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Reviews Written by
Stevie Dal "Cool Album Of The Day.com" (Denny, Scotland)

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If I Could Only Remember My Name
If I Could Only Remember My Name
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless..............., 14 May 2015
Well , this is one for the ages.
Crosby's first solo album and he totally nailed it , this is a deep delight filled with acoustic mellow vibes , wondrous harmonies and dreamy reveries. It simply gets better the more you play it , haunting and evocative material that takes time maybe to get under your skin but is well worth the effort. It's hard to come up with any direct comparisons so i'l just have to let this one stand on it's own merits , which are considerable. If you any have interest at all in CSN , Young , any of the Laurel Canyon stuff etc etc , you really need this gem.
One of the very best albums from the era , a 70's classic for certain.

Ten Love Songs
Ten Love Songs
Price: £7.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am completely and utterly in love with this album, 15 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Ten Love Songs (Audio CD)
I am completely and utterly in love with this album. It took a wee while to sink in at first i admit and i only liked the non-electronica stuff. Repeat plays soon solved that though and the full charm and genius soon revealed itself. A wonderful album , sublime.

Tennessee Fire
Tennessee Fire
Offered by nagiry
Price: £11.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so well known , but perfect in every way................, 20 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tennessee Fire (Audio CD)
An utterly wondrous creation. Very lo-fi (recorded in a barn i think !) but stuffed with superb , heartfelt songs. Personally i think this is the best album they have made and i love it to bits , sublime.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Ron Rash
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous stuff., 11 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Nothing Gold Can Stay (Paperback)
Ron Rash is at the top of his game these days , he writes excellent novels (The Cove , Serena) and he is simply one of the very best short story writers on the planet right now. Chemistry , Burning Bright and this collection showcase the man at his best and if you like hard-bitten , realistic tales of people on the "other side of the tracks" you should look no further. I buy everything he puts out on the day of release and , believe me , i don't splash the cash for many of today's writers.

Diamond Mine
Diamond Mine
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £7.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Classic................., 9 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Diamond Mine (Audio CD)
It begins with “First Watch” which is just a quiet little piano meditation, it’s barely there at all but it sets the mood for the full album, a gentle but effective introduction to the world of wonders we’re about to be granted access to.

Thereafter unfolds an exquisite song cycle, beautifully crafted and perfectly executed. It’s a short album, 32 minutes but not a moment is wasted and with repeated listens it begins to seem as if there’s no beginning and no end to it, it’s just there, wrapping itself around you, you could get lost in here for hours at a time.

There are secrets in here and it takes time to find them , for instance the wee hidden track which links “Running On Fumes” and “Bubble.” So slight that it almost passed me by but so lovely and peaceful, it fits perfectly.

I’m going to compare this work to such masterpieces as “Astral Weeks” (Van Morrison) and “Spirit Of Eden” (Talk Talk). Although it doesn’t sound like either of those two, it has a similar feel to it in that it evokes an overall mood and has songs without conventional structure, kind of free form compositions which maybe aren’t instant but have subtle ways of hooking the listener in.

And what is it all ABOUT actually?

Well, i’m not entirely sure. It’s not a concept album but there seems to be a theme and Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) says it’s loosely based on life in the East Neuk of Fife , a particularly lovely part of Scotland. He manages to explore many areas of life there , channeled through the likes of a fisherman , an old couple , arguments with his brothers etc . It’s a romanticized vision and one which he sings about beautifully, the record is a vocal tour-de-force. Musically it’s “sorta” folk but his compadre Jon Hopkins provides excellent atmospherics, using loops, electronic effects and “found sounds” to create an evocative mood. The work he put into this album is extraordinary, above and beyond the call of duty , his efforts really make it the unique work that it is.

Really, you want this thing to go on forever.

And then, of course it DOES have to end, sadly, but it does so on a sublime note with “Your Young Voice” fading gently away, away, drifting out to sea, floating off like a Chinese lantern into the night sky.

I’m biased of course but i think that Scotland has produced some great music over the years and in terms of recent output you’ll struggle to find an album as good as this, from anywhere really never mind Scotland.

