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Heal

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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HEAL
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DEAD OCEANS
  • ASIN: B00JB0A3MK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,958 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dephot on June 26, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Strand of Oaks (Tim Showalter) has been around for a while making quietly introspective folk songs about love, loneliness and struggles of the everyday, as well as forays into the fantastical. His previous albums have all been great listens, filled with songs that intrigue and captivate, see "Last to Swim", "Two Kids", "Leave Ruin", "Sterling", "Satellite Moon".
With HEAL, Tim is still singing about things like being the middle child, not leaving the house, and self-worth, as he has since 2009's Leave Ruin. Only now, he has completely lost his soft questioning complacency, and has fired the canon of urgency. HEAL is a scream to himself not only to survive, but to be brave, the way his heroes were when he was a teenager.
From the opening track "Goshen '97" right on through to the closer "Wait for Love", it is clear that honest songwriting doesn't have to be boring. There is a diversity here that is clearly rooted in American Rock, from '70 classic rock, '80s new wave, '90's alternative, and right through to the present.
I can't recommend this album enough. It's simply great.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Excellent album. Reminds me a lot of the War on Drugs album that was released this year as well, but Strand of Oaks tends to have a more straightforward and rock oriented sound. What is really interesting about this album is the diversity of the band, who's songs range from driving rock songs (Goshen '97, JM) to 80's style synth songs (Heal, Same Emotions). Strand of Oaks songs are blistering, heartbreaking and intimate. The song writing is like an exposed nerve, and that sort of immediacy and intimacy really carries the album.

I think that this is one of the best indie albums of the year so far, and would highly recommend it.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Found out about Strand of Oaks from NPR. Listened to a few tracks online and was blown away. Went and bought 4 cds on Amazon. I have barely listened to another band since June. Saw them live in a tiny venue in Santa Cruz amongst 40 other fans... they crushed it. This may not be everyone's type of music, but jeez it is mine. The songs on this album are amazingly different from each other. Someone said this was poorly mastered. I have been a musician for 18 years, and I felt that the recordings, even the older ones, were quite acceptable and was actually surprised at the quality for a lesser-known musician. LOVE IT. Wish more people did because this is original and amazing. Then again, I'll just enjoy it alone in my own little world. Thanks Timothy!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I purchased this album after listening to it a few times on a streaming service and enjoying it. There are a lot of very good rock songs on here with a range of styles, and none that I'm compelled to skip. Best tracks are, in my opinion, "Goshen '97", "Same Emotions," and "JM" (an excellent homage to the late Jason Molina). So, 4 stars on the quality of the songs.

But I'm writing the review to warn that this album, or at least every electronic version of this album I've heard (including the one I just paid to download from Amazon), is quite poorly mastered. It sounds like 192kbps MP3s. If you have a good soundsystem or headphones and care about such things, it might let you down in that department. Which is a pity, because some of these songs would be total eargasms if they were higher fidelity. I wish I had bought the CD/vinyl and ripped it myself to know for sure whether it's like that on the physical album, but I haven't encountered this with Amazon MP3 purchases before, so I suspect it is.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is one of the best discoveries in years. I heard it for first time because of a recommend from a streaming service and I'm so glad. The opening 3 minute track grabs you and leaves you going 'oh $h!t!' and grab on to your seat. This album is great and evokes an energy and connection to the the artist I haven't heard in a long while. wow.

I got the vinyl and I agree with previous reviewer that the mastering is not good (even on vinyl). It sounds thin and lacks clarity but the music overrides it in this case.

(Update) I've spent more time with this record (the vinyl) and want to clarify the mastering is fine on most of the album. However, the opening track sound quality is not great;somewhat muddy and dynamic range is very compressed. Considering it is one of the best songs of the year (IMHO), I wish it had better sonics!
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Bought this because i had heard the J. Mascis cut, didn't know the rest of it was all electronic, but i was pleasantly surprised by the great songwriting! If this guy would put some stringed instruments and a drum set behind his lyrics he would be onto something incredible! Having J. Mascis play lead never hurt anything either!
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Writing specifically about the vinyl pressing, it's okay. I really loved this album and pulled the trigger on the vinyl a bit hastily one night. It sounds very much like a CD master, fair amount of surface noise and certainly wasn't flat when received. It isn't expensive but it really doesn't add anything to the experience of this album for me. I wouldn't buy this again on vinyl.
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