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4.4 out of 5 stars
21
4.4 out of 5 stars
Walk the River
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£4.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 20 April 2011
Despite Tom Hocknell's review for the BBC,this really is a grower,I would seriously pass that review by and suck it and see for yourself.
Remember the meandering instrumentations of 'Through The Windowpane',those epic 7-minute wonders that had us all enthralled? It was that debut album which we took to our hearts,fell in love with and still cherish to this day? 'Walk The River' combines all of those eccentricities and throws in more of the same big,bold choruses,ethereal strings and other such 'stuff' of wonder which enveloped and also managed to 'create' which was essentially the essence of their debut.Original,haunting,melodic,pounding,mysterious and whole-heartedly warming.
With each listen this album gets better and better and better,believe me!
I love their debut,admired the follow-up album, 'Red', for being what it was,a much more straight forward 'rockin' album with great songs,but for me,'Walk The River' brings them back around to that sumptuous,expansive and cerebrally affecting sound which for me IS the Guillemots.
Making the strange both melodic and beautiful...nobody does it better.(Well maybe Kate Bush,and that is certainly no bad thing.)
Blindingly brilliant album!
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on 18 April 2011
The Guardian says it all:

Singer Fyfe Dangerfield calls Guillemots' third album "music to be heard across the night sky", which captures precisely its expansive beauty. Having got a yen for sparser songs out of his system with last year's solo album, he's returned with a zeal for large-scale emotion, and Walk the River is laden with it. It abounds in dramatic word-pictures, possibly pertaining to the end of the romance with the woman who inspired his solo LP ("Walk the river like a hunted animal", "When I see it I hear crashing drums") and sky-high choruses, arranged into some of the most sumptuous songs Guillemots have ever created. This is a group who don't believe in understatement, so there's a lot going on, from the fuzzy guitar and spacey synth squeaks that take The Basket in a psychedelic direction to Tiger's girl-group harmonies, but none of it feels superfluous - every sound here contributes to a big, beautiful whole.

And, by way of a postscript, here's a review from the Brighton Great Escape Festival: "Back in Komedia, Guillemots are reminding a packed audience why they're still one of the most underrated bands of the past decade. Mixing material from the still excellent 'Through The Windowpane' with this year's 'Walk The River', Fyfe Dangerfield and his three trusted accomplices resonate class, as does an impeccable 'Trains To Brazil'."
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on 20 April 2011
This is the masterpiece that nobody bothers painting, coming from the basket lyrics. Complex layered and muti facetted it goes on giving more listen after listen not trite, shallow or banal it is ultimately a joy! deep whirling flourishes of brilliance again and again and again . Not to be missed.
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on 25 April 2011
This review is from a proper full on fan - just thought should say that from the off. And I've never written a review before- i'm not very good so please forgive me!

The album starts with attention grabbing gently pounding beats, building into more adding bits along the way, twinkles, syncopation, ethereal embellishments and what could be baroque style harpsichords.

Some songs, like Vermillion and Walk the River, are very easy to 'get' at first listen, they pull you in, the chorus grabs you and you'll find yourself humming them long after you've heard them. But there's a lot more to them than that. Listen again and again (with headphones) and you'll hear layers and layers that you just can't take in on first listen.

You'll go from heart ache with ' I don't feel amazing now' to a buoyant, vigorous and buzzing 'Ice Room' with its twinkling ice cream van sounds.

Tigers is beautiful. (Quite depressing, but up-tempo and beautiful).
Inside is beautiful. Opening with sounds similar to a child musical jewellery box it's a dreamy song that glides effortlessly along to conclusion shimmering and pleading with you on the way.

Some further highlights are:

Sometimes I remember wrong. This is my out and out favourite song on the album. It's heart-achingly epic. At 9 mins 16 it doesn't feel it at all. It sweeps you up in its massive swell, soars up high, you ride along in the clouds, floating away with pangs of heart ache and desperation. It takes you briefly to a dark and sinister helter-skelter whirlwind before lifting you back up again skyward with hope, to fade.

Dancing in the Devil's shoes.
My top tip here is not to listen to 'Sometimes I remember wrong' then 'Dancing in the Devil's Shoes' immediately after. If you're not in tears or close to it after Sometimes I remember wrong then you almost definitely should be after hearing them together. Dancing in the Devil's shoes is another exceptionally well crafted song and masterpiece.

There is nothing on this album that shouldn't be there: those I've not mentioned have been omitted to save the reader from seeing how long this is and not bothering!

