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on 6 July 2013
I think that Chris Wood is the most socially relevant and interesting songwriter in Britain today. Not just in folk, but any genre you can mention. I'm a huge fan, and his last three albums - The Lark Descending, Trespasser and Handmade Life - are masterpieces, and among the best records of recent years.

I've lived with None The Wiser for a few months now, having bought it directly from Chris Wood when it was first released. I've also been to see him perform the songs live. By anyone else's standards, this is a terrific piece of work. The title track is great, and surprisingly funky (a word I never thought I'd use in a Chris Wood review); The Sweetness Game is bittersweet and poignant; and Thou Shalt (Not) is really funny.

However, unlike the aforementioned CDs, I can't recommend it unreservedly. The amplified guitar and Hammond organ combo is very different from his earlier sound, and although it works well on some songs, I find myself missing the folkie acoustic vibe that made the previous releases so special. The other issue for me is the lack of a 'killer' song, one you have to put on repeat and just hear time and time again. Try as I might, there's nothing on here that touches me like 'One in a Million' or 'Hollow Point'.

If you've got his other releases, don't hesitate to get this. There won't be many better albums released this year. If however you're new to Chris Wood, I'd suggest that you'd do (even) better starting with one of his earlier albums.
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on 29 August 2016
Another Good album. Recommended to me and yes I would recommend to you.
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on 1 July 2013
Hard to believe but Chris Wood just seems to get better and better and even better. Some biting political and human observations blended with his quiet brilliant tunes as ever.This must be one of Britain's greatest song writers right now. I can't think of anyone better that's writing stuff that's topical and relevant to now but still seems timeless from the first time you hear it. If you liked the earlier records don't hesitate to get this, it's wonderful. PS. You can sample it completely on his excellent website.
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on 7 October 2013
None The Wiser Chris Wood, well what can one say about Chris Wood, except maybe a Folk Music God. Chris Wood's music is deep incisive, penetrating, and pungent - filled with barbs about modern human life which is most incidences is banal. Chris Wood's music reflects back at us this mundanity of life - constantly chasing the next trivial load of rubbish human beings are sold.
All I can say about Chris Wood's music is scintillating, superb, astringent, acidic and relevant. I would happily buy a CD of Chris Wood's music with him singing the telephone directory. I love Chris Wood's music, and you should too. If you are interested in pealing the layers of this miserable existence Chris Wood's music is for you. Buy it you'll be shocked and stunned. 30 out of 10 - marvelous and stunning. Chris Wood a Folk Music God for this vile twentieth first century.
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on 16 October 2013
'Handmade Life' would, under any circumstances, be a hard act to follow but 'None the Wiser' really doesn't come close. Sure, there are the needlepoint lyrics puncturing the usual targets of class and deprivation but the songs lack the gravitas to back it up. The addition of string base and Hammond organ, rather than strengthening the melodies, have the effect of reducing them to almost lounge jazz. And why only nine tracks? A couple of traditional ballads belted out would have lightened the mood but even 'The Little Carpenter' is unmemorable. I'm sure Chris can do better than this.
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on 10 October 2013
I like the fact that Chris woods lyrics are just so cynical and the fact that he always appears to be miserable! I do wonder if there is a darker side that he really wants to let out and that really would be in my top ten. If you listen to the lyrics he paints a very realistic picture which may not be to everyone's liking as it's easier to forget about how utterly unfair this world we live in is. If you are a politician,banker or power mad businessman please buy this album as this is what the majority of us think even tho it's portrayed in such a mild way. Excellent
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on 10 September 2013
Another intelligent ,incisive album from one of the most entertaining contemporary "folk" singer songwriters around at the moment. Often bitter and critical but still managing to maintain a gentle quality, a totaly smooth and satisfying feel that will leave you wanting more.
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on 30 August 2013
More of a band sound with the addition of organ, but it still sounds like Chris. The songs are still cleverly observed and beautifully constructed. A wonderful piece of work!
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on 27 December 2013
One of Britain's finest new wave folk song writers, and performers does it again. Beautifully crafted with something for everyone
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on 15 September 2014
This dire album is bitter, depressing and self indulgent. Too few songs and too little variety. How can anyone listen to this without slitting their wrists? Wood comes across as being too self important and far too bitter for his own good. Each song sounds the same. In fact scrub what I said about too few songs...it was about 4 too many!
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