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Oh My God, Charlie Darwin CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

Price: £8.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£8.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Jun. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00288AXOK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,107 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Charlie Darwin
  2. To Ohio
  3. Ticket Taker
  4. The Horizon Is A Beltway
  5. Home I'll Never Be
  6. Cage The Songbird
  7. (Don't) Tremble
  8. Music Box
  9. Champion Angel
  10. To The Ghosts Who Write History Books
  11. OMGCD
  12. Ohio Reprise

Product Description

CD Description

The Low Anthem’s sublime music ranges from evocative folk ballads sung in gorgeous falsettos to garage-roots rockers in a Tom Waits bar-room style… Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is a thematic 12 song work, which illuminates the bands ability to create something that is both delicate and hugely evocative. The album was co-produced with and engineered by Jesse Lauter in the cold, bare stillness of the abandoned tourist destination, Block Island, in winter--a haven of peace and quiet. The only sounds were the rush of sea wind against the panes of the cabin and the crackling hum of the woodstove. Ten sleepless days and nights. Hundreds of live takes. Many bottles of bourbon. These were the record’s principle ingredients and it sounds tremendous.

BBC Review

With their second full-length album, this Rhode Island trio with a penchant for 'morally agnostic narrative' seem to have come of age. Oh My God, Charlie Darwin is a slow grower, and their folky but distinctly anthemic brand of Americana manages to transcend its influences through a combination of sturdy melodies and sometimes startling lyrical imagery.

The Low Anthem's other trademark is their novel arrangements, with all members being multi-instrumentalists. Ben Miller's vocals range from the Bon Iver-ish falsetto of the title track to a ragged blues holler, and he plays banjo, mouth organ and the occasional trumpet. Jocie Adams' clarinet lends a chamber folk ambience in several places, and Jeffrey Prystowsky plucks a double bass. On top of this, everybody chops and changes on guitars, drums and the pump organ that supplies a luminous background drone on more than half the tracks.

The way the tranquil beauty of the opening brace of songs is rudely disturbed by the blues stomp of The Horizon Is A Beltway remains jarring after several plays, which makes this the album's main weakness. It's followed in a similar vein by a version of Home I'll Never Be, a Tom Waits song that uses Jack Kerouac's words. Ticket Taker returns to more pastoral territory, suggesting a more melodic Lambchop, and then there's the swelling To The Ghosts Who Write History Books, with Miller's mouth organ underlining the band's interest in Neil Young.

(Don't) Tremble seems to echo the traditional Mockingbird Song, with its list of conditionals, the most memorable of which goes, ''If the winds surround your house/Don't twist and twist about/Wait it out''.

The best of the rowdier pieces is Champion Angel, which rides an elastic guitar groove and features surreal lyrics that recall Dylan and The Band at their sneering best. Cage The Songbird and the title track (the meaning of which is pretty opaque) both have a churchy feel, which once again underlines why the band chose their name. Chances are there will be plenty of worshippers before too long. --Jon Lusk

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Americana is experiencing a sustained period of popularity, and it is thanks to albums like this. Oh My God, Charlie Darwin takes Dylan's stoic harmonica and introduces it to the Eels knack for storytelling. They then layer that sound with a smattering of finger plucking before heading out to the barn with Tom Waits to jam until the sun rises.

This album has the uncanny ability to simultaneously recall an alt-folk hoedown and to allow for moments of restrained introspection. The Low Anthem hail from Rhode Island but their home is distinctly less Eastern-seaboard and more Mid-Western. The double indication lies in album closer `To Ohio (Reprise)' and second track `To Ohio', which start in Louisiana before heading North.

The gentle title track `Charlie Darwin' recalls a more melodic Band of Horses or a falsetto My Morning Jacket. This pretty voice comes on all the more gruffly for the stomping `Horizon Is A Beltway' and is positively growling for the moonshine-soaked square-dance that is `Home I'll Never Be'.

`Ticket Taker' is pure Everett of Eels fame and could well have come from their sparse and tragic Blinking Lights And Other Revelations album. It also witnesses use of the much-undervalued clarinet. `Champion Angel' sounds like an early Kings of Leon record, before they went all stadium: stately in its Southern flavour and liberal harmonica.

Certain tracks are a little plodding and in isolation would struggle to captivate the listener (Cage The Songbird), but serve The Low Anthem as a satisfying, if uneventful, canvas on which to paint the stronger numbers.
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Format: Audio CD
Currently cleaning up at all the respectable awards Stateside, The Low Anthem's second album is one of this century's finest releases. Cutting to the heart of old America (almost a musical version of Cormac McCarthy's novels) via pump organ, harmonica, woodwind and guitars, the ten songs presented here are spiritual and muscular marvels. Ben Knox Miller's voice ranges from a heartbreaking falsetto to a gruff bluesy wail, and the chamber-country arrangements behind him are a soundtrack in themselves. Personal faves are the elegiac God Cage the Songbird and bouncy Horizon Is a Beltway (that's a ring road, btw), but in truth the lyrical and musical near-genius displayed by Miller, Jeff Prystowsky and Jocie Adams will leave you reaching for superlatives. Worth mentioning also is their debut effort (minus Adams) What the Crow Brings, which first showcased Miller as a writer of extraordinary ballads with a timeless quality. This trio from Rhode Island are quietly making a massive impact. Catch up with them before Hollywood and everyone else does.
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Format: Audio CD
This just came out of nowhere qnd it is stunning,there is of course the fact that it is on the excellent Bella Union label,also the home of Fleet Foxes,the music is laid back American with an edge,the harmonies are stunning and throughout this 12 track romp,you get the feeling that this is a band with a heart.
The songs,some upbeat,some not,are all listenable,and if this is an indication on the talent,this is a band to be reckoned with,particularly listen out for"Ohio" "Charlie Darwin" and "To the ghosts who wrote the history books"beautiful and eerie.
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Format: Audio CD
Can I extend my profound thanks to Uncut Music Magazine which is without doubt the best of its kind on the earth with a fellow Welshman Allan Jones as its resident prophet. They have championed some of the greatest new bands of recent years some of whom never get a hearing elsewhere. Under the all encompassing badge of Americana which can range from pure country, pastoral folk to outright noise merchants it is uncovering a rich vein of music which is some of the this century's best. Artists like Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Richmond Fontaine, J Tillman (the Fleet foxes drummer) the Willard Grant Conspiracy, The Felice Bothers, Comets on Fire and Howlin Rain have all been championed and the list goes on. Uncut has made Low Anthems "OMGCD" their favoured album in a recent issue and it's easy to see why. Indeed I note that the Sunday Times followed suit and the growing buzz around this confirms the emergence of a force to be reckoned with. The similarities with the rise of the Fleet Foxes is quite striking

I have the earlier 2008 version of the album which was available from the bands website and frankly I am not certain why it's a "special edition". The production is crystal clear and the songs are superbly crafted and either the old or new will delight you. It is difficult to know where to start on this album because it holds many surprises. First up are two songs which are as stunningly beautiful as anything you will hear this year and have an ambience that can only be rarely found on such albums as Bon Iver's "For Emma Forever ago" or the Fleet Foxes "Sun Giant EP". They must surely represent two of the best songs to come out of the Americana genre in recent years.
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