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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2014
Sophie has moved away from her previous dance based music and created a superb album of varying styles. Beautifully produced it is a wonderful showcase for her smoked-silk voice. It proves she can write and sing in different styles. If you like Sophie's voice then your will love this album, if you are not already a fan then this is highly recommended as just a great album of excellent music.
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on 15 February 2014
Something refreshingly different in these days of girl power cd's , wanderlust has such an honest quality about it , a different direction musically also for s e-b although always enjoyed her music and such a great voice .
Some of the tracks on wanderlust reminds me of Dubstar , remember( not so manic now ) There is this down to earth quality , kind of tongue in cheek , catchy tracks .
S e-b's vocal just sounds so effortless so unpretentious , some nice dreamy ballads , a great album .
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on 20 January 2014
This album is brilliant. It is not typical SEB but it works very well with her voice. Most fans won't like it because it is not a dance record but if you give it a chance you'll fall in love with it.
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on 27 June 2014
Bought this album after hearing a couple of the tracks on the radio. I like something that is a bit different and this is certainly that. There is not a song on there that I don't like. I have played it over and over and the more I play it the more I love it. Atmospheric and beautiful and she has such a distinctive voice. Wonderful!!
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on 18 March 2014
I wasn't sure what to expect, ive always liked Sophie's voice but ive only bought a couple of singles before as im not into dance type music. If this is Sophie's own style then I really hope she carries on. I rarely listen to albums all the way through, but I can't skip any of these tracks, I like them all. Please do more Sophie!
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on 25 April 2014
I wasn't sure what to expect from this album but I'm a big fan of Sophie E-B so hoped I would like it. It is brilliant, somewhat different but not too much and needs listening to more than once or twice! Well worth buying but if you#re new to her music I would suggest you try an earlier album first.
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on 12 March 2014
I was introduced to Sophie during Strictly Come Dancing as I expect a lot of her younger listeners did. She seemed like a lovely person thus I googled her and discovered a new world of streamlined yet artful pop. Wanderlust, however, moves completely away from the whole dance diva routine and into a lot deeper, traditional sound.

The opener, Birth of An Empire is grand, boisterous and plays to Sophie's strengths. The use of Russian sounding strings along with Sophie's delicate, ornate vocals is really something to behold. It is followed up by the equally as strong Until The Stars Collide which features my favourite, a harpsichord! This song is quite deep and sad and Sophie really sells her sadness with her vocals.

Runaway Dreamer, The Deer & The Wolf and Young Blood tone things down a bit but doesn't tone the quality down one bit. Young Blood, being the first single really deserved more airtime than it was given and in my opinion was capable of being a major hit. Lets hope that Runaway Dreamer has better success in the charts!

The album then brakes into the dreamlike Interlude which feels like it may have been ripped from Alice in Wonderland. The production of the vocals on this track is slightly iffy but the clever sampling still pulls it through.

The second half of the album is a lot darker and involves a lot of ghost stories. 13 Little Dolls has an eerie atmosphere, Love Is A Camera tells the tale of a witch and Cry To the Beat of The Band is a lot more loud and foreboding - perhaps a slight Tom Waits influence shining through.

The closing track When The Storm Has Blown Over is a nice contrast to the sweeping arrangements of the tracks before it and ties a neat ribbon on a beautiful album. I urge anyone to try this album - this is one of the best I have heard in ages.

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on 17 February 2014
Immediate strains of Eastern European strings introduce opening track “Birth Of An Empire.” With Cello and violin provided by sisters Amy and Gita Langley (who’s contributions appear throughout many of the tracks) fans of classic orchestral rock like Led Zepplin’s “Kashmir” will find these cultural influences familiar. Over Harcourt’s piano structures, Sophie voice has never sounded better as she presents the imagery of national pride and its ever changing landscape. Every empire is initially begun through the birth of a single child. The legacy continues to grow as each successive generation strives to make their mark. The songs chorus vocals are full and majestic without sounding artificial. An impressive instrumental break commences as the string section, deep tom toms and familiar bass patterns come together, providing a timely bridge. Background vocals are actually placed in front of the lines “break through the web that I have spun” and “it doesn’t matter where you are when I am gone.” These vocals become even more creative on the songs outro where military style snare drumming leads into the more fluid chorus. “The pull of where you’re from is far too strong” becomes the central takeaway message.

“Until The Stars Collide” delivers on the promised live-in-the-studio feel from the advance video blogs taken during these recording sessions and shared with her fans over the past year. This is particularly noticeable in the straight forward drumming, driving harpsichord and start-stop tandem bass guitar /drum accents. “Fiction is all I’m holding on to” completes an overall literary metaphor of books used to describe an important relationship. While a clever musical reference is made to Sophie’s earlier works as the song pivots on chorus ending words “moving on.” There is a slightly warped presence to guitar chords strummed on the “everybody knows” bridge, creating a floating sensation. The title itself is sung with an angelic sheen around it, as if calling to the ghost of Emily Dickinson.

“Runaway Daydreamer” continues the emphasis on middle eastern string sections, before settling on a single electric pianos. There Sophie presents a tale of personal musing against this unencumbered musical backdrop. Live-in-the-studio drums return before the massive vocal hook emerges. Here the multilayered vocals reveal creative design, using proper recording studio techniques for the best possible results. A playful nod to the Temptations (and Rolling Stones cover of) “Just My Imagination” (running away with me) emerges. Having previously composed and recorded a song called “Me and My Imagination” on 2007’s “Trip The Light Fantastic,” a historical depth emerges from this returned to theme. The joys of a “secret escape” are extolled, sharing a theme that approaches “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” territory.

“The Deer And The Wolf” introduce guitar as the dominant instrument, with a strong riff providing forward momentum. This track also appears to have developed out of the full band playing together, as opposed to a producer meticulously assembling looped passages. This throwback style of recording where the band is all playing together has delivered refreshingly natural sounding results. Of particular note is deep pocket driving bass guitar, especially on the bridge. The songs subject matter deals with how opposite forces in this life need each other for universal balance. Catchy sing-along hooks emerge on both the “Come away come away darling” bridge as well as the “On and on and on my love” chorus.

Centrally located in the tracklist order comes the first song (and first single) initially revealed from this collection, the beautiful and unfeigned “Young Blood.” With an active piano melody leading the way, percussionist Phil Wilkinson plays soft jazzy brush strokes on snare drum over Amy Langley’s deep Cello notes. The orchestral feel is completed through Arnulf Lindner’s Double Bass contributions. All of this provides the necessary sonic environment for Sophie’s lovely, heartfelt vocals. These lyrics reference how a part of you still sees the person you love as the way they originally were when you first met them. The passage of time does not really change any of that. An inquisitive question is then posed “is that how you see me?” Subtle lyrical details come in to focus, as first bridge line “Remember when” initially uses “we were the diamonds in the coal” in place of “we used to talk of growing old.” While on the melodic and thoroughly addictive chorus, the word ‘take’ replaces ‘see’ on the turnaround line “There’ll be a day to take the best of us.”

Read more about this record here: [...]
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on 23 February 2014
Sophie has always produced strong vocal performances throughout her career, Wanderlust though provides an even more in depth empathy in her singing. Beautiful writing too, and brilliant music accompany her on these excellent recordings. This will be on high rotation for the foreseeable future. 10/10
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on 29 April 2014
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Wanderlust. Not a great lover of Sophie before - I bought the album to listen to at work as background music as there was a song on the album I particularly like. I am now a Sophie fan! The album is great.
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