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Something Beautiful

44 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 9, 2004
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$29.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by DAILY "Black-Friday" 4U and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The multi-Platinum band Great Big Sea has become one of Canada's most popular exports, and with the help of producer Michael Phillip (Barenaked Ladies), they're about to become even more popular with the release of Something Beautiful, their new studio album. From brisk Celtic pop sing-alongs like "Shines Right Through" and "When I Am King" to introspective, brooding laments like "Summer" and "Lucky Me," Something Beautiful is the most accessible Great Big Sea album yet. "Great Big Sea has been more successful than any other contemporary North American band in bringing Anglo-Celtic folk sounds into rock clubs." - Dirty Linen

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A Platinum-selling act in their Canadian homeland, Great Big Sea has mined that country's proud Scots/Irish Celtic heritage in a decidedly modern context. Their arrangements are honeycombed with the accordions, bouzoukis, pipes, whistles and fiddles typical of traditional music and nicely handled they are, too. But these come across as afterthoughts amid a powerhouse hit machine featuring robust lead vocals, a booming drum kit, and close-harmony hooks obviously calibrated to induce stadium sing-alongs. The group is a throwback to seventies folk-rockers in that they veer between trad/arr material ("John Barbour") and original tunes ("Helmenthead," which catalogues the conquests of a kiss-and-tell hockey player). In contemporary terms, they occasionally recall singer-songwriter Paul Brady's polished lyrics or the crowd-pleasing barroom roughhousing of Black 47. But ultimately, this is a mainstream band, high-energy and very good at what they do; the question is how they'll play outside their comfort zone. --Christina Roden

1. Shines Right Through
2. When I am King
3. Beat the Drum
4. Helmethead
5. Summer
6. Sally Ann
7. Somedays
8. Let it Go
9. John Barbour
10. Lucky Me
11. Love
12. Chafe's Celidh

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • ASIN: B0001GOHN4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Donnelly on March 19, 2004
Format: Audio CD
the album holds up quite well. Unlike other Great Big Sea albums, there are two or three cuts here that I find myself skipping over, but original songs like "When I Were King", "Beat the Drum", "Shines right through", "Something Beautiful" and "Lucky you, Lucky me" are pretty darned good, and "John Barbour" is so good, it's almost worth picking up the CD just for that. "Helmethead" seemed very Pogues-like, and that's a compliment.
No, it's not "Rant and Roar or "Turn", those are five-star efforts, but this CD is deserving of four stars when put alongside past GBS releases. However, when compared to the usual schtick one finds on the radio dial, it IS a 5-star disc.
As for them selling out, it seems the fella who often fronts many of the traditional sea shanties has left the band and that is perhaps why GBS decided to go with just two traditional tunes. After all these years, what's so bad about them getting a little Bare Naked Ladies-type of recognition? They've earned it and I hope they achieve it.
One more thing, I saw them live for the first time on March 15th and they were spectacular. Anyone worried that the traditionals would take a back seat in their live shows need not worry. The new stuff sounded great also and "Lucky you, Lucky Me" was a perfect ode to the audience in one of their encores.
For fans and GBS and novies alike, I recommend getting this CD and I HIGHLY recommend seeing them live, you won't be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Magali on September 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This collection deviates somewhat from the previous ones in that several of the songs are very Pop, especially one of my favourites, When I am King. Despite this slight deviation they retain their roots in folk keeping with my favourite aspect of the band - their focus on audible vocals as opposed to loud and lengthy guitar riffs and drum solos.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert Parker Balliger on December 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a fun CD full of good to great compositions. Newfoundlands version of classic tracks, testamonials to the Newfoundland Spirit, and up beat smiling attitudes throughout. Best CD since their first CD. I look forward to their next release. Yes and secret; Go see them live, music is great, lots of happy folks, crowd singing to cheer the soul. You will not regret it at all!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"These days I feel a change/All the patterns rearranged." These lines could easily describe the rocky mainstream path that Canadian Celt-rockers Great Big Sea have followed. In "Something Beautiful," the guys return to the robustly fun acoustic rock that got them to where they were.
Starting off on the right foot is "Shines Right Through Me," followed by rounds of deliciously bouncy rockers like the catchy "When I Am King," the thumping "Beat the Drum," and trite but amusing "Love." But a quieter sensibility shines through in the gentle "Something Beautiful" and sweetly romantic "Summer," and their pub-crawler humor bounces out in the rollicking "Helmethead." The album finishes off on a traditional note with the danceable instrumental "Chafe's Celidh."
Great Big Sea strayed from their old sound in their last release, "Sea of No Cares," going more toward a typical electric-guitar sound than their usual blend of rock and fun Celtic music. Here they're back in fine form, presenting the sort of songs that you'd expect to hear on a Saturday night, as pubcrawlers dance on the tables.
The music is well-rounded, and polished with long experience. The guys effortlessly juggle the guitar, fiddle, accordian, and banjo with slightly more exotic instruments like the bodhran, the bouzouki, the mandola, and little whistles and pipes. It's mostly acoustic, although it is tainted with a few electric riffs and flourishes that sound out of place, like the harder-edged opener of "Shine Right Through Me."
Alan Doyle's voice is a little rough, but full and lively. He can wistfully murmur ballads and roar out hilarious songs about falling in love with all the wrong girls.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on March 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
On first listen, I had the same reaction I did to TURN, the band's 1999 release. Good stuff, but lacking the inspiration and fun of some of their earlier records. But then I played the disc again, and began to pay attention to the lyrics. "Something Beautiful" is just that--a collection of well-crafted and often very beautiful songs. Alternating lead singers Alan Doyle and Sean McCann are also pretty talented songwriters, with Doyle (as usual) performing the more heart-tugging tunes. While longtime fans will probably agree the band has made better albums, the title song is easily one of their most uplifting and, well, beautiful recordings ever.
A pre-release review (elsewhere) suggested that new producer Michael Phillip Wojewoda is trying to turn GBS into another Barenaked Ladies, with whom the producer has been associated. And while this may be an uncomfortable thought to true GBS fans, there may be something to this idea: Both bands were heroes in their homeland for years, with a string of first-rate albums, long before acheiving mainstream success in the U.S. I don't think the decrease in "traditional" music on their albums means GBS is selling out to find a wider audience. But if it takes a different approach to let more people know about this GREAT band, it's a small price to pay. And hey, isn't their "pop" material still better than most stuff on the Top 40 stations? Sure it is...go ahead and buy this one.
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