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25 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoothjazz.com Review
Like a letter from a favorite friend - Smooth Jazz supergroup Acoustic Alchemy writes again... This time they've written in  "American English," which is, as we would be inclined to say in America, totally cool. Celebrating their 20th anniversary the British instrumental ensemble has released, in our opinion, one of their best projects to date... Sophisticated,...
Published on June 30, 2005 by Sandy Shore

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars they used to be good
I've been a fan of Acoustic Alchemy for some time now. And I fully realize that bands need to change and evolve. However, this is most definitely a lame segue of the duo into a JazzLite phase that minimizes the impact of their ability. What sound precisely were they going for? This album makes for pleasant, non-offensive background music at best (well, except for some...
Published on May 24, 2005 by D. Utrata


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smoothjazz.com Review, June 30, 2005
By 
This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
Like a letter from a favorite friend - Smooth Jazz supergroup Acoustic Alchemy writes again... This time they've written in  "American English," which is, as we would be inclined to say in America, totally cool. Celebrating their 20th anniversary the British instrumental ensemble has released, in our opinion, one of their best projects to date... Sophisticated, captivating and fresh. Reminding me a bit of 1991's BACK ON THE CASE with regard to how that album impacted music at that time. Starting off smooth and hip on AMERICAN/ENGLISH with "The Crossing," moving right into the current radio hit, "Say Yeah," which offers some fun, cutting edge production where the guitar riffs are "chopped" for effect; this technique has been utilized by dance/pop artists like Madonna and Craig David. For you Chill/Lounge enthusiasts, check out "So Kylie," a delicious groove with sweet vocalizing combined with that signature Acoustic Alchemy sound. The name references the U.K. dance scene and diva Kylie Minogue. Another stand out track, "She Speaks American English," funks up the place a bit. According to AA manger, Stewart Coxhead, "It's an English take on a sound that is very American, with maybe a few Steely Dan quotes thrown in." My personal favorite is the deep "Lilac Lane" for it's rich texture, complex emotion and haunting melody. Feels like the Monterey Bay area to me... Acoustic Alchemy Circa 2005, with Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale at the helm, is at the top of their game... Sounding, looking and recording better than ever. -Sandy Shore
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy purchase!, October 8, 2005
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This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
I wasn't expecting much from some of the reviews here but was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there are some of the same guitar progressions & licks, a few that sound like other AA tunes, but overall it is a totally enjoyable CD, with somewhat more of a 70s/80s feel than some of their other CDs. Some real treats here like "Detroit Shuffle", "Say Yeah", and "Carrot Cafe" is a whole new AA groove. Soothing, energizing...there's not much music like this these days, so get it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good work by good musicians, April 30, 2005
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This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
Whenever I get a new cd, I always seem to compare it to the bands older music. With this album (and the former Radio Contact release), I find that each are a slight departure from what the band had been known for.

This album in particular starts to use many more electronic loops and drum sounds. Personally, I'm used to the actual musicians playing. However, the classic AA licks and melodies are still there, keeping that undeniable sound they're known for.

Don't get me wrong; the album is still innovative with tracks such as "Detroit Shuffle", "Lilac", and "14th St Carrot Cafe" which was recorded in one take, not letting us forget that the acoustic sound and live musicianship will always prevail.

In short, anything AA touches turns to gold... which is sort of what alchemy is anyway. I have come to accept this (and Radio Contact) with open arms into the AA catalog and can't wait to see them on tour this summer.

Cheers!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, great show., July 11, 2005
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This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
I've never written a review before, but having just seen the group play live in Seattle last night, I had to chip in my $.02.

Despite having to play within days of terrorist activities in the homeland of several members, they did an excellent job; small-ish venue, but big sound. If you ever get a chance to catch them live, definitely DO IT! If not, then this (and past albums) are the next best thing.

Oh, and a little factoid for fellow Seattlites: track 9 ("14 Carrot Cafe") is named for the restaurant of the same name on Eastlake Avenue, both a popular hangout for the guys when in town and a little homage to the Emerald City. You gotta love it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still OK, not great as they used to be, but worth the buy, July 22, 2005
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This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
I've been a longtime fan of AA, and has always admired Greg Charmichael's efforts to re-invent their sound following the tragic departure of his founding partner, Nick Webb. Definitely the sound of new AA since their first (and best) post-Webb album - "The beautiful Game" is not the same, Webb's influence as a writer bringing in more bluesy and folskish sounds was prominenet. The new AA is a true Smooth Jazz band, which is OK but I do think they were more than that in the late records in the original cast (such as "Back on the Case" or "the new Edge") which were nothing short of brilliant.
However this is an OK album, a bit better than its predecessor - Radio Contact - and a bit similar to the one before - AArt, and still short of "The Game". The sound is always as slick as it can get, nice and smooth arrangements, few better tunes, few fillers, but for smooth jazz fans this is a nice album, great for the car or for the late eveing. For those who are new to AA it's a good start to explore these great musicians that used also to create exceptional music, not just "Smooth".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular evolution ..., May 4, 2005
By 
Robert M. Case (Bristow, Oklahoma, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
The evolution of this group has been nothing short of spectacular. I've been with them since 1989's "Blue Chip" when all the backgrounds were synth. I rank "Beautiful Game" as a pivotal point with it's more "live" group sound.

But "American English" offers a new depth. The melody lines have a timeless complexity and the spare synthesizer tracks blend just right with the live musicians.

A nice touch is drummer Greg Grainger's background vocals. I also enjoy Miles Gilderdale's track-by-track synopsis. I too plan to see them live in concert this summer.

All-in-all, Acoustic Alchemy's best yet!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly Diverse Album, October 8, 2008
This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
This album is absolutely amazing. I picked up "Say Yeah" from a jazz compilation CD which got me interested in its origin. Acoustic Alchemy has produced a great album that covers all ends of the smooth jazz genre spectrum. The sound quality is great with the sound of each instrument clearly projected. Each song carries its own unique sound and suits any setting. I love popping this album in on a cold and snowy winter day when I can enjoy the season and forget about everything else.

Chill out and relax with these stellar tracks!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!, April 2, 2007
This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
I must disclose; I'm an Alchemy fan and have been one for about 15 years. However, this fact does not keep me from hearing the truth and the truth on this one is... This one is a must have!!! Do you remember Red Dust and Spanish Lace? Yeah, it's that good and more. The Crossing is destined to become a classic. So Kylie will get you moving and She Speaks American/English is just plain good music. Enjoy a great cd.

Cheers
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's worth a listen, January 5, 2007
This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
I have been a fan for 12 years and still love their sound. Since the death of Nick Webb Acoustic Alchemy has continued in his memory and honors his influence while moving forward and trying to incorporate other styles. Radio Contact and American English continue on with quality music. This is worth adding to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acoustic Pleasure for the Ears, September 25, 2005
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This review is from: American / English (Audio CD)
Another fantastic product of this talented acoustic group. Acoustic Alchemy continues to improve with age, producing a smooth & natural, yet well orchestrated sound. If you have liked previous offerings by this group, American/English will not disappoint.
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American / English by Acoustic Alchemy (Audio CD - 2005)
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