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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 30 May 2013
This music gives me faith in the future of music after a couple of bad buys recently. I was aware of the Cinematic Orchestra's work and already have "Man with a Movie Camera", which has a few great tracks on it. They've pulled out all the stops on this one though. My thoughts are that it a return to the concept album format (it seems to be roughly based around birth/death/rebirth themes). Bands used to do concept albums a lot, but it has fallen out of favour lately because of digital downloads/itunes etc. The whole piece just builds and builds towards the final track "Time & Space", which is the knock out blow to an album that I would count amongst my all time favourites.
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on 9 May 2007
J.Swinscoe & crew had set a example with Everyday which raised everyones game in that genre with very good albums in the same vein from Loka & Nostalgia 77 so I was eagerly anticipating the next installment...and they did'nt dissapoint, although for a few horrid seconds I thought someone had slipped me a Coldplay record accidentally ...but that was only for a second or two until the beauty if the opening track took me away. There is a more melancholic acoustic feel to this album which as a concept piece works beautifully, whereas previous albums have taken me up, down & sideways this seems to keep you in the same mood & groove which allows you to feel the music more. I notices another reviewer mentioned Luke Flowers drumming and that he felt it hadnt progressed beat wise, and I can see his point, but he does the style so well why change. Childsong and As The Stars Fell being shining examples. Patrick Watson is a great vocal addition as well as teh great Fontella Bass.

Listen & Glisten.
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on 8 November 2007
Its true that we can't expect bands to recreate the same album over and over again.... but that said neither should they forget what they are good at.

One of the things I believed was the main strength with the Cinematics was their contrast between the energy of the rhythms and the beauty of the melodies....
But where have the drums gone on this album? Did they fall out with the drummer and they tried to do it without him? Who knows.
What ever the reason, the energy is lost and with out it all that is left is something that is very very beautiful and very very dull.

Sorry guys.
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on 4 August 2007
This album is quite honestly one of the best composed of the last few years. A triumph for Jason Swinscoe, who had emerged as one of the best musicians and composers in this day and age. The album effortlessly transverses different moods, genres and styles whilst maintaining its integrity throughout. I would single out tracks which stand out however any of the album's 11 beautifully crafted tracks are worthy of praise. A personal favourite is 'To Build a Home' which sounds vaguely like Sigur Ros, except with bucketloads more depth.
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on 10 August 2007
I am compelled to write a review for this album purely from seeing some 'reviewers' giving it 1 and 2 stars. I am all for people having an opinion, but seriously, from whatever angle you approach the Cinematics latest, it just delivers on every level. For those who cannot see this, I truly feel sorry for them, because in my humble opinion this may be one of the best albums I have ever heard.
Having waited a long time since Everyday, and having been a Cinematics fan since day dot, it was with no small amount of trepidation that I inserted Ma Fleur into my stereo for the first time. Everyday was a classic, and easily one of my favourite albums. How could they possibly top that? A few chords into 'To Build a Home', and I knew they had created something special.
The opening track is such a deep, moving piece I defy anyone to listen without a shiver along the spine or a tug at the heart. I have a friend who is always interested in what I am listening to, hoping to pick up a gem or two. He popped over one evening and I sat him down and told him to listen. After letting the song breathe all the way through I turned to him and asked what he thought. "That is one of the best pieces of music I think I have ever heard" was his reply. He bought the album the next day.
From there Ma Fleur ebbs and flows, becoming more a than the sum of it's individual parts. It is so meticulously crafted, the melodies so beautifully produced, that whether you look at it from an emotional, technical or musical standpoint, it is a masterpiece, and something Jason Swinscoe & co should be incredibly proud of. By the time the last string fades on 'Time and Space' you will have been on an aural journey the likes of which you will probably have never been on before. Ma Fleur will be revered and most likely imitated for years to come.
I see albums on here all the time with 5 stars. Some I have bought, regretably, on the strength of that. Ma Fleur has 4 stars. Even by the extraneous nature of the Amazon rating system this feels like a grave injustice.

So, to anyone thinking about purchasing this album, stop thinking. Just buy it. Take no heed of those 'fans' who believe this album to somehow disappoints. This is the evolution of the Cinematic Orchestra, and it has been worth the wait.

