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All Maps Welcome

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 May 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bmg
  • ASIN: B000850H0U
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,043 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Recorded live over a three week period, All Maps Welcome features Tom’s English band and various members of Beck’s band, including Joey Waronker, Justin Meldal Johnsen and Lyle Workman. Tom McRae’s self-titled debut album, released in 2000, announced the arrival of a rare and singular new talent. Its subsequent Mercury Prize and Brit nominations merely confirmed the insight and vision of Scott Walker, who had invited McRae to take part in his Meltdown Festival – before he’d even released a record. His second album, Just Like Blood (2003), was equally hailed by the critics and music buyers alike.

Amazon.co.uk

All Maps Welcome is the third album from singer-songwriter Tom McRae, perhaps one of British music’s best kept secrets. Despite the critical acclaim (including a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album), he still struggles to get the profile of fellow troubadour Damien Rice. Recorded in three weeks, with the assistance of members of Beck’s backing band, All Maps Welcome has an admirably low-key and raw sound. But as it deals with the dissolution of a long-term relationship, it does skirt worryingly close to wallowing in self-pity and lyrical self-indulgence--two things that McRae has never been known for. And with that as its subject matter, it hardly qualifies as a party record. If deep and thoughtful is your thing though, this is for you. --Robert Burrow

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Spinetingling - Some artistes achieve it on only one song in their whole career, such as BB King on The Thrill is gone - that elusive alchemy of raw intimacy, timing and atmosphere that delivers a true tingle down the spine. Mcrae has an illegal still of the stuff bubbling away that he dips into even more so on this album than his previous sublime offerings. As always a man as much in control of the listener's emotions as he is analytical of his own, McRae wears his heart on a skewer rather than a sleeve. All Maps Welcome is a triumph out of the disaster of a broken relationship - a swirling atmospherically charged affair that romances the listener in one instant only to quickly dash hopes of any lasting happiness, such as on The Girl Who Falls Downstairs, possibly the most exquisitely beautiful song of 2005.
Never formulaic, there are, nevertheless, several tracks which follow the slow builder format of 'in with a whisper, out with a roar' but the initial impression of overdone quiet understatement at the start of the album is quickly dispelled by the power of the songs. This is an album that you can dip into, to a degree, unlike his previous two outings which gripped from start to finish. But rather than being the weaker for it, this is a strong collection of standouts with an overall theme, that can still immerse if you want it to.
Less intensely charged than Just Like Blood or the eponymous first album, All Map shows a more involving and open McRae with none of the dark brooding that he's occasionally shown. Those already in possession of Tom's previous two albums will expect there to be at least one truly powerful belter of a track a la Karaoke Soul and A and b song - this album does not disappoint with Silent Boulevard continuing that tradition.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Tom's third album, after his debut of 'Tom Mcrae', and 'Just Like Blood', and its content is more developed than the previous two whilst still in the same vein.
We've seen Tom twice live in concert, once in 2000 when he supported Dido - and it was that perfomance which encouraged us to become avid fans.
His musical talent is unquestionable - demonstrated to its best on this album, especially in 'Hummingbird Song', 'How the West Was Won' and 'Silent Boulevard', however it is difficult to pick out individual tracks on an album which is full of quality from start to finish.
It is therefore a shame that Mcrae hasn't broke through into the mainstream along with other singer-songwriters who, in my opinion are no where near as talented.
If you don't own this album - add it to your basket NOW as part of your Amazon order (then you'll also want the other two!).
A seriously good album, well produced and full of gems.
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Format: Audio CD
More emotional depth than the impression a depressed hippo would make after jumping off the Clifton Suspension Bridge into all that lovely mud below.
Tom does it again. Ok, it's not quite as consistant as either his self titled debut or the best album of 2003 "Just Like Blood" (which I still play very regularly), but that was going to be a difficult task and anyway there's a few quality tracks here that make up more than enough for this!
Tom had a problem while writing this, how to surpass the past two albums? It wasn't going to be an easy task, so how does Tom try to do this? He throws a couple of curve balls in... the first being the first track. Those fans used to Toms low key personal introspection are in for a bit of a surprise here. It's a brilliant opening track, and really does open up the first 5 tracks very well.
So he doesn't stray far from his chosen path, but why should he? A lot of people wanted more and that's what he's delivered to us. His music, lyrics and vocals touches us because it's intelligent and more importantly honest - a trait lacking in a lot of music.
No doubt his label will question him for having no singles; what they need to realise people like Tom McRae, Damien Rice, Tom Baxter, Nick Drake etc etc rarely have anything that is a Single and that they're Album Oriented and we don't care! We love this for the simple reason that it is good music.
This is the sort of album we'll be still listening to years down the line.
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Format: Audio CD
Having been a huge fan of Mr Mcrae since his self-titled debut (after hearing You cut her hair with a free cd supplied my mixmag magazine strangely enough), to say I had been looking forward to this album would be somewhat of an understatement. I'm pleased to report that Tom has scored a hat-trick of musical worth. For those who know the previous two albums and are wondering how this fits with them, i think it is best to say All Maps Welcome can stand as a compromise between the two, being mostly acoustic (guitars and violins usually fit the bill) and lacking the grandiose musical scale (for Tom anyway) of just like blood, while never really reverting to the quiet and sinister claustrophobic atmosphere that penetrated the debut. Being most partial to this stripped down style im glad to see a more back to basics approach from like blood which was a little overdone for me in places.

There are slight changes in style in certain songs, for instance opening track For the restless which has been deliberately pushed away from the epic quality of his usual style yet managing to sound all the more melancholy as a result. Likewise Strangest land with its russian funeral waltz sound suggests a possible future break in style while Silent blvd. pushes in a heavier sound only occasonally heard in Mcrae's music (One more Mile and Karaoke soul b-side Precious cargo being good examples of this). For the rest of the album I would say the term restrained-epic would probably suit best using tom's bitter-sweet voice over sparse guitars and well timed violins.

What about the negatives then. There is really nothing really to complain about apart from one thing that strikes me as a little disappointing being so accustomed to Tom's trademark sound.
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