Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Mid Air
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 26 April 2017
Paul on his own, if you like Blue Nile you will like this.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 9 December 2013
Dear Mr. Buchanan,

I doubt that you ever read these reviews (being so modest), but let me just say that (in my opinion) you manage to pack more emotion and atmosphere into a handful of piano key strokes and mumbled sentences than 'geniuses' like Mozart and Beethoven could muster with far more complex arrangements and an army of professional musicians. You've really stumbled onto your calling and given 'ordinary girls' (and boys, like me) music to live their lives by. I take my hat(s) off to you, sir. Please record another album before you call it a day ... and preferably in the next five years! Your music makes my life so much more enjoyable than it would otherwise be :-) .
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 June 2012
The interesting thing about reading these reviews is that the one star and the five star reviews both make comments about this album that it is difficult to deny: it is slow and one paced, it doesn't really ever break its emotional or musical stride and a lot of the tracks do blend into one another.

But that is also its remarkable strength. I think the only real problem with this album is that it needs much, much longer silences between each track so that the listener can effectively absorb what has just been heard. And what has just been heard is always, always, gorgeous. Paul's voice is, as ever, a suberb instrument that he holds on to here, never letting go as he did on some 'Peace at Last' tracks and to a certain extent elsewhere in the Blue Nile cannon. Here he holds on to the emotion in a 'Family Life'esque kind of way which, yes, does sometimes make you want to shout at him 'Let go, Paul, just let go', but you also know him well enough to know that really he can't and that is what makes his voice so powerful and his music so very engaging.

This is an intimate parlour record best listened to on your own, with headphones, late at night with a glass of Scotch and the family asleep upstairs. You can indulge yourself and remember that despite it all, despite the quotidian tedium of getting up and going to work, despite the housework and the cooking, the cleaning and the washing, it is all worthwhile because you are in love.

This is a lovely, lovely record. It is slow, it is one paced. It doesn't break out of the perametres it sets itself. But within them, it is a thing of great beauty.
33 Comments| 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 June 2012
Paul Buchanan has written an album for which the words brooding, heartfelt and melancholia were surely invented. Offering little more than a few piano refrains on almost all tracks to accompany the melodies largely derived from Mr. Buchanan's aching voice, it's safe to say that this is not driving music to be cranked up in the car. Or maybe it is. Many's the time I listened to the Blue Nile's High late at night on lonely motorways driving back from some engagement, lost in the patterns of words and music, as the neon lights glided by.

Mid-Air is therefore both recognisable for that quality, but also quite a long way away from the atmosphere of Blue Nile records. Sure, a song like From a Late Night Train off Hats would suit the mood of this album well enough, but I always felt that even amongst the slow, angst-ridden contemplation of certain tracks - Because of Toledo say off High - there was an optimism and way out of the gloom; a possibility of things to come. Here, regret, loss, the past, decisions made, and hearts unnaturally broken, pervade throughout. I'm not saying it's bad or anything and if you're sitting there in your comfiest chair, alone in the early hours, listening to this on a hi-fi system that can project the sound of whiskey tumblers being clinked in the studio, then it's got its atmosphere earmarked for you from the off.

