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- Texas Blues Working by Christina Carter
9/10 Clinton Staff review, 14 March 2011
The world can seem a wrist slashingly depressing place at times, natural disasters everywhere you look, poverty, the existence of James Corden, Pains of Pure at Heart singles to contend with. You just want to curl up in a ball and hope everything will go away. Thank goodness then, that albums like this exist in order to soothe the soul and make everything temporarily better. Originally released on tape this is a much deserved vinyl re-issue for this wonderful album from the Charalambides chanteuse. The musical equivalent of a warm blanket and hot water bottle combination, the opening track 'Pale Rose Cream' is a beautifully stretched out folk drone lament with Carter's majestic voice swooping and hollering in all the right places. 'The Other Planet' is similarly otherworldly with semi improvised guitar and high pitched eerie vocals. 'Birds Nest' sees Carter harmonising with herself over haunting acoustic guitar laments and oddly out of place discordant guitar which is possibly unnecessary as the space created by the gently picked guitar is the only bedding Carter's voice needs to shine. The best is saved til last however with the 21 minute 'Ladyfriend', a bonus track exclusive to this vinyl (and the CD re-issue to follow!) - it strips the sound back completely to simple acoustic guitar and voice and is quite unbelievably affecting. Like Richard Youngs, Carter has the ability to stretch a simple idea with slight variances in vocals, so that you are hanging on every tweak of her voice, every accent. This is a stunning finale to a very impressive album. As our Brian said of the cassette release "this truly is a spectral sound, dusty, discordant, hypnotic & peerless". Couldn't have put it better myself. Comes with superb artwork featuring black and white shots of what I presume to be the Peak District. Perfect.
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