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Plague Songs

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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31 new from £3.67 7 used from £1.48
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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Oct. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B000ICLGNK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 200,482 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album for the Scott Walker track, and it does not disappoint, except perhaps in its brevity. It's somewhere between opera and a slave spiritual. Arguably it's more accessible than anything on the recent Drift album, but it burrows into the mind all the same. The other tracks on this themed album are a ragbag. The ones worth keeping are those by King Creosote, Brian Eno, Cody ChesnuTT and Laurie Anderson. It's a strange collection of artists, and clearly far from ideal. The idea was to bring 'important' music artists together on this project, but in my own mind, only a few would qualify. Imogen Heap? All she offers is a piece of poppy fluff which feels completely inconsequential and out of place. Compare that to the solemnity of Laurie Anderson's meditation on animals' deaths. Stephen Merritt's offering is the kind of thing he could write in his sleep, and is ephemeral, but at least has some neat wordplay. But he could have made more of an effort, really. These kind of projects are virtually never satisfying, and that's certainly true with this one. The album ends with a Rufus Wainwright dirge (even if it's personal to him, it's not to me, it just makes me want to kill myself). I turned it off halfway through. I suppose there's half a good album here. Although it perhaps would have been preferrable to make a double album, with two different artists tackling each of the plagues. Then the listener could have put together his own selection of ten tracks. But after all, I only got it for the Scott track, right?
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Format: Audio CD
For the Rufus Wainwright track!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, so-so execution 1 Dec. 2007
By Ethan Straffin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This one's taken some hard knocks, which are not entirely undeserved. It's an uneven release.

Interesting how Imogen Heap's contribution seems to polarize people. I'll just say that I adore it, and would recommend risking $0.99 on it any day of the week, month, year, or decade. It's just that brilliant.
4.0 out of 5 stars not perfect, but intriguing and worthwile conceptual album 18 Feb. 2015
By AndreasG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sometimes a work needs to be appreciated as much for what it aspires to, as for the actual results. This is one such case.

This is a compilation with various artists each contributing a song based on one of the biblical plagues of Egypt. What drew my attention was the presence of Brian Eno & Robert Wyatt and of Scott Walker, and these are, in fact, the highlights of the album. Of the remaining artists, I am a fan of Laurie Anderson and am a bit familiar with Rufus Wainright. I did not know the others. Overall I would say the collection is successful in achieving a diverse mix of songs that tie into a mood befitting the topic. The one exception for me is Imogen Heap’s contribution, which, despite the lyrics, just sounds too poppish and doesn’t work for me. I am generally not a rap fan, but Klashnekoff’s piece works to open the album with a bang, and Wainright offers a bittersweet close to it.

The best piece is Scott Walker’s “Darkness” which features very sparse instrumentation accompanying Walker’s lead vocals and a sinister-sounding dissonant Greek chorus. Eno and Wyatt’s “Flies” conveys melancholic dread. Robert Wyatt contributes buzzing bug noises that are truly disturbing.

Overall a very interesting album that is definitely not perfect, but definitely worth checking out.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing 27 Dec. 2006
By Edward Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I love this collection! It's an intriguing idea to take some of today's most fascinating & talented musicians to write & perform songs based upon Biblical plagues. Highlights include Imogen Heap, Laurie Anderson & Rufus Wainwright!
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A dreadful mess featuring two gems 3 Dec. 2006
By J. Grigg - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As if the concept of this project weren't strange enough, the bulk of the artists approach their contributions subjects too literally making this a quite painful listening experience. Particularly guilty are the tracks by Klashnekoff, Scott Walker, Stephen Merritt, & Cody ChesnuTT. What makes this CD so frustrating is that it contains two tracks that are brilliant creative gems by Imogen Heap & Rufus Wainwright. These contributions shine as among those artists best works and are the only reason to give this disc a listen or purchase.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Plagues too many 9 July 2007
By Ciaran Megahey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some very interesting artists comissioned for this recording along with the grandiose concept made it a pretty irresistable purchase. Having Scott Walker, Brian Eno, Stephin Merritt and Laurie Anderson all on the same compilation is pretty much impossible for someone like myself to ignore. But, although the contributions from the artists mentioned above are all fairly effective, the weaker contributions make it difficult to go back for repeat listenings. Cody ChestnuTT sticks out like a sore thumb(covered in boils) with his take on the plague; "Boils". In the liner notes Cody explains how his goal was something along the lines of being an instrument of Gods glory or some such nonsense. Exceedingly more cringeworthy is the song itself which sounds like a Dave Matthews band outtake. Other standouts(in the negative sense) include the completely banal disco pop stylings of Imogen Heap. Omit these two aberrations and you've got a rather cohesive record. There were however, some pleasant surprises as well from two artists I was previously unfamilar with; King Creosote, and Tiger Lilies who held their own alongside some pretty legendary artists. In fact Creosotes', "Relate the Tale" is the most memorable selection of the lot.
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