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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Black Sheep
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 13 July 2016
In terms of the physical item the delivery was as prompt as ever and it was in good condition. Its a CD thats the way it should be.

The album itself - This is a lot better than I expected it to be. Julian Cope is never less than interesting and while in terms of image he may don the mantle of a pagan guru and esoteric thinker he still knows how to write and perform a good tune, and there are some crackers in here.

It is a bonus that the lyrics are so unexpectedly varied and interesting as well. There is nothing here that takes the crazy train but it does explore some new and interesting ideas.

Get this and buy more Julian Cope stuff. It is a purchase you will not regret.
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on 25 September 2008
The latest in his trademark "mini-double CD offerings, this is Cope's most focussed and melodic efforts for some years. As you would expect, he's heavy on message (the God-bashing is pretty unrelenting)but unlike some of his work of late the music does not become overshadowed by the polemic.

Black Sheep really hits its stride three tracks in with the insanely catchy "These Things I Know" and continues in a rich vein for the rest of CD1 culminating in the quite magnificent "The Shipwreck of St Paul". After CD2's jolly little singalong opener and the rather laboured "Feed My Rock N Roll" the last three tracks are all exquisite reminders of what we know Cope to be capable of but which has often been lacking in his post major label years. There are some particularly welcome echoes of the earlier solo albums in places (that oboe sound especially!).

So a notch or two above last year's "You've Gotta Problem With Me", which was itself a partial return to form after a couple of hit or miss noise-athons. Fans should be pleased with it, the curious may find it well worth checking it out
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VINE VOICEon 29 September 2008
I got into Cope with Peggy Suicide in the early 90s. Then loved Jehovahkill. Less taken with 20 mothers, and then dropped away around Interpreter. Cope went off exploring the outer reaches of planet noise. Loving Iggy and the Stooges and the MC5 and rawwwkk and roll. But along the way forgetting to write more than one or two songs per album (although he did come up with the best song title of the last 20 years with Citizen Cain'd's "I'm living in the room they found Saddam in"). Black Sheep puts a stop to that. He sings again, has written some proper tunes and brought back some of the instruments and the sounds that characterised his earlier work. And a good thing too.

If you're not already a fan you're not even going to be looking at this page, let's be honest. But this is pretty accessible stuff. One star off as his constant anti-religion polemicising is starting to get a bit wearing. We get it, OK? I know it's an essential part of who he is but you can write songs about other stuff too. Like, you know, living in the room they found saddam in...

But a minor quibble for an album that I am sorely tempted to describe as a triumphant return to form.
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on 20 December 2008
I never went out looking for this album, I didn't know it existed, but I sincerely think that it must have been calling to me (I really think that happens; really good music calls out to be heard in the same way that good books call out to be read - it must be an outward psychic expression created by the artists brilliance contained within a fixed medium - like hunting in reverse. When I first heard it I was surprised, awed, intrigued, astounded, amazed, fascinated and impressed beyond words; I have got to say that this is one of the most amazing albums I have listened to for years. And that was only the first time!!! Julian Cope's style varies with each song so there is little consistency in that respect but each song is an individual masterpiece and it is this inconsistency that makes the album so marvellous as it draws you in. There are good albums, brilliant albums, outstanding albums and, if you are lucky, albums you'd want to be buried with; then there are albums like Black Sheep that transcend definition, albums like these need to be experienced.

The bizarre thing is that there is no one defining factor that can tell you that "this song" or "that song" is so good, it's as though the songs enter the listener's head and completely transform their perception and thought processes. And this is a very thought provoking album, raising very pertinent, very real issues that should not be overlooked; this album asks us to consider our priorities and accept the consequences of ignorance in a world where ignorance is still the best tool of suppression governments and religions have in their arsenal. This album will make you think and it will stir you in ways you couldn't expect and it will fill your entire being because it touches all the parts of your soul that been waiting for this musical and lyrical experience.

Listen to this album, open your eyes and follow the Black Sheep where it leads you - this is more than just music, it's Heathen Rock And Roll.
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on 22 September 2008
Get this album, the Cope is still one of the most interesting dudes recording today."All the blowing themselves up..." should be played on a loop till it is acknowledged as a modern masterpiece.I'm really impressed with this album, when I put this alongside his Japrocksampler book of last year it makes me think there might be long-term benefits to frying your brains on psychedelics and wearing a turtle shell.
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on 29 February 2016
Probably not the easiest one but for me has a life long fan still more than ok.
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on 4 November 2008
You either love him or hate him or just go off him.

Like an express train Cope is the master chameleon forever changing direction and sense of purpose. As he says he likes to be a "Cultural Irratent". Like a naughty public school boy. Most of the time hes on a blinkered crusade, always intresting and not always palatable. None of his thirty or so CDS are the same in any context WHAT SO EVER all are diverse and varied. If you like one you can't count on the next being in the same vien.

His topics are diverse and controversial and delivered with pasion although how much of this is part of his stage act I'm not sure. Although its obvious he is highly intellegent and articulate with a razor sharp wit.

His fans are a menagerie of as the tilte says Black Sheep, deciples to his cause.

His music is at best confussing on CD but it comes alive and textured as a live performance.

Give the CDS a miss and do your self a favor go see him live its the only way to appreciate this Guy ans his music.

I prommise you a night of entertaiment, 3 hours of singing, banter, philosophy, dancing, satirical statments, current affiars, campaigns, playing with the audience.

It will change you life and peerception
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