I was eager to hear the latest offering. If I had to place it I'd say it's more 'Good Arrows' than 'Inner Chorus' which is a shame but then I guess it would be nigh on impossible to pen another album like 'Inner Chorus'. It's still recognisably a Tunng album. Although the trademark beeps have been pushed further into the background on most tracks whilst on other tracks there is a more determinedly electronica feel than before. I know that seems contradictory but there seems to be separation to some extent of the more explicit electronica elements from the more explicit folkier elements rather than a combination of them (exemplified best perhaps by Sashimi followed by With Whiskey).

The album all told is pretty good though. A difference from before is evident in that the female vocals are now much more up front. I'm not completely convinced by the move to be honest. She has a lovely voice but personally I thought it worked better as a foil to the lead vocals rather than sitting so far forward in the mix. A lot of the change has been forced by original member Sam Genders leaving. The songs and the music are appreciably less dark than on their previous efforts. The taste of Wicker Man which completely permeated 'Inner Chorus' has largely disappeared though it appears again periodically (notably on 'October' perhaps the song on here most similar to the output on 'Inner Chorus'). The one track here I really dislike is 'By Dusk' but that's merely due to the inclusion of guitar solo..... Sorry but I really don't buy guitar solos, there's something so redolent of 70s corporate rock about them - basically if you're not David Gilmour and you're not playing Shine on Crazy Diamond then guitar solos are best avoided.

Overall though I like this. The basic Tunng elements are all there and there's still a core of joyful experimentation which I like and the songwriting is very good as you'd expect. Not quite as good as 'Inner Chorus' but then that would be hard indeed. (7/10)
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Mar 2010 16:11:12 GMT
song_x says:
Fun, your comment on the guitar solo! Wel I like this one, because it is the only one - and thus I file it under English humour! There may be sme more great guitar solos than the ones you mentioned. Go for Ry Cooder and Chavez Ravine, for example. or some Steve Tibbetts albums! Apart from this, I am totally in love with the music of this band - and they prove that one can produce fantastic songs without being labeled experimental anymore. Would be interesting to hear soemthing from Sam Genders who left the band, a wizard in lyric and song writing! Mike Lidsay did a great job here. Much more thrilling than the overrated Mumford & Sons... hearful, heartfelt with some softly killing songs!

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2010 17:33:03 GMT
Ha yes! Guitar solos can turn into something very cheesy if bands aren't careful! There are other good ones yes. It was a bit of an overstatement, but I remember vividly the music of the mid 70s and beyond - evrything had to have a bl**dy guitar solo! Grrrr! This is a good band - go see them live if you can. Mind I disagree about Mumford and Sons. They are very good! I saw them at a small club about 18 months ago before they got big and they were excellent live.

Posted on 6 Aug 2010 10:25:04 BDT
Dr. Mabuse says:
All reviewing is subjective and each individual reviewer has their own opinions. But why include a bit about guitar solo's? 'By Dusk...' is an instrumental piece which includes guitar. It has no comparison to a 12 min prog rock track which includes a 5 min self indulgent guitar solo! We are not in the 70's, music has evolved, but guitars are still used (thankfully). Pink Floyd/David Gilmour equates to the corporate rock you profess to dislike. I just don't understand what you have written there! You spoilt a good review with your own 'self indulgent guitar solo' whinge.

As for the other commenters remarks about Mumford & Sons being overated. They are not overated. If you don't like them, then don't listen to them. No-one is forcing you. Listen to Steve Tibbetts' soundscapes instead.

Do bands go downhill when they make it big? Or is it a case of 'I saw Mumford & Sons before many had heard of them, aren't I cool'?

Subjectivity, A wonderful thing.
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Location: Kingswinford, England

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