In a word; Astounding.
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on 29 June 2007
I don't think i've ever known an album to split opinion quite so much. Is this the sign of a truly great album? Possibly. Yes it's a bit different to their last albums, but look at other bands born out of the big chill / nu jazz scene, where are they now? Exactly. They have matured, these songs are growers, they're unpretentious, universal. There is no other album to compate it to, it stands alone and complete. If Autumn leaves could sing this is how they'd sound. There are less beats tho, its folkier so that might be a clue as to whether you'll like it or not. BUt i find it refreshing, modern music is based too much on beats, its nice to have such a chilled listen, and when the drums do kick in it sounds all the better for it.
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on 9 January 2014
Having heard the opening track; "To build a home" on a short film a few years ago, I recently found what the song was, and ever since, I've been consumed by these beautiful arrangements and the carefully crafted dynamics of "Ma Fleur".

A properly inspirational album that sits well in the breed of music suited to relaxing on a Sunday afternoon, and letting the music take you on its journey.

Bravo.... Bloody bravo!
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on 7 January 2008
I'm new to the Cinematic Orchestra but I enjoyed this album as a simple, mellow collection of jazz tracks, some more modern than others in style. Minimalist in places and yet quite listenable, making this far less pretentious than I had first assumed. My only complaint regards the opening track ("To build a home") which is alarmingly close to the inexplicably popular blandness of Coldplay (well, if it makes the Cinematics music more accessible to a wider audience, I'll forgive them that on this occasion). Aside from that, I rather like this album and, if the other reviews are to be believed, their other work is substantially better, which can't be bad.
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on 29 May 2007
The Cinematic Orchestra are the Boss's of post 2am grooves ,with two awesome after hour loungers under there belts Motion and Everyday. Man with the Moviecamera I didn't like it was just re-recordings of cut's from Motion and Everyday. For the long awaited Ma Fleur J.Swincoe's taken a new direction . More tracks , less jazz and more vocals, mainstream ambient brit pop style additions.There's new vocalists Lou Rhodes and Patrick Watson. First two tracks I found the worse Patrick Watson's vocals a cross between Snow Patrol and Zero 7 Even Fontella Bass's vocal's didn't seem to warm me . By The third track Child song the Old Cinematic magic kicked in for a superbly mesmerising dream theme of beauty .There are some superb tracks on this new set that make up for the poorer tracks ,I prefer, the old jazzy late night smoky Cinematics of Motion in tracks such as the excellent bass and saxy title track Ma Fleur. There's a clever type of trilogy in three superb tracks Prelude, As Stars Fall and In To You which is basically the same track in three seperate formats a Michael Nyman style strings As Stars fall a cruel jazzy intrumental version and Into you featuring Patrick Watson's vocal electronica rendition.Ma Fleur is a new route for the Cinematics and the closing track Time and space is an excellent example of how Swincoe gets it right with vocalist Lou Rhodes, sounding like a cross between Bork and Emiliana Torrini in this down beat string based beatiful theme.Mixed feelings on the new sound not keen on Patrick Watson's vocals, but Cinematic Orchestra remain on top with what I'm sure is one of my top albums for 2007.
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on 1 October 2007
First things first, i'm not into this whole scathing review, putting good bands down as bad thing. I wouldn't normally let my opinions be known if I didn't feel very, very strongly, good or bad, about an album, but this i'm afraid is a real let down.
I've been into this groups music since day one, more accuratley i've been into the unique sound that they created for themselves. The cinematic orchestra built a whole new interpretation of modern jazz grooves, funk fuelled tracks and intelligent beats, which a hell of a lot of fans grew and responded to following 'motion' and 'everyday.' (just look at the effing reviews!) But ma fleur has none of this. All this talk of a new, improved style... The Cinematic Orchestra have essentially swapped the rhythmic and melodic genious that made their old stuff so engaging for this repetetive acoustic droning, bring an elagic tear to your eye nonsense that is, i'm sorry to say, so reminiscient of coldplay or the sparce 'noises' of Sigur Ros.
What's more annoying, the album begins, however slowly and terribly, as if it is building up to something. Yet instead of bursting out with some classic cinematic jazzy breakdowns or at least a SOULFUL offering so potent in previous tracks like 'all that you give' it dies in the same cliche'd whimper it began.
So in the end, and it really pains me to say this, a Cinematic Orchestra album unsuitable for fans of the Cinematic Orchestra.
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