And yet when the strings eventually entered on Fin de Siècle it brought me out of the trance I was starting to enter and made me think the world wasn't that bad after all. That I'd entered such a state at all would be a good sign for most, but here the delicacy of the whole affair almost made me think I was intruding on private grief. That said, only Mr. Buchanan can come out with a melody and vocal delivery for a line like "Cars are in the Garden" and make it sound unbelievably profound; when, by rights, it ought to remind us of some dodgy `80s New Romantic synth outfit! Recommended then; just don't expect it to perk you up after a morning doing your weekly shop at Tescos.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 April 2017
I cannot stop listening to this album. It has a stillness about it that affects me both physically and mentally. Breathtakingly beautiful.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 June 2012
I notice that this is the first 4 star review of this album when people seem to either love or hate it. Like many other people I know, I consider The Blue Nile's "Hats" is one of the top albums of all time (though extraordinarily it is not in Rolling Stone's recent Top 500 albums - but then again there is no Kate Bush album in those 500 either!) and I approached this album thinking that it would be in the same mould. What you have here however is very sparse - on many tracks it is just voice and solo piano and it got me thinking what would "Hats" have sounded like "unplugged" and I think the answer is - very similar. This impression is reinforced by the one (gorgeous) track "Fin De Siecle" that has full orchestration and sounds very old-style Blue Nile - but then it is also the one track on which (intentionally?) ironically Buchanan does not sing! If you can accept the spartan arrangements, the quality of Buchanan's songwriting remains very high and I particularly disagree with one previous reviewer who complained of repetitive lyrics - this has always been one of his strengths as a lyric writer and only adds to the power of many of his songs. In summary if you are a Blue Nile fan please give this album time - if you are not - don't start here - buy "Hats" today!
0Comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 November 2012
Reviewers complaining about the lack of variety or mood on this record are seriously missing the point. Just about every song brilliantly captures the mood Buchanan has been striving for on every album since A Walk Across The Rooftops: a wrenching melancholy that's simply impossible to categorise or pin down, occasionally bursting into sunlight and rapture. Listen to the title track and if you like it, buy this album. The songs are fragments, yes, but fragments of genius and Buchanan's voice - the most soulful British voice in contemporary music - leaves no heartstring unplucked. He's heartbroken and he can't tell you why but his attempts to tell you add up to magnificence.
22 Comments| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 May 2012
It's taken me a long time to get into this one. I bought my copy in May 2012 but it's only now, five years later, that the thing is starting to sound good.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 18 August 2013
Paul Buchanan has one of the most hauntingly soulful voices Britain has ever given birth to. His vocal contributions to the smattering of records by Blue Nile are treasured by those who love them - particularly, in my case, the impeccable and unimprovable Hats.
Now here's a solo album, and for once it really is solo, with PB playing piano and other keyboards throughout. And what a beauty it is. My expectations were high, having read misleadingly ecstatic reviews which made it sound like the Second Coming, and it took a few plays - well, all of two, in fact - to take these brief, enigmatic songs to my heart.
There's no need to pick out certain tracks as 'better' than others, since this is more of a suite of songs than a succession of disparate album tracks. In an oblique way they remind me of the slower, more contemplative piano pieces by Erik Satie, such as the Gymnopedies or Gnossiennes, similar yet subtly different.
I play this lovely disc (I'm reviewing the single-CD rather than the deluxe issue) when I want to hear something pure, discreet, pared down. It`s all those things, but these gnomic songs possess an elusive, covert quality that is disarming and, ultimately, quite beautiful.
Of course, it helps if you have a voice like Paul Buchanan's.
The beauty of these songs lies as much in what is unsung as what is sung, a rare thing in itself.

That's PB all over - unsung, and quietly heroic.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 November 2012
I am revisiting this album, in full, for the first time in about four months. I listened incessantly to it for many weeks after its release, lost in a ceasless sense of awe at the sheer grace in the music and pure heart and humanity of the sound.

Paul Buchanan's vocals are famously alluring even to those less enamoured with The Blue Nile than some of the more "gritty" bands of the 80's and 90's (I suppose almost all were grittier than the smooth but accomplished Nile), amongst whom I count myself, yet even knowing that soulful voice prepared me in no way for the emotional hit of this album. My first memories of that album, listening to porcelain pure music that could break a heart into many splintered pieces, in a slightly drunken spring, will always be recalled in some kind of Instagram inspired sepia.

It is fragile, in the sparsity of the sound, yet every note could be a novel, so deep the feeling. It is truly a masterpiece. It is the single most evocative album I've heard in years, and the brevity of both the songs and the whole work left me writhing in thirst for more of this. His voice becomes a whisper at times, and snuggles into the synapses, stroking gently, reassuring.

I have heard several good albums this year, and a few great. But this is, undoubtedly (so far), the best.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)