If you loved or liked Through the Window Pane and liked Red then you should definitely not be disappointed with this third album. Through the Window Pane was my favourite album of the last decade so my hope was high that Walk the River would deliver and gain similar regard. I didn't think it would be possible to gain the fondness it has so quickly but it has. Yes, it's darker, a good bit darker, it's manic, melancholy, heart wrenching, buzzing, uplifting, glorious, soaring, twinkling, stomping, punchy and beautiful.
If you want that in your ears- buy it!
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on 21 April 2011
The good news is that this is a whole lot better than the previous effort, `Red', which came on the back of `Through the Windowpane', possibly one of the best debut albums of the last 5 years and one which I certainly couldn't stop playing after the first few listens and still enjoy to this day.
The not so good news is that this rarely hits the intricacy, intensity and gentleness that Windowpane delivers and in that respect this is a bit of a minor disappointment. There are a variety of tempos to the songs but nothing that compares to the manic brilliance of `Sao Paulo', the catchiness of `Made-up Love Song #3', the passion of `If the World Ends' or the starkness of `Little Bear'. The songs on this album are good but they generally fail to hit the extremes of emotion the first album took the listener to and instead sort of float about somewhere in between.
That said the album is very listenable but, unlike the BBC review above, I feel the first few tracks are nothing more than fairly melodic medium-paced ditties before `Ice Room' and `Tigers' pick up the pace, all ok but nothing outstanding. `Inside' is probably the first track that wouldn't have been out of place on their debut album and from there on I think the album improves, indeed `Sometimes I Remember Wrong' is one of my favourite tracks and don't think it overstays its welcome at 9 mins 16 secs (but then I grew up in the 70's when that was the average song length!!).
The album ends strongly with the up-tempo `The Basket' followed by my other two early favourites, `Dancing in the Devil's Shoes' and rounds off, almost ironically in view of my comments in this review, with `Yesterday Is Dead'.
Hopefully yesterday is not dead and Guillemots can once again reach the heights of their first album but I suppose overall this will do in the meanwhile. A pretty good effort which gets better with each listen but I think the band has the potential for more creativity and originality which haven't quite made it onto Walk the River and that's the only reason I'm not giving it 5 stars.
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on 2 June 2011
I've always been impressed by whatever Fyfe Dangerfield and co. has been up to, be it with Guillemots or solo. This album is does not change that. It is as grand as anything else that Mr. Dangerfield has chosen to enrich the world with. And the title track even has hit potential, which is not really what we are used to. Grand, yes indeed, but not exactly easy listening. The music of Guillemots demands your full attention, all the time, and you probably need to listen a few times, before you've fallen in love with all the layers. The only reason I don't give this album five stars is, that some of the tracks are a little too noisy for my taste, and some of the tracks are a bit too long. But that's really not what matters here. It's still Grand, as usual.
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on 5 June 2011
Definately a grower. At first I thought 'not as good as through the windowpane' which I consider a brilliant cd, but I'm now thinking it'll be played just as often in my player!
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on 7 March 2014
My all time favourite album by the guillimots well worth adding to any collection superb music by a superb band
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on 26 April 2011
Let me start by saying that 5-star albums are very rare. Through The Windowpane was a 5-star album for all the reasons that have been said before. Red was a very poor album and very disappointing. I still don't think I've heard such a disjointed album as Red, but that's another story/review.

So here we have Walk The River and following on from the "secret" (and excellent) gig Guillemots played in London last week.

This is an improvement on Red and it probably sits closer to Through The Windowpane but doesn't manage to scale those dizzy heights. I'm thinking that the guy from the BBC's review isn't entirely wide of the mark. There are some great songs on here but there is a feel of a little too much freedom and indulgence. Whist that could be said of Through The Windowpane for reasons that are difficult to explain, it seemed to work better on that album. And the album sleeve work is so dark and foreboding and atmospheric that it does nothing to help the situation.

Walk The River is good, Vermillion is good, I Don't Feel Amazing Now is stunning, Ice Room is good, Tigers is ok, Inside is ok, I Must Be A Lover is ok, Slow Train is good, Sometimes I Remember Wrong is ok but does go on too long, The Basket is good (but could've been stunning with a different production), Dancing In The Devil's Shoes is good, Yesterday Is Dead is ok but does go on too long.

In short, I think this could've been a 5-star album with a different production and more input on what the fans want to hear. Cut out some of the indulgence, lift the mood (especially the dark foreboding sound and sleeve work) and bring back the majestic soaring and beautiful sounds. It's here under the layers......
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on 19 February 2016
Better than hoped for. Not in my top 10 but very good nonetheless.
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