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Palindrome Hunches [Amazon.com Exclusive]

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 11, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

This deluxe CD edition is exclusive to Amazon and is limited to 500 copies worldwide. Presented in a notebook style format with a chipboard front and back cover, the release features Neil Halstead's handwritten lyric sheets as well as open space for your own ruminations as you listen to the album. This is Neil's third solo album after a storied career with Slowdive and Mojave 3. AllMusic has called Neil "one of Britain's most respected songwriters".

1. Digging Shelters
2. Bad Drugs and Minor Chords
3. Wittgenstien's
4. Spin The Bottle
5. Tied To You
6. Love Is A Beast
7. Palindrome Hunches
8. Full Moon Rising
9. Sandy
10. Hey Daydreamer
11. Loose Change

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Republic
  • ASIN: B008OM7A6I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on September 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Back in the pre-internet days--before one could look up anything faster than it took me to type this sentence--I was a heavy listener of both Slowdive and Mojave 3, without ever realizing that they were essentially the same band as far as the members were concerned. Each led by singer/songwriter Neil Halstead, the two groups could not have been more different musically. Both specialized in lush, melodic, dreamy songs, but Mojave 3 were the stripped-down and mostly acoustic--one could even argue country-ish--cousin to Slowdive's tripped-out walls of guitars.

With Slowdive being only a distant memory (though reunion rumors are getting increasingly louder) and Mojave 3 an on-again off-again venture, each subsequent release from Halstead has been more subdued and personal, and that trend continues with 'Palindrome Hunches,' his first album in four years.

Halstead's uniquely intimate yet alluring voice--accompanied throughout only by a gentle acoustic guitar, subtle piano, violin, and the occasional banjo or tambourine--is in top form here. He has a way of making me strain to hear every last word, as his songs are almost like short stories, with little nuggets of wisdom spread throughout, and always delivered with an interesting turn of phrase that, when combined with the beautiful musical arrangements, makes it seem more profound than it would be otherwise. A good example is the dark, haunting "Tied to You," one of the fuller arrangements on the album. When he sings "There's a heart that beats, but you don't show it," it's very powerful--almost ominous--when backed by an eerie violin and hypnotic, minor chord guitar picking.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Martin on September 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One who has never listened to a Neil Halstead record before (this being his 3rd solo venture) might listen to this and think he's trying to be Nick Drake. To do so would be a mistake. To do so would be to ignore his efforts with the bands Slowdive and Mojave 3. All of the records he made with those bands, and the two previous solo albums, has led him to create the most intimate, articulate and heartbreaking album of his unimaginably amazing career.

I have listened to this album several times already and it was only released a week ago. There aren't too many albums out this year that I have listened to more than twice. The music is minimal: acoustic guitar, piano, upright bass and violin. Keeping it this simple allows the vocals to become the focal point, as they should, they are some of the best lyrics he's ever written. "Death runs deep in this family, writes a song for the left hand only. Lost my arm in the first great war, wish I never learned that piano before" he sings in Wiggenstein's Arm. "Don't worry if you don't hear nothing for a time, it's just my way" he laments on the closing track, "Loose Change."

It's difficult to write a song with such incredible sadness and beauty at the same time. Neil Halstead has written an entire album. It's as if he's telling us all, "It's ok to be sad, for a time, but it's also ok to stop being sad." I am in love with this album.

Key Tracks: ALL OF THEM
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Neil Halstead has and continues to be one of the best singer/songwriters on the planet and on his new record, Palindrome Hunches, he continues to showcase his talents. The album has some similarities to his first two solo records, but Palindrome is a bit darker and his use of the piano and violin on many of the songs adds an interesting twist to the album.

The album does not jump out at you the way the previous two did and there are not a lot of catchy, upbeat songs on the record but having listened to it five times through I find myself enjoying it more and more everytime I listen to it. If you are a fan of Neil Halstead from his Mojave 3 and Slowdive days, this album is a must for you. You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ricky H. on December 8, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is the first I've heard from Neil Halstead's solo career. I love Slowdive and Mojave 3, so I bought this out of curiosity regarding Neil's adoption of the folksy sound.

While I rather like the lyrics on this album, the music feels somewhat limp. The chord progressions are pretty generic and don't meet my standard for creativity. I guess I'm spoiled rotten on Fionn Regan's spectacular guitar work (Mark Kozelek is also very far from being a slouch). Even in his use of open tunings, which offer a wealth of wonderful possibilities, I was unimpressed.

I'm of the mind that Neil's approach to songwriting is better-suited to a band setting, where the layering of instruments and vocals can lend more complexity to otherwise simple progressions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tmac17 on November 27, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
its good for what it is. everything else he has done on his own reminds me too much of iron and wine. i like iron and wine but i dont need another one of him and its not something i can always listen too. really cool packaging though.
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By Aparato SuperSonico on September 14, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
More often than we'd like to admit. an album from a present day artist would appear and apart from the hit single or two, the rest of the album is mere filler or the songs are all disposable clones of each other. However, sometimes a rarity like this one will come along in which ALL OF THE SONGS ARE GOOD! and it becomes part of one's permanent collection, which will survive repeated purges of other albums as tastes and moods change. This one is a keeper.
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