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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 26 January 2001
This is the album that first really got me into The South. I'd always been aware of them, with 'Song For Whoever' being an example of something that stuck in my mind for years. But it was'nt until hearing this album that it finally clicked just how good TBS really are. More specifically, 'Blackbird On The Wire' is the key for me. Its haunting lyric about how the writer cannot, darenot, express his love for his dream woman for fear of his inadequacies really struck a chord with me. Once that barrier of regognition was broken down, I began to see other parellels in my life with the lyrics ('Have Fun' on this album, 'Worthless Lie' on Miaow) and other songs just became the soundtrack to my life that I could not do without. Paul Heaton is one of those rare people who can see the beauty in the ordinary, and the ugliness in the perfect. This album's only real weak track is 'Artificial Flowers', a misconcieved cover, that has a bigger, better cousin on 'Painting It Red's' 'The River', musically speaking. Even the radio friendly 'Rotterdam' has its darkness; 'This could be anywhere, anywhere alone...'. If you want to listen to a Beautiful South album, this is the one you should buy. Its as close to perfect as The South have come. Carry on up the charts guys.
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on 6 May 2014
'The South's' 5th studio album is quite a dark affair but, overall, this is another highly enjoyable audio workout from Heaton and Co. The highlights are, for me, the 'big' singles 'Don't Marry Her', 'Rotterdam' and 'Blackbird On The Wire' with the gorgeous non-single 'Have Fun' being perhaps my favourite track on this collection - gorgeous vocal interplay between Jacqui Abbott and Paul Heaton. The only track that I do find rather grating (especially vocally) is the tortuous and overlong 'Liar's Bar' - a surprise choice for a single and no great surprise that it failed to reach the Top 40. Worth buying this album (at a reasonable price) if you missed it the first time around.
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on 5 June 2014
Despite owning every other Beautiful South album, this is one that for some reason I just had never got around to buying. However, after the news that Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott were reuniting, I decided that it was time.

I've been missing out! A lovely album, and a reminder (not that it was needed) of how beautiful Jacqui Abbott's voice is - my favourite song is 'Mirror' - and also a reminder of how well Dave Hemmingway's voice works with the other two as well. I was going to list my other favourite songs too but then I realised that would be most of the tracklist!

If you're thinking about buying this album, then stop thinking - buy it now!
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on 15 December 2013
"For the most part a good album with a blues/folk feel and some rather angry and cynical lyrics. The best known songs here are the saucy 'Don' Marry Her' and the social commentary - 'Rotterdam'. There are several songs about social ills from the mind and emotions of the afflicted, exploring themes from the mind of a prostitute - 'Mirror', an alcoholic-'Liar's Bar', the homeless - 'The Sound of North America', the lonely -'Alone', the abandoned orphan - 'Artificial Flowers' and others. These are sometimes good, sometimes too melancholy , cynical and bitter. My favourite songs on this CD are 'Rotterdam [or Anywhere]', 'Mirror', 'Foundations, and 'Have Fun' all fantastic pieces that I can listen to over."
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 May 2015
1996's 'Blue is the Colour' was the first album I purchased by indie pop/rock band The Beautiful South, purely on the strength of the two big hits 'Don't Marry Her' (presented here as the expletive version, not the single) and 'Rotterdam (Or Anywhere)', both long term favourites of mine. Although these tracks are the two best known, they most certainly don't represent all of the highlights here.

My two favourite songs are the quirky 'Little Blue' and the wonderfully mellow 'The Sound Of North America', followed by the impressive 'Liars' Bar', reflecting in the lyrics Paul Heaton's fondness for a drink and the time, and the beautiful 'Blackbird On The Wire', which is without doubt one of the band's best ever ballads. The hits are great of course, but the real gems lay hidden.

Hauntingly beautifully, often dark in themes (there are songs here that are about alcoholism, prostitution, and being alone), 'Blue is the Colour' is a first class album of alternative rock music, often with a breezy, folky feel. It represents the excellent singing and song writing talents of Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, both former members of The Housemartins, as well as the band's then new female vocalist Jacqui Abbott, who has a very appealing voice. If you only intend to initially by one studio album by these talented musicians, I do think that this is the one to go for. It certainly helped turn me into a big fan.
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on 27 May 2014
tracks again another well produced album form Beatiful South,excellent tracks and great i would strongly recommend buying this album,you will be singing along with the various sounds can't wait for another album to be made.
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on 1 November 2015
An old favourite from years ago and ordered it after hearing the odd track or two on my local radio station. Must have got amnesia in-between as completely forgot the original words of the first track - Title? Don,t Marry Her etc etc !!!!!! LOL
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on 4 September 2000
When 'Blue is the Colour' came out, The Beautiful South had a tough act to follow after the titanic succes of Carry On Up The Charts. They surpassed every expectation. Full of haunting, uplifting, bitter and oten blue lyrics, the combination of Heatons and Abbots vocals make the absolute most of the song writing tallent, such is evident here. 'Alone' should've been released as a single, where as the beautiful love ballad 'Blackbird on the Wire' sees silver tongued Heaton laid bare before an object of his desire. This album has something for everyone, and at more than one point, we all know we've been there before at some point. Thankfully The Beautiful South seem blissfully incapable of drinking away their sorrows. marvelous stuff and one of their best.
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on 19 April 2016
Special album for me. Listened to it as a little boy growing up, I didn't realise that the group used strong language on some of their material, let alone Blue Is the Colour (such as the f-word in Don't Marry Her). Whilst it's certainly regarded the darkest of their work, it is treated with such brilliant reflection and treatment in Paul Heaton's genius song-writing and Jacqui Abbott's phenomenal singing range, her low C in 'Mirror' gives me the shivers. One of the most emotion-provoking works I could ever listen to, as well as the most moving album cover imaginable, one I can certainly relate to. Made me cry, especially 'Little Blue' and 'Blackbird on the Wire'. Overall, most moving piece of work from one of the best British bands since the British Invasion of the '60s.
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This fifth album outing for Hull's greatest musical export, the Beautiful South, marks a slight shift in the band's sound. Still keeping the cynical, sarcastic lyrics with trademark jazzy arrangements, there are slower numbers here, along with some very big issues being tackled, and a few tracks which sound like they were recorded with the aim of producing a commercial hit single.

Overall the quality is excellent. The slow burning songs work well. The faster tempo tracks, such as Rotterdam reveal the usual playful, sarcastic voice of the band. Religion is tackled in the amusing `One God'. The best track of all though is the all conquering `Liar's Bar', one of the greatest tracks ever recorded by the band. Paul Heaton uses an unusually low and gruff register to tell the tale of a dedicated bar fly. It shows what a great singer he is, as well as displaying his unique song writing ability.

All in all a classic album. Perhaps not as boundary pushing as their earlier work, with a slightly more commercial edge, but a bona fide classic nonetheless.
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