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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing mediocre songs played by extremely good musicians, 26 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Repave (Audio CD)
Having seen Justin Vernon play won of the most brilliant and mesmerising sets of my entire life, on the main stage at Green Man 2009, I have come to expect a lot from the great man and his ever expanding live ensemble.
The problem is that surrounding yourself with no amount of very fine and talented musicians, will not help or improve the quality of the songs, if none of those musicians are gifted songwriters. Collections of colonies of Bees, may well be good musicians, but top drawer songwriters they most certainly are not. The alarm bells started to ring when I first heard Beth / Rest and wondered whether I was listening to Bon Iver or Toto ( who actually could write and arrange high quality MOR songs ). Where Unmap stumbled around, experimenting with a lot of different ideas actually created some magical moments. Repave delivers a mediocre album made by an artist struggling for direction and inspiration. There is nothing on this record that even comes close to matching the magic of "For Emma, Forever Ago" and sadly this falls a long way short of the very fine fine " Bon Iver" follow up.
Volcano Choirs debut album Unmap was an interesting experiment and credit to the man for exploring new territory, but, Repave suggest limitations in Justin Vernons song writing abilities and he should perhaps chose his collaborators more carefully or stick to the more simplistic acoustic "folk" of his debut album. If you send me your address, I will happily forward the CD to you FOC as it simply doesn't cut the mustard for me, and is an over rated disappointment.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2014 13:45:14 GMT
I have to say that I would have concurred with this review within the first few weeks, but having now listened to it for a few months I think it is much underrated. I haven't found much in the lyrics to inspire but musically I think it is a fine piece of work, not as good Bon Iver's second, but that is exceptional. I'm still listening to it now and will be for months to come.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Feb 2014 16:50:18 GMT
Hiya

Thanks for the email.

I will stick with it as it does sound as though it has "growing" potential. I genuinely do feel that the main man is stumbling about in the dark searching for a new direction and working with no end of new musicians in search of something that he almost certainly will not find. All he needs to do , is be himself , write some excellent songs and then bring in the highly talented musicians to provide orchestration and sound scapes. I genuinely appreciate the email, for which many thanks. Cheers, Best Andy

Posted on 4 Feb 2014 19:54:01 GMT
...no problem. I'd recommend watching a live set of the song "comrade" on the volcano choir website; even my 14 yr old son (into Major Lazer, Gorillaz etc) asked me if he could rip the song from my cd after we watched it together. Good stuff. I'm still annoyed that I didn't make the decision to go and watch these guys when they played in Bristol late last year. I really believe that the drive from Yorkshire would have been worth it!

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 12:27:09 GMT
Hiya
Will check it out and thanks for the input.
Yep, on one hand Bristol would have likely delivered a very memorable gig, but on the other, the distance to travel, cost of tickets and peoples obsession to film with their mobile phones while they talk loudly to their mates throughout the show, lessens my enthusiasm to stump up premium money for gigs and to attend them. Particularly when they are as good as this guy. Cheers for your thoughts and input, which is sincerely appreciated. Ta Andy
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Location: Arundel, West Sussex,UK

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