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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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on 2 March 2016
How do you beat an album like 'The Flat Eart' or even 'Aliens ate my Buick'... sadly not this one. Close, but no cigar! That said, it is fantastic to hear from him again, and I'm listening to it as I edit my own 'art' in the form of 'The Awakening of Adam Capello' (shamless plug over) and it is growing on me after every play. An underated genius. I honestly hope we don't have to wait so long for more albums to come forth.
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on 1 November 2011
For the last 20 years we have had to survive on the minimal but brilliant recorded output of Mr Dolby.
Anyone who is a fan of his song writing as oppose to his 80's links will not be disappointed.
Not so electronic/technology weighted - more pure song craft.
The musical diversity, structures, lyrics and production are simply stunning.
Honestly - it's as good as 'The Flat Earth' or 'Golden Age Of Wireless'
Don't miss out on this superb addition to his catalogue.
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on 28 October 2011
Twenty years in the making (although carefully constructed from 2009-2011 on his rebuilt, solar powered 1930's LifeBoat on the Suffolk coast) Thomas Dolby's first new long player since 1992's Astronauts & Heretics, relies on solid songwriting and melody rather than gimicky electronic grooves and is all the better for it. The usual excellent production values and quirky lyrical and sonic flourishes one comes to expect from Mr Dolby are all here, & throughout the 11 songs on the main disk only a couple of tracks failed to hit the mark for me (notably Toadlickers and Road to Reno)as these ultimately stray too close to the more throwaway tendencies in TMDR's poppier work. Split into 3 distinct continents (Urbanoia, Amerikana & Oceanea) this album contains some brand new tracks that will go down as instant classics to those who are fans of his more introspective (and sadly, less well known) work. In this area, AMOTFC doesn't disappoint with 'Oceanea, Evil Twin Brother 17 Hills & Simone' all now solid favourites that more than hold their own with the likes of Weightless, Screen Kiss, I Love You Goodbye and Budapest By Blimp from his previous albums. The 2 disc edition also contains instrumental versions of the 11 main tracks as well a the single mix version of Spice Train, a raw demo of 17 Hills and an old school Dolby electro groove track 'I'm Not Your Dog' which I also love to bits & would have loved to have seen added to the main disk as part of the 'Urbanoia' section. The 2 disc set is extremely well packaged and is an essential purchase for any fan of Thomas Dolby. All in all a welcome return to the industry for a truly original artist & producer who was often overlooked in the 1980's. Buy this album, you will not be disappointed.
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on 9 February 2012
A totally new and unique album from Thomas Dolby. With humorous story telling in his songs and atmospheric sounds in his music, Thomas Dolby has been able to give us a new twist to his music. This album should not be directly compared to his previous work, but rather judged by the entertainment and listening pleasure of what it he gives us. There is something in there for most people of broad musical tastes. This album is a welcome revival of Thomas Dolby for his loyal fans and the younger generation.
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on 29 October 2011
I buy lots of music from all eras although the early eighties is when I first started to love music. Like many of you reading this I suspect you may have bought some of the 'comeback' material from eighties artists emerging from their mid life crises. Some of these have been good (OMD, Blancmange for example earning 3.5 stars in my view) and others distinctly average (Human League for example probably worth 2.5 stars).

Thomas Dolby's return however delivers at a very high level. It's beautifully played across a range of musical styles. This latter point might be it's undoing for some people; if you are expecting 'She Blinded Me With Science' x10 then you are going to be disappointed!

From my point of view there isn't a poor track among them. '17 Hills' is the high spot for me although 'Oceanea' and 'Love is a Loaded Pistol' are also excellent.

I've never written an amazon review before but I read a handful of 3 star reviews in the music press and felt moved to balance that out a little. I've bought the music monthlies for 25 years and have of course wasted hundreds of pounds buying their 5 star recommendations (my Roni Size back catalogue remains in largely unplayed condition!)but in this case they really didn't do it justice.

If you have a love of good music across genres I doubt you'll be disappointed by this!
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on 15 November 2011
Cut this CD down the middle , you find the letters TD running through. Not quite as sugary as all that, 'A Map...' manages to be as quaint and retrospective. It has a naivety 'heart on sleeve' that your teenage kids will find too cloying.

Musically it borrows sensitively from diverse genres. Best of all though TD borrows from himself, with dizzying nods to Prefab Sprout and Joni Mitchell. Jazz and Americarna are given the Dolby treatment and come out sounding fresh again. I just adore the layered fiddle solo on 'Seventeen Hills'. A gem.
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on 14 February 2012
Having now played this CD 5 times I am starting to really appreciate this albums true beauty. To be honest, when I first heard it I regretted spending my hard earned cash but now I believe it to be cheap at ten times the price. I still haven't worked out or felt the need to work out why the CD needs to be split into the 3 parts as each song, with only minor exemptions, stands up for itself. Initially irritating tracks like Spice Train, Evil Twin Brother and Toad Lickers are now firm favourites and slow burners like 17 Hills and Oceania rank along the best of Mr Dolby's output. Don't expect the immediate accessibility of Astronauts & Heretics but you can expect the traditional clever and quirky lyrics and music of everyone's favourite underated psuedo boffin with the subtle echoes of his earlier work recognisable to veteran fans.
Why hesitate to buy this CD? Invest in your musical happiness.
Well done and thank you, Mr Dolby.
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VINE VOICEon 13 November 2011
This time it's love.

As a TD fan since before the dawn of time (ok, sorry) I can't add much to what the previous reviews have said. This is a very good album combining legendary quirkiness with a variety of musical styles from smooth jazz to power pop. It wipes the floor with the 5 seconds of fame, brainless Britain's got talentless wannabees of today.

No fillers on this album, but some songs are a bit stronger than the rest- notably Road to Reno (who else would rhyme 'sold brassieres at Sears' with 'she liked Tears for Fears' !) and 'Toad Lickers' for which the British confectionery industry will be mighty grateful in these times of economic chaos.

TD is not exactly prolific - I make this his 5th 'proper' album in 30 years but he is talented and unique, and for that he deserves our love and appreciation. Buy this and do your bit for real British talent- this album won't change your life, but it might make you a bit happier.
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on 19 May 2012
Fans from the 80's will not be disappointed by this wide-ranging mixture of new material from the weird and wonderful mind of Mr Dolby. Little of it is is directly comparable with that era although there are some similarities with the spartan arrangements of certain early songs like "I Scare Myself". Instead we have new songs that tell us intriguing stories and are delivered in a voice that, whilst still unconventional, has aged well and the result is soulful and rewarding.
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on 5 January 2012
I purchased this CD "Hoping" it may be as interesting as a trusted radio presenter highlighted during a Saturday morning programme i regularly tune into on BBC Radio Scotland (Janice Forsyth) which always highlights new or unusual albums. The fact that T.Dolby was releasing his first work in over 20 years was intriguing and i am DELIGHTED i took the risk. Album is full of different sounds and is really relaxing but also quite upbeat. Great purchase - thanks Janice!!!
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