It’s a whole new world, discover it.

I Am Shelby Lynne
I Am Shelby Lynne
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Career Defining Classic., 20 Oct. 2014
This review is from: I Am Shelby Lynne (Audio CD)
Shelby Lynne had been a recording artist for quite a while by the time this album came out but I think it's fair to say that things hadn't been going quite the way she would have liked up until that point. It seemed the time was right for her to take control, make a stand, and get things back on track. Hence the title of this, quite wonderful, album: I Am Shelby Lynne, a definitive statement if ever there was one. It was actually her sixth album, although the first in almost five years, and not so much a comeback as a complete creative, and ultimately critical, rebirth.

And that's the kind of story I like, when an artist who's seemingly had their shot, gave it their best but faded away, manages to come storming back and deliver a knockout blow, proving their worth all over again. Think Elvis in the late 60′s maybe or Johnny Cash on his work with Rick Rubin. There are, of course, many other examples.

Shelby's career started with aplomb, recording a Top 50 hit duet with George Jones in 1988, and she was earmarked for great things by Epic Records, her debut album was even produced by the legendary producer Billy Sherrill, a revered name in Country music circles. Her next effort gave her good placing on the Country chart but subsequent releases saw diminishing returns and the style wasn't one she was entirely comfortable with, the slick country-pop sound which dominates mainstream Nashville to this day. Some call it bland, I prefer not to talk about it at all. I would like to stress at this point that some of this stuff was damn good incidentally, lest you get the wrong idea. Have a listen to (for example) "Tell Me I'm Crazy" and you'll hear a great torch song, delivered in fine Patsy Cline style. Shelby was actually a wonderful talent even back then. It's just that, well, she got BETTER. Fifth album "Restless" only crept into the Top 75 and by 1998 she hadn't released anything in 4 years, time for a rethink.

Enter : Bill Bottrell.

Now, I'm the first to admit that before doing a spot of reading up on this album recently I knew next to nothing about Bill Bottrell. I knew he was the man who produced, and co-wrote much of, Sheryl Crow's debut album Tuesday Night Music Club because it's a real favourite of mine but beyond that I was clueless. Turns out though that he has been a very busy and successful chap over the years, not to mention a very talented one, working with the likes of Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John and Tom Petty and winning some Grammy awards in the process, not a bad CV by any standards!
He came onboard for this one and certainly earned his corn, not only does he produce the album but he's listed as a co-writer on most of the songs and plays on many of them as well, contributing on umpteen different instruments. I think it's fair to say that it's very much collaboration on equal terms, his input was certainly key to this work. And as for Shelby Lynne herself, she produced a masterful affirmation of her talents and a reinvention which completely transformed her career!

I Am Shelby Lynne sounds nothing like her previous work, there's merely a hint of "country" for a start and it's mainly a modern, soulful/bluesy record for the most part. Opener "Your Lies" comes sweeping in on the strength of strings, tale of a deceived lover and it's apparent already that there's something special here. The first time I heard "Leavin' " I was convinced that Aretha had popped into the studio for a guest appearance, of course she hadn't and it's all Shelby, what a vocal. Actually, two vocals for the price of one ! You'll know what I mean when you hear it, amazing stuff.

"Life Is Bad" struts and slides, sounding very much like something from the aforementioned Sheryl Crow album, in a good way, of course.

"Why Can't You Be ?" has a sexy, southern feel to it, "Dreamsome" so laid-back it almost isn't there, repeat plays reveal a subtle gem which builds gently and gets addictive.

Near the end, "Where I'm From" may well be my favourite song on the album, the sound of a long, lazy & languid evening on a porch in Alabama, fireflies buzzing, very evocative stuff.

What it all amounted to, as previously mentioned, and was a fantastic reinvention and a complete turnaround for Shelby's career. Incredibly, after six albums and 13 years in the business, she won the Grammy in 2001 for "Best New Artist!" That is quite an achievement.
She didn't stop there, now rejuvenated she went on to craft some fine work indeed, Shelby Lynne is one of those artists who simply doesn't seem capable of making a bad record.

