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The Golden Archipelago [VINYL]

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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£21.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched and sold by Amazon in certified Frustration-Free Packaging. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Vinyl (15 Feb. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B0030E5NNM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,018 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Meridian
  2. Black Eyes
  3. Landscape at Speed
  4. Hidden Lakes
  5. Corridors
  6. God Made Me
  7. Runners of the Sun
  8. Castaways
  9. An Insular Life
  10. Uniforms
  11. Missing Islands

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a lovely album from start to finish. I came across this band after seeing Okkervil River in concert and liking them rather a lot. Shearwater, for those who don't know, are an offshoot of that band - a collaboration between Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff - ostensibly making 'quieter' music than the Okkervils. Though it's now just Meiburg without Sheff I believe.

I really like the way that this music builds. I must admit a fondness for lo-fi and this is hardly that. But the layering and production of this is lovely. The songs and the music are designed for precision engineering rather than being thrown out off the cuff. But if you want your music multi-layered and highly engineered it doesn't get much better than this. This is music that's been thought through - a lot. I see other reviewers have written about how this comes together so well as an album and I agree wholeheartedly. very well thought through. I know it's a cliche but there really are no 'filler' tracks here. Beautifully produced and Meiburg's voice hangs the songs together fabulously.

It's a shame in a way that this will no doubt be largely ignored by the music-buying public. A shame but give it a try yourself, well worth it.

Stand out track - 'Hidden Lake' (9/10)
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Format: Audio CD
When Will Sheff branched out from Okkervil River in 2001 in order to exorcise the need for "quieter material", probably neither he nor fellow riverman Jonathan Meiburg foresaw their Shearwater sideshow nestling on equal terms with their beloved day job in the future.

Nevertheless, a few years later, the sprawling and magnificently indulgent Palo Santo plucked the pair's endeavours from obscurity to win them critical plaudits. Its successor, Rook, confirmed the streak amid equally gushing praise, and The Golden Archipelago is now looking like following suit even though Sheff has now returned to Okkervil River full time.

The equal parts epic and introspective folk-rock that Meiburg has at his fingers is enviable in any guise, and his dramatic vocal is again striking, lacing the The Golden Archipelago project together with sufficiently unhinged and pining baritones in places, falsetto led laments in others.

The album opens in Dawntreader-like opulence as "Meridian" swells, emerging from a frosty fog. Its soft but determined percussion provides urgency. Its piano echoes are clean and crisp. Next, "Black Eyes" is a rousing moment of power, a challenge laid not to the elements but seemingly by them. The widescreen nature of the track and corroborating battle cry put forth by Meiburg hint at Sunset Rubdown's sense of epic, the nymph-like backing choir duly shiver and shy in compliment.

Elsewhere, the results aren't quite as stirring but still play their support role well, twinkling and lapping as appropriate.
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3 Comments 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Expectation is everything. Whether it's a book, film or record, eagerly awaiting a release from someone you revere is a mixture of hoping for the best and dreading the worst-the follow up to something you loved that not only comes as a massive disappointment but turns you off the thing you loved in the first place...

I purchased Rook (the previous Shearwater album) solely on account of an impressive score on Metacritic (not an infallible method of selection as i have found out on a number of occasions)and, after several listens, i realised that it was not only the best album of the year of its release (2008), but for me one of the best albums of that decade-whatever that decade was called....

I bought and received The Golden Archipelago resigned to the fact it would be a massive let down, playing it almost as an after thought. The first playing of it appeared to confirm my doubts, nothing much to get excited about. The next day i played it in the car a couple of times, a couple of tracks seemed to be Ok. I got home and played it some more. You can see where this is going- after about five listens to the album in full i became aware that this was in fact an absolute masterpiece, i can only liken it to Radioheads In Rainbows and Antics by Interpol as an album that slowly but surely reveals itself as a work of genius, rewarding the listener who sticks with it with the greatest of prizes-a record that will grace their sound systems for years to come.
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By Ghostgrey51 VINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
I have been lucky this year to find some pretty remarkable albums from directions I don't normally travel and I can't quite recall how I came by The Golden Archipelago, but having reached the album I am captivated to the point of going through the my seventh replay within two days.
The restlessness of the music reflects the ocean and the sky, combining with the soaring vocals of Jonathan Meiburg in songs varying between gentle and reflective and stirringly angry result in what must be for me the album of 2010 and that is against some quite very impressive opposition.
The 10 folk before me have said it all, but I just had to add my voice to approval and appreciation of this stunning work.
I've intended in other instances to collect other works of bands new to me, in this case it will not be just a back-burner sort of aim, but a firm resolve. Excellent!
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