Top positive review
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bruised but unbowed
on 9 October 2004
The Blue Nile return at last with another collection of sublime, intoxicating yet uplifting songs, characterised by Paul Buchanan's sharply observed bittersweet vignettes.
I'm surprised that other review haven't picked out "Because of Toledo" for special mention. It's one of the most stark, haunting and melancholic songs this side of...well, anywhere, actually - and yet is truly what The Blue Nile are about. Paul Buchanan's voice, torn with hopeless resignation, is accompanied by a picked guitar line that builds through a typical "Blue Nile Chorus" striking in it's simplicity: an unusual but majestic key change, strengthened by a sudden harmony, a wordless almost breathless phrase then, a wash of strings, a solemn horn. No waste, no cinematic score for false drama, no theatrics.
Paul Buchanan's voice isn't technically perfect. It glows with an epic weariness. If we had to give it a name, it would be Walter Matthau. Yet it's up there with the great voices from that land - Gary Clark, Billy Mckenzie, Hamish Stuart, Roddy Frame....
So, I hear you ask, who do they sound like? Well,that's just it - no one. And we don't want another band to sound like The Blue Nile. We've already got a band that sounds just like The Blue Nile. They're called........The Blue Nile. And that's all we need.
I want you to go and buy this. I want you to share the experience I had all those years ago when "A Walk Across the Rooftops" leapt out of my stereo, slapped me about the face and told me things just wouldn't be the same again - at least for another 6 years, when "Hats" slipped into my blood and somehow scrambled my DNA.
HANG ON, just a minute, let's think about this...........more sales, bigger record company, more pressure from the suits, duets with Ronan, covers by Sugarbabes, remixes by Flip and Fill, interviews (aaarrgghh!). No, on second thoughts, maybe it's better this way, and I'll just continue to grow old to a soundtrack punctuated, from time to time, by The Blue Nile.