Her sister, Alison Moorer is a fine musician in her own right, married to Americana legend Steve Earle for years , now divorced. And Shelby,well I consider this the finest album of the lady's career to date, a real treat which you would do well to seek out.

This fine album has now been reissued with 6 bonus tracks , maintaining (for the most part) the high standards of the original release. You also get a superb live show from the same era as the album , pure quality and worth every penny.

Trouble & Love
Trouble & Love
Price: £12.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... i listen to this album i have a new favourite song, that must tell you something, 10 July 2014
This review is from: Trouble & Love (Audio CD)
Every time i listen to this album i have a new favourite song , that must tell you something.
A complete work , cohesive and beautiful , i would class this as Mary's best effort to date , an utter masterpiece.
Frustrating, of course, that such a unique piece of work should contain only 8 songs but i can assure you : there's years of listening here. It's a deep work of passion , emotion and beauty , something she can be proud of. Unique and beautiful , without doubt my favourite album of 2014 so far , i can't take it off !

Nebraska (Japanese Edition Vinyl Replica Sleeve)
Nebraska (Japanese Edition Vinyl Replica Sleeve)
Offered by hotshotrecordsgermany
Price: £18.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All Time Classic, 18 May 2014
Sparse , sombre , heartfelt and brilliant . Nebraska was a bit of a surprise to many , but Bruce had to stretch himself , take a chance with something a bit different. But it is an all time classic album and , for me, the best one he ever made . Absolutely wonderful from start to finish it has some of the best songs ever recorded , by anyone : Atlantic City , Highway Patrolman , Open All Night , Johnny 99.
5 stars easily , i'd give it more if i could.

From Monday To Sunday
From Monday To Sunday

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem !, 11 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: From Monday To Sunday (Audio CD)
I read about this album in a feature about Britpop and was a bit surprised , i'd never heard of it before. I did know a bit about Nick Heyward but i must be honest , i didn't really like his music much.
Anyway , i was intrigued so i had a listen to some of it online and was tempted to give it a try.The CD arrived a week ago and i've been playing it ever since , an absolutely superb slice of guitar driven pop , wonderful stuff indeed.
The first half of the original album (tracks 1-6) is very strong indeed , especially He Doesn't Love You Like I Do , Kite and Caravan but there's not really a bad track and it ends with one of the best tracks , Everytime. Amazing that this album isn't better known actually.
Then we come to the bonus tracks which are , amazingly , almost as good , Nick was certainly on a roll when he made this stuff. Favourite from this section is Woman In Love which is seriously one of the best B Sides i've heard and could easily have been on the album. Hell , it could even have been a single , i've heard many bands put out a lot worse.

So there you go , a real surprise to me , a quite fantastic album from a guy i'd always taken for granted . it truly is a life of surprises !

Open Up Your Colouring Book
Open Up Your Colouring Book
Price: £10.35

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pristine Pop Perfection !, 7 May 2014
Davey Scott has been making superb music for a long time , certainly over 20 years at least. i know this because i went to see The pearlfishers when i was on my honeymoon , at the Old Atheneum in Glasgow , August 1993. It was a superb show and i've kept up with his music ever since , there has been some fine fine listening involved over the years. He's made 7 albums in that time , the latest of which is this rather excellent effort : Open Up Your Colouring Book.
Highlights abound and i have a new favourite every time i put the damn thing on , right now it's the wondrous title track which seems to channel the spirit of a certain Brian Wilson in a perfect 4 minutes and 45 seconds of aural bliss. Seriously , one of the best tracks released in 2014 so far.
But there's a lot more. The whole thing begins for instance with four absolutely perfect tracks , making me think that this just may be his best album. It never lets up though and there's simply not a bad track on the full thing , a perfect pop construction which sounds amazing right now and will be even better when (if) the sun is shining through my window…………..
Thoroughly recommended for anyone who loves melody , joy and good times , this album will enhance your life. It gets better with every listen , you'll love it. Trust me !!!

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