Just downloaded this from a rival download site (eye chewns) but prefer the reviews and content of Amazon, so had to log on to write a quick review.
June Tabor collaboration aside, this is the follow up of Meet You There - to my ears, the most complete and satisfying collection of Oystertunes. With the task of following up a landmark album, the loss of Chopper, you would forgive the band of feeling a little pressure. Should this have been the fact, it certainly doesnt show. Diamonds on the Water picks up where Meet You There left off, and the band turn in another set of gentle, melodic, warm and beautiful songs. Gone is the young-man angst of Shouting End of Life, the boistrous nature of Blood Wedding, back in is the warmth and strength of the songs that made MYT such a great experience and is exploited again.
The bar is set high with the the opening salvo of A Clowns Heart and A River Runs that showcase the band in their most melodic mood, great vocals set to aching melodies. The high standard of the opening two is surpassed by Lay Your Dreams Down Gently, for me the album highlight up there with Bury Me Standing from MYT. A lot of bands this far in their careers struggle to replicate the success of early releases, The Oysters buck that trend with songwriting reaching a consistency that realises stronger and stronger albums the further they go in their careers. As if often the case, they visit songs of relationships, environmental and social commentary, each one handled with skill. Even if you aren't a little left of centre, like this lot, it is hard to deny the sincerity, the gravity and the skill of writing and delivery. The Oysterband are a rare commodity and fully deserve their place in Folk royalty.
If you are new to The Oysterband, firstly, where have you been? Secondly start here, then Meet You There, then keep working backwards through their catalogue. Many pearls await you...