IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT (PL)
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Top Customer Reviews
I was intrigued enough to buy it as an intrest in folk and classical music puts this right up my street. I have also had a strong intrest in winter / Christmas too. By which I don't mean Wizzard / Slade. Anyway.
There is much to intrigue here. At 50 minutes running time, the album covers a lot of ground, and repeat listens will reveal lots of subtle parts you may miss first time round. There is old English folk songs, poems sung and set to music. Sting covers five centuries of music, but blends it all together beautifully. If you want a winter album to soundtrack the party season, forget it. If you don't want to try something new, learn about something outside the usual pop/rock mainstream, or widen your horizons, move on. But if you do appreciate musicians playing really well as individuals and together, an education and entertainment, this is for you. If you want something to soundtrack dark nights and reflection on the passing year as you sit by the fire with your favorite tipple as the lights flicker across the walls, take a chance and invest in this. I suspect as winter rolls around year on year, this will make repeat appearences on the stereo. It certainly has me researching further some of the origianal inspirations for the tracks. Which is what great music should do. Lead you on to even more...It's not an easy listen at times. Not all the tracks have a hummable melody or toe-tapping rhythm. Most are slow and take time to unfurl. You will need to pay attention, but its a grower. Its rewarding. Good things come to those who wait.
You may also get a trifle irritated at the warbled 'serious singing voice' Sting has adopted on one or two of the tracks. You may even wonder to yourself whether they have bright Christmas lights, warming Glühwein, skating rinks, central heating and Yule logs in any place Sting happens to spend the festive season. It can't all be deep gloom in Winter, can it?
But a few listens will put you right. The Christmas references are in there because most of us have inevitably absorbed such things into our bloodstream even if we don't believe the whole account the carols and writings offer; they're part of our cultural landscape, if not our religious or spiritual one. And they are accompanied by the kind of reflective, unshowy music which suits precisely the period during which I write this: between Christmas and New Year.
I suspect the record will get a lot of plays in January and February too, as it is not a Christmas bauble. Suffice to say that this CD is something of a surprise.
I'm not a Sting or folk music fan & discovered this album by accident after hearing a track on the radio, but have to say it's the most haunting beautiful album I've heard in a long time.
The real problem with this album is Sting's disconcerting vocals. They make for very difficult listening if you come to these songs through a background/love of folk song and traditional music - the songs themselves hold rich appeal for folkies. Most folk singers retain their regional accents, and play their traditional instruments with passion and reverence. Whilst the instrumentation on this album is faultless, sublime even, Sting's mish-mash of accents veers from mid-Atlantic (which strikes me as his safest territory!) through to some kind of rustic Northumbrian burr on a very difficult rendition of 'The Snow it Melts the Soonest.' There's even a touch of Scottish drawl (I think!) in 'Christmas At Sea.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pity I didn't find this album until weeks after Christmas. It is definitely the new favourite. Thoughtful,beautiful,poetic,and very human - you can really feel yourself glad to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lindsay Ibbotson
Nice winter songs which offer a very pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Very good for intense listening as well as a background noisePublished 7 months ago by Harry