Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Fitbit
Profile for jonb > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by jonb
Top Reviewer Ranking: 312,075
Helpful Votes: 94

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by

Page: 1 | 2
Burlesque [Deluxe Edition]
Burlesque [Deluxe Edition]
Price: £11.92

4.0 out of 5 stars Great place to start, 26 Feb. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Finally got this debut album having previously acquired albums 3,2 & 4 in that order and have to say I wish I'd started here as it's probably the easiest 'way in' to the recorded work of the band . There are some great tunes on here with 'Across the Line' a personal favourite.

On 'Burlesque', individual instruments (or perhaps no more than 3 or 4!) seem to take their turn, with Spiers' melodion often to the fore, and this makes it less of an assault on the senses to the newcomer than the triumphant riotous sounds on 'Hedonism' or 'Broadside'.

For that reason it perhaps also loses some of the energy of those later recordings, but 'Burlesque' has its own charm and should not be ignored.

Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Mix, 1 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Broadside (Audio CD)
Having had the album for a couple of months I felt I had to edit my first attempt at a review as it didn't do it the credit it deserves.

I can now declare this my favourite BH album, probably the most consistent they've done. Some tracks take a little while to grow but there are enough easy hooks on the likes of 10,000 Miles to keep the listener going in the meantime.

The vocals do get drowned a bit in places but I think overall it's the best-sounding of the albums- fuller somehow than 'Hedonism' which in its attempt to capture the band's live sound at times seemed as though it had been recorded in an empty hall at soundcheck.

'Byker Hill' rocks and 'Woodpile' rolls while 'Usher's Well' surprises'. 'What's the Life of Man' sounds like something off a Tim Burton animation as it's just bonkers, but it is great fun.

The Liberty Of Norton Folgate
The Liberty Of Norton Folgate
Offered by westworld-
Price: £10.88

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forever young, 6 Jun. 2009
Worth buying for the bohemian title track alone. But then again worth buying for the irresistible chorus of NW5 or for the gorgeous Africa ..............the list could go on.
I kept it to 4 stars because I feel there's two-or-three skippable (but not bad) tracks. Wonderful stuff from the band.

Arc Of The Curve
Arc Of The Curve
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £26.46

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great song from a Great Album, 24 Feb. 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Arc Of The Curve (Audio CD)
From the excellent album 13th Star co-written with Steve Vantsis this is a powerful, very melodic track. Great for radio and one of the best 'songs' of Fish's career

13th Star
13th Star

47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning piece of work, 30 Dec. 2007
This review is from: 13th Star (Audio CD)
Fish has done some very fine solo albums since leaving Marillion, although only occasionally have they come close to the band's masterpieces of 'Misplaced Childhood' and 'Clutching at Straws' recorded back in the eighties. '13th Star' has blown that opinion clean out of the water with an astonishingly strong piece of work that at least matches anything he has done previously in his career.

I loved the previous studio album 'Field of Crows' but it seemed at the time it might be Fish's last- his interest seemed to be focussing on acting. The success of the 'Return to Childhood' tour seemed to reinvigorate his passion in music however, and early in 2007 he announced the intention to produce the concept album '13th Star'

I was a bit surprised to learn that the main co-writer would be long-time bass player Steve Vantsis, who had not previously written - would it be any good?

Early in the process Fish got a show on UK radio station Planet Rock and through the next few months the demos for the new album were played - from very early stages through to unmixed final recordings. It started to become apparent that the new album had a lot to offer, and definitely was going to have some 'heavy' sections.

In the meantime Fish went on an emotional rollercoaster ride. He rekindled his relationship with Heather Findlay and got engaged, only for them to split in May just after the wedding invitations had been sent. The album was bound to reflect the upheaval.

The concept on the album is of a man trapped in routine trying to find his 'navigator' in life- dreaming of a lasting love, believing he's found that person and then the falling apart, before ending with some hope. The inner sleeve features arguably Mark Wilkinson's finest album artwork ever, inspired by the lyric to the track 'Dark Star' . The album was produced by Calum Malcolm, who has given the album a superb sound quality, something which can not be said of some previous Fish offerings.

