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Arrogance Ignorance and Greed CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, 26 Oct 2009
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Oct. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Hands On Music
  • ASIN: B002ONEIN6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,438 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Product Description

Arrogance, Ignorance and Greed is the hotly anticipated, acutely topical studio album from England’s finest roots duo, produced by Stu Hanna and featuring nine new Steve Knightley songs. The 20th release from the phenomenally popular pairing of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer is spearheaded by a fervent title track that potently captures the mood of the moment.

Dark, stark songs contrast with flourishing production numbers and Dylan and Gabriel covers while they reinforce their folk roots with two of the tradition’s most haunting songs - "Lowlands Away" and a blisteringly uptempo arrangement of "The Keys of Canterbury", featuring superb playing by 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 'Musician of the Year' nominee Beer. Significant original tracks range from "The Napoli", a song about looters scurrying for rich pickings on the Devon coast to the soul-searching "The Man I Was" and the explosive "IED". Guest musicians include Mawkin:Causley’s Jim Causley and Dave and James Delarre; Miranda Sykes, Matt Clifford, Jackie Oates and Andy Tween on percussion and cajón.

BBC Review

After 15 years, 19 albums and endless touring adventures – including three sell-out concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall – you might assume Show of Hands wouldn’t still have an original thought in their heads. Yet, battle-scarred and world-weary as they may appear, the hardy English West Country duo of songwriting craftsman Steve Knightley and virtuoso multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer – now seemingly permanently augmented by double bass player/singer Miranda Sykes – come out punching hard on this extraordinarily earthy effort.

Singing so close to the microphone it feels like he’s climbed right inside your ear, Knightley’s boldly coarse delivery of Lowlands instantly sets up the mood of rugged defiance that characterises the record. It’s sure to astound those who maintain a perception of Show of Hands as populist-driven Springsteen wannabes.

Two strong factors prevail here. Prior to recording, Knightley endured a couple of painfully emotional years as his mother, brother and young son all battled serious illness, directly contributing to the album’s inherent darkness. In IED: Science and Nature, disease is sinisterly portrayed as an unexploded bomb waiting to be detonated by forces unknown amid ghostly echoes of the traditional song The Trees They Do Grow High; and the gospel-tinged The Worried Well is a full-throttle assault on alternative medicine.

Contributing even more significantly to the overriding rawness is the decision, in a brave leap of faith, to hand entire control to producer Stu Hanna – one half of the young duo Megson – who unceremoniously strips Show of Hands of all the trimmings and bluster that previously made them difficult to love. The mix of Knightley’s intense material and Hanna’s brutally direct production gives Show of Hands an almost punk potency.

Other forces come into play as the album unfolds. Mawkin:Causley add buoyancy to the disturbing story of looting recounted on The Napoli; Darwin is dissected on Evolution; two enlightened covers of Dylan’s Senor and Peter Gabriel’s Secret World add brighter colours; and Jackie Oates almost steals the album, duetting sensuously with Knightley on the blazing The Keys of Canterbury.

A committed, convincing reinvention of a Brit folk institution. --Colin Irwin

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