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Queen of Denmark

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

John Grant, a man from Denver, sang in a band called The Czars. When The Czars Broke up, John moved up to New York For a change of scenery and found himself playing support to Flaming Lips and Midlake on a few USA Shows. Well they became very good pals and Midlake became determined, nay obsessed with helping John out, recognising like me that it was close to a crime that John remained unknown outside a very small cult number. So they brought him to their hometown of Denton, Texas, and so he lived there for some months, working with them all on his solo record, in the spare moments when they werent working on their own new album. Mixed by Midlake mixer Matt Pense.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00383XZQC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,911 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As a big fan of the underrated Denver band the Czars, I was excited to see that John Grant was back in the studio recording a solo project. And, to add icing to the cake his backing band is the incredible Texan band Midlake (another favorite, check out their new album "The Courage of Others" truly one of the best album to come along in years. An instant Classic.) Grant's Queen of Denmark packs a lot of punches. Here you have an artist who plunges us into a world filled with loss and sadness (TC and Honeybear), lust and disappointment in the breathtakingly beautiful "Where Dreams Go to Die" all the way to the "Queen of Denmark" where Grant's Cynicism becomes an epic anthem. Grant has an incredibly smooth baritone voice that can bring you to tears in a heartbeat. On this album he gives us a candid look into this raw and fragile world. If you haven't heard of John Grant you are missing out on one of the greatest voices and songwriters to come along. Reward yourself and buy this NOW!
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Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to John Grant for a long while now, ever since he started fronting for The Czars, and I've always found his voice, that rich baritone, so full of depths and sorrows and longings, to be absolutely stunning, especially in songs like "Drug" and in his cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren." Since the break-up of The Czars, I've been eager to hear John Grant again, anxious to have more, and then more, and so I'm thrilled to find him deliver so much great material here, with a range of extraordinary emotional amplitude. I love especially the title song, "Queen of Denmark," which builds from its humorous opening to a complex (and even somehow witty) anger aroused by pain and sorrow. This is John Grant at is best, and, as much as I loved The Czars, I've wondered while listening to "Queen of Denmark," Grant's solo album, if The Czars wasn't perhaps holding him back a bit, if it wasn't a bit too small for his large talent. Buy this.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
There's a reason every periodical in Europe has lauded this album. Recently, MOJO named it album of the year, and Q listed it #6 in the year-end chart. Knowing John's past, his frustrations heading a band that imploded - the Czars - his past addiction issues and the depth of a break-up, a close listen to the songs on here can drive you to tears.

There is such raw emotion in songs like Queen of Denmark and Jesus Hates Faggots,you can picture the events in high-def detail that lead to the writing of the songs. Other songs seem light-hearted at first - Marz, Sigourney Weaver - but each listen brings you closer to the heartbreak, longing and wistfulness that comprises them.

The worst thing about the album is the inability to describe it musically to would-be audiophiles who need to know what genre it falls into. It's easy-listening, it's AM-radio, it's lo-fi dance, at times it sounds like Nilsson, at times you'd swear someone unplugged the Scissor Sisters.

In the end, if there is any justice in the world this album will be remembered for years and years. I rarely use this word: it's a true masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm really enjoying this album. Grant has a soothing voice, and he uses the metaphor of space travel to describe his wanderlust, longing, infatuations and alienation (no pun intended) to great effect. Synthesizers and slight tweaks to his vocals give an otherworldly atmosphere to many of the songs. As a lyricist Grant is tender and refreshingly witty. He has an ability to be funny and pointed at the same time with lines like, "Jesus he hates fruit loops son. I told you that when you were young. Or pretty much anything you want him to. Like sitcoms, pedophiles and kangaroos." Overall a good album. Nice warm melodies, layered themes, and high craftsmanship.
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Format: Audio CD
4.5 stars

Sometimes album covers can set a "tone" for a record although quite what John Grant's image on the "Queen of Denmark" is intended to covey defeats me. While it might bear an uncanny resemblance to Keith Flint of the Prodigy, that is where the similarity ends since in terms of inspiration "Queen of Denmark" is about as far away as humanely possible to the sound produced by the twisted fire starters. Grant's previous band "The Czars" who came out of the Denver music scene in the 1990s but later imploded barely registered in the UK. Yet those who did hear great songs like "Goodbye" and the superb country ballad "Bright black eyes" will know one key fact above all else namely that John Grant has one of the richest baritone voices in music. The Czars produced their fair share of lush chamber pop but on the "Queen of Denmark", John Grant has pushed the boat out and it sails brilliantly.

He does this in partnership with none other than Midlake. Grant recorded this album in Midlake's studio in Denton, Texas as Tim Smith and co were concluding their beautiful if flawed English folk rock based extravaganza "The Courage of Others". He is also touring the USA at the present with the band. What is interesting in this excellent debut album is that the presence of Midlake is primarily based on their 70s-style soft-rock know-how (Van Occupanther era) rather than their latest preoccupation. You certainly can hear some of the pastoral themes of the "Courage of Others not least of all on the one of the highlights of the album "I wanna go to Marz" which echoes "Winter dies" and throughout Midlake are the perfect backdrop to Grant's rich pop songs into which they breath life, but never overly intrude.
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