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- Life's Too Long 1995-2011 by Anthony Reynolds
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To be quite honest I've never really put a lot of time into Anthony Reynolds's previous work as a solo artist or with former bands Jack and Jacques, so the prospect of reviewing this mammoth 30-song anthology compiling 16 years' worth of material from the prolific Welsh singer-songwriter is a bit of a daunting one. On the bright side, though, it's actually really good and leaves me quite surprised I've not given him more time previously. On here he's effortlessly knocking out sweeping, cinematic indie pop with his rich, deep vocal delivery sounding totally comfortable and unforced. The integration of classical instruments sometimes reminds me of Luke Haines's work, but without the snide, sneering cynicism that so divides people on Haines (I'm fiercely in the pro camp myself though). It's quite theatrical and melodramatic and some of these songs really wouldn't seem out of place in a stage musical, but with his smooth voice and some nice lyrical turns of phrase the quality is pretty consistent, so if that's your kind of thing then I'd imagine this'll really float your boat. Sample lyric: “Let's take the pills from the shelf and slowly feed them to each other until there are none left.” Over the course of these two CDs it really paints the picture of a tortured poet stuck between being an indie rocker and a diva and landing somewhere between Divine Comedy and Vic Chesnutt. Affecting stuff.
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