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VINE VOICEon 7 December 2013
Here's another example of why Scott is one of the most interesting of contemporary musicians. This came out in 2011 and is a collection of songs with lyrics taken from poems by William Butler Yeats the famous Irish poet and playwright. To do something like this and do it artistically successfully is not easy. At the very least the singer has to sing with absolute clarity so that every word is heard by the listener, and not only that but it has to convey the rhythm of the poem as created by its author. The music then has to mirror the poem's tone and tempo. Lastly it has to appear seamlessly as an organic unit as if it was always a whole piece, not just a poem set to music.

Amazingly, Scott has done just this. I won't pretend it's an immediately accessible album, it isn't. Like, say Joni Mitchell's masterpiece Hejira, it takes several listenings to reveal its secrets. But it's worth it. The first track The Hosting of the Shee opens softly but rapidly changes into a barrage of multi-instrumental sound as Scott almost yells out the Wild Ride of faery warriors. The lovely and all too brief Sweet Dancer, with singer Katie Kim, could almost be a modern song. That said, Scott has not always lifted the poems intact. Although all the words are by Yeats, sometimes they can be pieced together from up to three sources, often to add a chorus. When you read his autobiography, which ends a decade before this was recorded, you realise that this is something he's been building up to for years.

Well done, Mr Scott. Now where's the new album?
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on 25 March 2012
I have been a fan of Mike Scott's Songs for some time ( and so the music of his band The Waterboys). Also having a great fondness for the words and works of W.B Yeats, I was interested to hear this 'coming together' and I have to say on the first hearing, I thought "Noooooooooooooooooo !". Maybe it was the circumstances of that first listening, but I decided to give it another listen and on the second listen it was 'Nectar for the Ears' - and I can only say (after listening numerous times - by the fire with a glass of mead, on the MP3 player on the train, in the car etc) - every listen just re-affirms my opinion this just might be Mr Scott's finest offering - yes, perhaps even better than "This Is The Sea"....this is so exquisitely beautiful... and the final track 'Last Song of The Faery' - is heart renderingly beautifully bitter sweet - the Beauty of Life - the eventuality of Death that makes each moment so sweet....live in the Now not the past or the future..live and love in the moment for tomorrow may never come....Poetry Indeed....Mike Scott 10 out of 10!
ps: I would recommend playing the the last track especially on the headphones whilst stood on a hill somewhere out in Mother Nature watching the sun slip away....life might never be the same again !
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VINE VOICEon 6 January 2013
I adore this album. Five stars are not enough in my opinion.

I bought this album because I love W B Yeats's poetry and have spent the last year studying his life, his poetry and his occult interests. I confess that on first listen, I was not sure whether I liked the way The Waterboys have interpreted Yeats's poems probably because I had not previously experienced them set to music. But the more I listened, the more I tuned into their sound - and I have found that my obsessive listening has helped me get to know each track intimately and has enhanced my enjoyment of Yeats's poems.

Let The Earth Bear Witness has become one of my all time favourite tracks.

My only disappointment is that the album does not include The Stolen Child which is another magnificent rendition of a Yeats poem.
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on 8 December 2015
If you have read any of my other reviews you will see that my lady friend and myself do not exactly have mutually compatable musical tastes but fortunately she loves the Waterboys so I took her to see them three years ago when this album came out. This W.B. Yeats tribute made all her Irishness come out, and one track in particular, 'Song of the wandering Aengus' made her a little emotional as the line 'I dropped a berry in a stream and caught a little silver trout' reminded her of her old Da' who sadly I never met. Just a little personal slant on this review as there is nothing to add to the other great reviews of this album.
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on 8 January 2012
This is a great album, which I really enjoy - here comes the "but". It is not an esoteric cd, but the more you know about W.B. Yeats, the better you'll appreciate the album.Newcomers to the music of the Waterboys might like to listen to previous Mike Scott/Waterboys albums to hear more accessible works - then buy this one. It pays to be aware that Yeats was associated in his day with what we would now describe as "New Age" types, such as Madam Blavatsky. This is why so many tracks deal with creatures from Celtic mythology - a fascination shared by both Yeats and Scott. It is to Mike Scott's credit that he has created outstanding music around even Yeats' most obscure works. For me, the highlight is the marvellous "An Irish Airman Foresees His Death", which is a great poem and, in the hands of the Waterboys, a great song. "Let the Earth Bear Witness" deserves to be played at any occasion for remembrance. So - if you are a Waterboys fan already, or you are just into Celtic music and/or folk, buy this album - but it might help to buy a book of Yeats' poems as well. Mike Scott would probably agree! (And I'm sure that Yeats would have loved "The Whole of the Moon"!).
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on 9 September 2017
Simply amazing. The best album since their 80s heyday and hasn't been matched since. The first track alone is outstanding and really sets the bar for the rest of the album, but it's an album I can enjoy from start to finish, and that's a rarity.
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on 12 July 2016
There are enough comprehensive reviews about this superb album on here so I will keep this short and sweet.
This is an excellent album from an excellent band
I think he has done Mr Yeats proud.
If you are not an avid WBs fan like myself, I suggest you should buy it anyway, ignoring any narrow minded negative reviews.
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on 8 January 2012
Treat with caution if W. B. Yeats is a favourite poet. But poetry touches people in many ways that are rarely the same. Perhaps this album will be enjoyed better by those unfamiliar to Yeats. I have preconceptions about the images of his poetry. Mike Scott has a different view to mine. It took a while for me to adjust. But adjust I did and the effort was worth the wait. It may not be a surprise to find that the tracks that work best are those that Scott has adapted, rather than those in which he has kept to the script. 'Sweet Dancer' is more Waterboys than Yeats.
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on 12 June 2014
I didn't know much about the Waterboys when I heard a couple of tracks from this album on Jools Holland. I found the way each poem was set to music quite wonderful, subtle and very fitting. Having Yeats' poems to hand helped, but Scott articulates very clearly (better on the album than when I heard the Waterboys on stage in Inverness). I later bought, from the back record, Fisherman's Blues and This is the Sea - and was rather disappointed in comparison (sacrilege?). In my view, the Yeats album is clearly superior! Incidentally: one of the reviewers commented on the excellent musicians in the Waterboys and criticised Scott: which musicians among the ever-changing line-up? Scott is the only constant factor in the Waterboys.
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on 9 April 2013
I shied away from this album as I am more in to older stuff such as "room to roam" and "this is the sea". Wasn't too sure about the whole play on Yeats either. I was sooo wrong! It is a great album, I first heard a few songs off the album when I seen the band live at the Hebridean Celtic Festival 2012, I immediately went out and bought it after that. it is refreshing and soulful, amazing album.
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