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Fur & Gold CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, July 31, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Look at Natasha Khan, with her Cleopatra shawl and elfish hair, on the cover of Fur and Gold, and you'll surely have this half-Pakistani, half-English songstress pegged as the first British riposte to the U.S. freak-folk movement that's thrown up figures like Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart, and Cocorosie. In some ways, that's an accurate comparison: Bat for Lashes has a way with mystique, one which elevates even quite simple topics-–the break-up tale of "What's a Girl to Do?"-–into grand achievements of ghostly trauma: "My bat-lightning heart," she whispers, "wants to fly away." Dig a little deeper, though, because the music to be found on Fur and Gold has a more complex provenance. "Horse and I," a harpsichord-led track embellished with theremin and a militaristic drum motif, is the sort of vintage-modern soundscape reminiscent of Björk at her most restrained, while elsewhere the dramatic tale-telling of "Prescilla" and "Bat's Mouth" suggest Bat for Lashes might yet develop into a songwriter of the poetic calibre of Kate Bush. The debut album from Bat for Lashes is a haunting, richly orchestrated work that, for all its experimentation and intelligence, is emotional and deeply moving. --Louis Pattison
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Parlophone
  • ASIN: B000RHRFUO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,712 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Bat for Lashes is the one-woman band of Natasha Khan, a UK singer song-writer of Pakistani origin. If you aren't familiar with her sound, imagine Bjork meets Joanna Newsom meets Kate Bush with a splash of Dido even. I'm not entirely sure where I found out about this, it's either my 17 yr old daughter or internet-only station WOXY, but no matter, you are in for a delight.

"Fur and Gold" (11 tracks, plus 1 bonus track; 49 min.) is the debut album of Bat for Lashes. The opener "Horse and I" is a harpsichord-and-drums driven song, setting the table. "Trophy" is a quiet but threatening song with the ever-returning line "Heaven is a feeling I get in your arms", just beautiful. "What's A Girl To Do" (2nd UK single) is one of the more 'upbeat' tracks on the album. "Sad Eyes" is a beautiful piano ballad. "Prescilla" (1st UK single) is the most immediately accessible track of the album. "Bat's Mouth" is another slow-burner, with lush violins. It all leads up to the last track of the regular album, a 7 min. haunting "I Saw a Light". The bonus track is a (single B-side) cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire", and a textbook example of how a cover should be done: completely reinterpreted yet recognisible, just perfect.

This album was originally released in the UK a year ago and is now, slowly, finding an audience in the US. Natasha Khan is a talent to be watched. I have been completely mesmorized by "Fur and Gold". This is not an album you'll play in a hurry. Relax, settle in, and play this. I bet you'll be mesmorized too.
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Format: Audio CD
Imagine walking through a forest flooded by golden light, full of mystery and magic, and the sorrow of things that are fading away.

That's sort of the atmosphere of "Fur and Gold," the debut album by Bat For Lashes. The Brighton band -- really a one-woman band for Natasha Khan -- churns out a stream of shimmering, dark, fantastical chamberpop that sounds like the halfway point between Feist and Joanna Newsom.

It opens with the dreamlike "Horse and I," with its throbs of harpsichord and marching military drums (a Jeanne D'Arc influence?). "Got woken in the night/by a mystic golden light/My head soaked in river water," Khan murmurs, sounding both desperate and sleepy. "The smell of redwood giants/A banquet for the shadows/Horse and I, we're dancers in the dark/Came upon the headdress/It was gilded, dark and golden..."

It rises into a desperate plea, as "The children sang/I was so afraid I took it to my head and prayed/They sang to me, "This is yours to wear/You're the chosen one, there's no turning back." The song swells and falls, with Khan murmurs painfully, "There is no turning back/there is no turn..."

Khan does try out some more conventional songs, like the "What's A Girl To Do," a dramatic lament about a fizzled-out affair. But even then, she includes some unique phrases ("And my bat lightning heart/Wants to fly away"). And then there's "Sad Eyes," a painfully loving post-breakup song ("Keep my love as light as a feather").

Then she regains some of that more magical sound, with songs about powerful wizards, black snow, beautiful wild girls who die or grow up, centaurs, haunted forests. It finishes with the exquisite "I Saw A Light," a piano ballad that briefly swells up into a musical storm....
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Format: Audio CD
Great name for a band, so how is this debut album? In fact, Bat for Lashes is not really a band at all, but a one woman force of nature, accompanied by a number of other musicians.

Singer, writer and artist, Natasha Khan is certainly the lady who can. She has been compared to performers such as Kate Bush, Sinead O'Connor and Bjork. If these comparisons have any value at all, it may be because there is, for sure, something ethereal and otherworldly about Ms. Khan's sound and lyrics. A review on the 'band's' website said that this music could be the soundtrack for a Tim Burton film, and that seems to encapsulate the essence of the Bat for Lashes experience. At times, this music even recalls medieval chamber music. One could easily imagine this music being played at Harry Potter's debut dance in the Hogwarts' great hall.

This is a thoughtful, sensitive, highly original recording which only improves with repeated listening, and which doesn't contain a bad track. So even if you are not a Kate Bush or Sinead O'Connor fan and even if you are scared of things that go bump in the night, there is nothing to be afraid of here. On the contrary, it is really quite magical.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like it. I don't love it. After hearing "What's a Girl To Do?" I was expecting something with a little more retro and bluesy feel and this is definitely more along the lines of bohemian folksy indie stuff that I don't usually get that into. You may well love it though, and I might eventually because the cd is really growing on me when I listen on my work commute.
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Format: Audio CD
Comparisons have been tossed about like leaves being flung about by the wind. Bat for Lashes has been compared to Tori Amos, Thom Yorke, Bjork, and Kate Bush. Maybe Natasha Khan does owe a little something to these musicians (who are brilliant in their own right), yet she doesn't owe them anything. She is her own creation, her own artist. A talented one at that, too. From the mesmerizing opener, "Horse and I", to the last track, "I Saw a Light", "Fur and Gold" weaves a magic all its own.

I had come across Bat for Lashes on Youtube and after watching the video for "What's A Girl To Do" I was haunted by Natasha's lush voice. After listening to the entire album, I am even more haunted. She has a voice that purrs, whispers and shouts. Compare her if you will to Tori, Bjork or Kate, but I find her to be different. I hope comparisons will not bog down this wonderful talent.

Listen to this with a pair of headphones on (or even without) just so you can get the complete feel of what Bat for Lashes has to offer. You will enjoy it. It will take you to a place that you probably have not been in a long time and that you had forgotten even existed.
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