on 4 May 2003
when first reading an review of the album i was interested, before plucking up some courage and buying the album,
i'm glad that i did, although i must admit it sat there looking very pretty for a while before i could listen to it-getting a new artist that has influences of kate bush and under such high aclaim had me nervous as i love female artists... tori amos, Kate Bush, and poe amoung the many that i have in my cd player...
carina round is different, okay she may have the same gender but she's very different, i am still addicted to this cd, maybe it's her raw energy, mayber the issues she sings-i love it, love it, love it whatever it is!
from jazz...folk.... i cant decide although PJ harvey fans will admire her for the similar instruments used, and the power of her voice.
if your unsure about buying this cd (like i was)
i hope this review has made up your mind,
the cd includes a wide range of songs, from heavy to slow and thought provoking at every word
on 15 September 2001
As already mentioned, Carina Round's voice must be heard live to be believed. No recording equipment could ever fully capture a voice so out of this world. The songs, particularly Message to Appollo, Let it fall and On Leaving make my tummy go all funny every time I hear them and provide the perfect vehicle for that celestial sound that is Carina's voice (that's not to say that it's all sweet and sickly though - she shouts like a mad woman as well!!)I think that's what I love about it - the album seems to beautifully encapsulate all kinds of emotion and shove it all together in a bitter-sweet and inexplicable muddle, all rendered with the utmost integrity and passion. Doesn't come close to live performance but still the best album of the year for me!!
on 31 July 2001
Carina Round, young Midlands-based singer is a breath of fresh air. The album goes some way to capture the on stage essence but to be fully appreciated, Carina must be seen live. Best songs include the tormented 'On Leaving' and 'Let it Fall' dedicated to her father who walked out on her at a young age. Many hints of jazz can be heard throughout, but an obvious comparison would have to be Katell Keinig, who has similar husky tones. Bored with way things are musically at the moment? Buy this.
on 2 October 2003
Can I just say something? She doesn't sound like P. J. Harvey. She sounds like Patti Smith, and P. J. Harvey also sounds like Patti Smith. Patti Smith is a good person to sound like. Okay. Now that rant's out of the way...
This album is absolutely stunning. From the fantastic imagery of 'Message to Apollo' (reminsicent of Patti Smith's 'Land') through to the screaming at the end of 'On Leaving', 'The First Blood Mystery' is flawless. The sheer quality of the songwriting will take your breath away: "You stayed here, like a poison in my bloodstream"... "The rain is just the moon, she's sending soul in your direction/ I hope she softens you soon with her subliminal affection". The variety is also fantastic, for instance when the energy of 'Let It Fall' changes to the quiet beauty of 'Ribbons', which then shifts seamlessly into 'On Leaving'.
About the only thing better than this album is seeing Carina Round's electrifying live performances.
on 26 March 2003
This album strikes me as the maturing of a mix of musical styles featuring a sound reminiscent of the cream of P J Harvey, Tory Amos and Alanis Morissette, yet given more freedom to move with a more jazz feel. It would be very hard on Carina Round to compare this album to anyone and make it seem less original than it is - and it is. It is sheer artistry.
This album is musically innovative, moving, textured and free while being entirely expressive at the same time. These are not just well dressed up songs either - they are lyrically superb - putting across with a tremendous use of language the same sentiments and emotions as the nature of the music itself.
A particular favourite of mine is the song 'Ribbons' - an acoustic song to match any which takes you on a trip through all the emotions with a voice that is transcendental. I love the work of the artists previously mentioned so it makes me feel bad to say that this has slipped past them to the pinnacle of my CD pile.
It really has to be heard but I cannot emphasise enough - a must have in any self respecting music collection.
on 18 May 2001
CARINA ROUND The First Blood Mystery (Animal Noise) Wolverhampton chanteuse Carina has a voice like a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo - one moment softly seductive, the next stridently straining with unpredictable power and passion. During her live gigs she restlessly prowls the borders of melody like a caged tigress who spots a weakness in the bars - a unique quality successfully caught on her debut album out tomorrow. Her fans include Coldplay, David Gray, Ian McNabb, Jools Holland and many others who have asked her to tour with them. Little surprise, for this is contender for Album of the Year. From the sexually-charged poetry of Message to Apollo to the starkly bitter Let It Fall - written to the father who deserted her as a baby - this is rich first blood indeed. Live hallmarks Ribbons and On Leaving retain their stage presence, with The Waves lapping with crossover appeal. The only blip is the challenging Lightbulb Song which switches on far too early. Comparisons? Think, perhaps, Imogen Heap meets Zeppelin era Robert Plant, but really there is only one Carina Round. Are you listening, Brit Awards judges? You should be. Paul Cole
on 14 October 2013
I had already bought a couple of Carinas albums and was wanting more so this had to be the way to go. In some ways the beginning is the best, there is a passion always found with new artists that is never quite there again. At the moment this album get played every day and that says a lot to me.
Enjoy it I am sure you will!
on 23 February 2006
I remember about 3 years ago I was dragged down to Camden in London by my girlfriend at the time to see a band called Ben and Jason, and feeling really unwilling to go.
Anyway, I went and sat at the bar in a huff whilst my girlfriend chatted to her friends.
On came the support act... Carina Round.
Everyone stopped talking as soon as the first chords started to filter round the room...
I looked up from my pint and was transfixed by a sound that seemed to hypnotise... I couldn't take my eyes off of the band and particularly Carina for an instant. Each song seemed to seemlessly flow into the next and before I knew it, it was over with a ruptuous round of applause.
I rushed to the small man in the corner that was doing the merchandise only to join a small queue that rushed also to see if those songs were available to buy... and they were in the form of this album.
I had to give the last of my beer money to buy it and quickly rush to the cash machine to get more before my girlfriend noticed I had gone.
Ben and Jason came on after her and to be honest, she stole the show for me, They were a poor second to her.
When I got home, and listened to the album, the same haunting melodies were there, which was great... but this is a lady that you positively have to see live to get the full effect.
I would have to say without a doubt, she should be given more credit than she's already got so far, because she deserves it.
Oh... and as for my girlfriend... I'm extremely glad she dragged me down. :)
on 1 June 2004
The previous reviewers have said it all really, but I simply have to say more about her voice - it's an amazing instrument, and it's a priviledge to hear her let rip with it. Her angriest moments are spine-tingling in the extreme, and she really knows how to bare her soul - raw is a word you will see used a lot to describe this, but it's the rawest of the raw! She is able to go from all out attack to touching, tender girliness (and then back again) in a matter of moments, reminding you of any of Jeff Buckley's finest moments. An involving, electrifying listen. Jeff Buckley is a total god head, so too P J Harvey, and Carina Round stands proudly between the two.
Anyone even remotely interested should buy this with The Disconnection, asap! It's an instant classic, and you will not regret it at any price. It's priceless.
on 18 July 2002
Please do yourself a favour and buy this album! I'd never heard of Carina Round, I didnt know anything about her-but I wanted to try something new, and after a £6.99 chance I bought it.
'The First Blood Mystery' is an amazing album-Carina sings with such passion and empathy that you cant help but get hooked.The beauty of 'Ribbons' the quiet anguish in 'Let it Fall'-whilst 'How I see it' seems to take you to another place altogether...ending with 'On leaving' which will force you to get up and press the REPEAT button. Only seven songs-but very worth it...Only seven songs, that will leave you gagging for more!!!