The album kicks in with 'Circle Line' , a dark, snappy groove, with plenty of biting guitars and atmosphere which really sets the scene for the album. Play this on headphones and hear the dynamics in the production.

Next is 'Square Go' which is based around a single very heavy riff and Fish spitting out a spoken section where he vents real venom in his desire for a 'fair fight' with the world. This could scare young children.

'Miles de Besos' ,is an atmospheric ballad written with returning keys man Foss Patterson. There is some nice Spanish guitar work in this one but for me the chorus lacks the edge of the other songs on the album.

Zoe 25 is next - here the album climbs onto the highest level as a hypnotic blend of acoustic guitar and piano and a warm production take you through a 'daydream'. Lyrically it paints a vivid picture.

'Arc of the Curve' is an excellent song which could make radio- not a million miles from 'Kayleigh'. At this point the traveller thinks he's found his true love and it falls out of the speakers as an anthemic rock ballad with wonderful melody.

Of course the dream relationship doesn't last and in 'Manchmal' the doubts creep in with the heaviest thing Fish has ever done- quite simply an astonishing riff that kicks along at pace as Fish wraps himself around the words with great passion. Halfway through the song suddenly changes into a gentler section.

'Openwater' was written with guitarist Frank Usher and is another fine heavy track - it snaps along with ripping guitars and swirling keys, and benefits from superb production.

At this stage the album probably needs the 'epic' and 'Dark Star' delivers big time. A slow, gloomy world as Fish reflects on the split suddenly has a searing chorus which, after the second chorus climbs into a huge soundscape through which an excellent guitar solo hammers home the sound as worlds slowly collide.

Then it's ballad time with 'Where in the World' , heartfelt reflective lyrics and superbly crafted music which progresses through two distinct sections.

Finally we get to the title track. Throughout the album Fish has been singing in a low range which suits his voice more these days, but on this one he goes even lower and is absolutely emotionally naked. In recording this he pieced together the vocal between being overcome by emotion and the tears can be heard in his voice through the first half of the song. Then the song climbs up to classic album closer mode with an uplifting, optimistic section with mandolin and more fine backing vocals as Fish resumes his search for the point in his life - the '13th Star'.

I never expected something this good and Steve Vantsis and Fish have made a great collaboration. The seamless links between the heavy sections and the emotional melodic tracks make for an album which in a fair world will dervedly see Fish gain both commercial success and critical acclaim.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 29, 2009 9:47 AM BST

Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
Offered by musicMagpie
Price: £7.43

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars return to form, 2 May 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having been disappointed by 'Shootenanny' this cd is a real return to form. There are moments of true genius , though I do think it fades in the last third.
Highlights for me are 'In the Yard, Behind the Church' and the aggressive 'Other Shoe', while 'To Lick Your Boots' and 'Sweet Lil' Thing' strike me as charming possible singles.
Add in some beautiful instrumentals and madness ('Mother Mary') and it's a heady mix.
As good as 'Electro Shock Blues' and 'Daisies'but not better

Daisies Of The Galaxy
Daisies Of The Galaxy
Price: £5.77

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched by genius, 8 April 2005
This review is from: Daisies Of The Galaxy (Audio CD)
Simple songs, beatiful songs, happy songs, sad songs.At times stunningly original. The sad songs seem to have more impact than on 'Electro-Shock' because they're in a setting of such innocent sweetness. For me it's a dream of that innocence of childhood we all hunger for in musical form , mixed with waking up to the sadness of the grown-up world.

When I Was a Boy
When I Was a Boy
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.98

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like staring at your Soul, 9 Aug. 2004
This review is from: When I Was a Boy (Audio CD)
Listen to this alone, an autumn evening, when it's raining outside and you're not quite sure about something. Every now and then an album comes along and finds its way inside you. Not everyone will 'get it' but Jane Siberry's lightness of touch is capable of helping shape the way you look at the world. This, I feel, is her best album to date and a favourite of mine.

Page: 1 | 2