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Audio CD, September 24, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2002 release from the native Australian who has 4 Platinum & 3 Gold albums. This is his first solo acoustic album and finally being released internationally on Steve Vai's Newly created Favored Nations Acoustic imprint. HDCD.

Amazon.com

Tommy Emmanuel is a veteran acoustic guitar player from Australia, where he's reputed to be a legend. He's written pop songs for Olivia Newton-John, Al Jarreau, and Sheena Easton and released skillfully played, if generic, smooth jazz albums. But it's as a solo acoustic finger-style player that Emmanuel makes jaws drop, and that's all you hear on this brilliant album. Emmanuel is an eclectic guitarist whose playing is infused with old-timey jazz on "Timberlake Road," New Age melodicism on "Those Who Wait," and a Celtic-classical tinge on "Padre." Emmanuel is capable of a dizzying array of harmonic effects, off-hand ornamentation, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and just about anything else you can do on an acoustic guitar. But while it's the technique that amazes, it's the songs that keep drawing you back with their intricate melodic invention. Perhaps because he's an unrepentant punster, Emmanuel is able to create just enough distance, with a cocked sideways glance, to keep his music on the right side of the line between sentimental and sublime. --John Diliberto

1. Those Who Wait
2. I've Always Thought Of You
3. Mombasa
4. Timberlake Road
5. Questions
6. Padre
7. Luttrell
8. Since We Met
9. Drivetime
10. The Robin
11. Train To Dusseldorf
12. Biskie
13. Stay Close To Me
14. Ol' Brother Hubbard

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Favored Nations
  • ASIN: B00006IT5A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,534 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By I. J. Sloan on April 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Whenever I read reviews, I am made aware we are all different and guitar freaks ( of which I am undoubtedly one ) the world over like different things. Thank God.
But I would wager there is not a single ( open minded ) Guitar freak out there who would not sit back and be humbled by the brilliance of this album, nor one that does not find the outstanding beauty and emotion in this music. I have only just received my copy from Amazon, and I dont think since "Casino" by Al Di Meola there has been an album that has hit my emotions in the same way.
Perfect acoustic guitar playing and( perhaps more importantly ) song writing. Thank you Tommy Emmanuel ... someome below said it ... a masterpiece. Expect more business from me pretty soon !
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"Only" is Australian jazz-rock guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and only Tommy Emmanuel. Acoustic guitar. No accompaniment. No overdubs. But he proves it's all he needs to provide a truly mesmerizing, delightful listening experience. Tommy plays in a finger-picking style which allows him to play the bass line, the melody and some harmony all at once, so there is no shortage of action during any of this CD's 14 tracks. It often sounds as though there are at least two guitars playing!
The general tone of the CD is cheerful and uplifting, with a variety to the rhythm and tempo that keeps my attention from drifting. There are a couple of more introspective passages, such as "Questions" and the truly beautiful "The Robin" with its fair sampling of Spanish and classical guitar. There are also some more raucous songs thrown in for good measure, such as the bluegrass-tinged "Biskie," "Train to Dusseldorf" and the jazzy "Ol' Brother Hubbard." Among the brighter moments is "Mombassa" which was written while on a trip to Africa where the Emmanuel family met the young boy they had been sponsoring for years. It's a happy, knockin' around kind of song that will cheer you up no matter your mood. All of these tunes sound lyrical enough to conjure up images of tales being told.
I have become an early riser in recent years, and Tommy Emmanuel's "Only" has become my constant companion at the break of day.
Tommy spends a lot of time barnstorming the globe, usually in solo acoustic shows filled with music of the style presented here. Don't pass up an opportunity to see him pick, pluck, strum, brush and beat on his guitar. It's unforgettable! To boot, he's a very personable fellow, making the audience feel like he's playing for his friends in his living room.
I originally wrote this review after hearing the Australian release, and the Favored Nations release is identical. Highly recommended.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By James P. Herden on October 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
No one expresses oneself as honestly or as gracefully as Tommy Emmanuel on acoustic guitar. This is his first solo acoustic CD, and if you are looking for one CD by Tommy, this is the one to get. As Tommy has said, speed is not necessarily good -- indeed a monkey can be trained to play guitar fast. It is much more difficult to play slowly with expression and passion, and this album is filled with those qualities. This album is the closest yet to convey Tommy's true artistry -- something that cannot be completely experienced outside of a live concert. Some very talented people have attempted to capture Tommy's technique in the form of tablature and verbal instruction, but even they are left with the question, "How does he DO that!?!" The answer is, it is a gift, and we are the recipients. End of discussion.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I had the pleasure of hearing Tommy live with the Prarie Home Companion Show on NPR in Nashville recently, I was so moved by the best guitar picking I have heard in years I rushed to purchase this CD containing the 2 tracks played at the show-simply AWESOME.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phil on December 3, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Every second of this CD is pleasing, impressive, or beautiful. This is a virtuoso musician who plays with feeling. The inspiration is palpable. A must-have recording for anyone who loves guitar and anyone else who loves music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joseph O'Brien on October 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I discovered Tommy Emmanuel at an outdoor concert in 2002. I had the pleasure of seeing him again at the same venue in 2003, by which time I was an enraptured fan. In my experience, Emmanuel's "Only" is as good as solo acoustic guitar gets. "Only" is an incredible tapestry of music, with heartfelt, melodic songs (all written by Emmanuel). If you appreciate good music, do yourself a favor and buy this CD. Better yet, see Emmanuel in concert and try not to become a fan. I dare you...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mosta McKracken on December 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album is simply an amazing work of art. The music is heartfelt and very, very lyrical. After listening to the first two cuts and then being hit by Mombassa, I realized that this is something unlike any other I have heared. Images are painted and stories are told through Tommy's beautiful songs -- without a single word spoken. The songs manage to sound joyous with a hint of an underlying sense of sadness in them. Tommy doesnt feel any compelling need to show how much of an accomplished player he is (and he is!) There are no extranneous notes here. Every single note is in its right place and for the right reason and played at the right time. I wish there were more players like that. For now, I'll just wait eagerly for TE's next release!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a memorial to the versatility of an under-used instrument. Instead of hiding little talent and less skill behind a loud reverb, Emmanuel invites listeners to experience the guitar at its best. From gleeful "Timberlake Road" to jazzy "Biskie," from sublime "Questions" to exhilarating "Train to Dusseldorf," the master guitarist leads us on a musical epiphany. No lyrics, no bass, neither percussion nor brass are needed. The purity of these melodies and harmonies touches the soul. The spirit soars and dives with the rifts. Bottom line: Emmanuel demonstrates how much music the guitar can make -- not how much noise.
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