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Harpo's Ghost

4.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B000E5L8MK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,858 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Gambler - Nigel Stonier, Thea Gilmore
  2. Everybody's Numb
  3. Red White And Black
  4. Call Me Your Darling - Nigel Stonier, Thea Gilmore
  5. We Built A Monster
  6. The List
  7. Going Down
  8. Whistle And Steam
  9. Cheap Tricks
  10. Contessa
  11. Slow Journey II - Thea Gilmore

Product Description

Product Description

The highly prolific singer-songwriter's seventh studio album (an amazing achievement for someone who is only 26) is also her first for the Sanctuary label. The Oxfordshire-born singer/songwriter has been compared to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Ryan Adams and Tom Waits, and counts Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and Martha Wainright among her famous fans. The UK press rave! Uncut says "the best singer/songwriter of the last ten years... and then some". The Independent pronounces her "the most prolific and intelligent wordsmith of her generation" while Mojo claims she is "deceptively populist and deceitfully dark". Q thinks "Britain has spawned very few world class female singer-songwriters, but Gilmore is already in a league of her own" while The Observer enumerates that she is "vituperative, intelligent and sharp as a tack".

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Well, I don't know how she does it.

Thea Gilmore started out releasing masterpieces, and since then each successive album just gets better and better. Her reviewers have already exhausted most of the superlatives, but basically Thea is the most commanding, compelling and downright phenomenal songwriter of her generation. And then some. In years to come, this album should be remembered as making all other current singer-songwriters look like the scared kittens they are...hiding behind their psudo-indie posturing crapola, or clinging to their limp faux "no-honestly-I-am-a-folk-singer" marketing, while all the noise they're making sounds just like the rest.

From the churning, goading opening "The Gambler", this album finds Thea at the peak of her incredible powers, spinning-off potent songs like sparks from a Catherine wheel. She moves from "Everybody's Numb"'s laceration of the modern music industry, to the snarling juggernaut of "We Built A Monster, to the harrowing starkness of the drug-addled lovers in "The List", with total mastery and assurance.

Harpo's Ghost is a kaleidoscope of musical styles and roller-coaster emotions; "Red White And Black" is a haunting lullaby spine-tingling modern folk-song lamenting vanishing patriotism; the exhilarating "Call Me Your Darling" is all swirling Hammond and Dylanesque harmonica; "Whistle & Steams" rolls and sighs over a shuffling groove; personal demons are put to rest in "Contessa", a song reminiscent of vintage U2 balladry, with one of Thea's gorgeous melody that is special even by her standards; and finally to the ethereal "Slow Journey", with its angelic backing vocals winding away like smoke through the night sky...

...And then the players all troupe back again for the rousing encoure that is the hidden track, as they pick up their plywood again and learn to sing the blues.

As I say, I don't know how she does it.
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By S. Jones VINE VOICE on 11 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Gorgeous voice, sweet and honeyed yet smoky. Constantly intelligent and barbed lyrics. Warm and engaging songs. Clear and precise production. What's not to love here? Maybe for some earlier fans her edges have been smoothed off a little too much here. Some arrangements, and indeed songs, remind me of the late lamented (by me at least) Del Amitri and their sardonic songwriter Justin Currie.

The only song which has so far passed by without scoring a deep place in my heart is Whistle And Steam. Otherwise, it's a wonderful work by an exceptionally talented artist.
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Format: Audio CD
Another masterpiece, the worry is that yet again it will be too good to achieve the commercial success that Thea deserves. That this a Thea Gilmore album is evident from the start, it is however somewhat different to Avalance, but then that was from 3 years previously. It certainly does not, on first hearing have as many potentially catchy songs which might be needed for mass appeal. It does however gets better and better with every play.

Reviews seem to have concentrated on Cheap Tricks and Everybodys Numb as being the stand out tracks possibly because they have a fuller sound and fine tracks they are, although We Built a Monster which is a pure rock track and probably least typically Thea is probably the most interesting track.

All in all a fine album and a must for anyone who has appreciated Thea's music to date
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The opening two tracks are rather up tempo, over produced and have too much synthesized sound. Apart from that, this CD meets the quality that I'd come to expect from Thea. Catchy tunes, great musicianship and thoughtful lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
A slightly disappointing release. The production tends overwhelm rather than support the songs and the album overall has a rather down beat feel to it.

Still miles better than other people manage.
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Format: Audio CD
Never thought i would say it but Thea has lost her edge with this album. It tends to grind awkwardly along rather than flow. Still a 'decent' album, just not what i've come to expect of Ms. Gilmore over the years. This effort is definitely below par for a girl of Thea's obvious talent - listen to any of her previous works for proof! Prior to this album release Thea played a good handful of tracks from this record, and they were excellent in a live scenario. Problem is they have not translated at all well in terms of production values. Tracks such as 'Call Me Your Darling' and 'Red, White & Black' are brilliant on-stage but now they seem like ghosts of their former (live) incarnations. Sad but true.

Can only hope this is a mere pothole in the road, and not a downturn in her career. Please tell me Thea has not peaked already!

To sum up :: Could (and should) do better!
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By oldhasbeen VINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For me this is the weakest of the Thea Gilmore albums I've heard. There are only two tracks I really like - "Contessa" and "Red White & Blue" - most of the rest, to me, are forgettable. Repeated listening didn't help.

The album lacks the anger & bite of her earlier work, but she rediscovered these on the far superior "Liejacker"
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