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Soapbox Heroes

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 8, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Produced by 4-time Grammy winner Neil Dorfsman (Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Sting, Dire Straits), Soapbox Heroes, continues to establish Enter The Haggis as possessing tremendous musical flexibility while not abandoning their respect for the traditional Celtic genre. Having developed a rabid fan-base in North America from non-stop touring, Soapbox Heroes is widely anticipated, and should build on recent successes like performing on A&E’s Breakfast for the Arts, and frequent airings on PBS (Out of Ireland; "ETH Live at Lanigan’s Ball" TV special).

About the Artist

There aren’t many groups in North America who could lay claim to possibly 18 different genres of music, but Toronto’s Enter The Haggis is one of them. To engage this quintet is to indulge rock, fusion, bluegrass, traditional Celtic fare, agitpop, folk, even Latin flavors. Sounds awfully confused, right? Wrong. ETH is one of those rare jewels that actually pulls it all off as if to own everything.

The Celtic influence remains palpably intact, which is likely the reason why core fans have stayed so loyal over the past decade. Still, Enter The Haggis continues to break new ground with every offering, and the power of the music is only made more significant by their socio-political conviction. 2004’s Casualties Of Retail meshed the aforementioned musical synthesis with lyrics that grab a hold of pertinent issues and cut right to the chase. Standout tracks like "Gasoline" and "Congress" shone a light on a well-established social consciousness and channeled it through a sense of musical experimentation arguably unmatched by other groups with their origins.

ETH’s live show is a musical feast- viscerally dynamic, emotionally uplifting and intellectually stimulating. The band’s oeuvre darts effortlessly from the trad strains of, say, The Chieftains and the Pogues to the frenetic pop of early Elvis Costello and even to the Latin-tinged spirit of the Buena Vista Social Club and beyond, complete with Lewington’s deftly guitar playing, the reeling of Brian Buchanan’s flawless fiddle, the diverse rhythmic machinations of bassist Mark Abraham and drummer James Campbell, and Downie’s transporting pipes, not to mention the near-perfect vocal harmonies. In fact, if you’re game, the group’s undeniable power is documented in Live at Lanigan’s Ball, a film chronicling an Enter The Haggis performance at Plattsburgh, New York’s Hartman Theatre in December of 2003, originally taped for a PBS special, and now available on DVD.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: United For Opportunity
  • ASIN: B000G1R4BG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,189 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Enter the Haggis, Soapbox Heroes (UFO Music, 2006)

The mighty Haggis' fourth full-length studio album has dropped, and a fine, fine disc it is indeed. You need this one.

It opens up with "Lancaster Gate," the kind of [undeservedly censored] that makes the Celtic kids go insane, and it's a great one. It's also a wonderful cognate, conscious or no, of Marillion's "White Feather" (start singing during the keyboard break, and you'll see what I mean). If it's not conscious, given the outspoken antiwar stances of both bands, it's a big coincidence.

Then, it's just over the top. Enter the Haggis have a history of writing and/or performing really, really good songs-- "Where Will You Go," "The Mexican Scotsman," "Star," "Andromeda," "Lanigan's Ball," "Another Round," and so on and so forth-- but they blow every one of them away with "One Last Drink." This is the song this band were born to perform. Bouncy, catchy, pulling in influences from what seems like every type of music imaginable (most notably Latin percussion, absent from the rest of their oeuvre but perfect here), with great flair and boundless enthusiasm. It ranks with the best singles of the decade, and is worth the price of admission by itself.

The album continues on strongly, if not quite as strongly. The band are getting further away from their Celtic roots, for the most part, and while the influence is still there and obvious, these are standard, if exceptionally well-done, rock and roll pieces with the band's trademark "what are you on about now?" lyrical befuddlement. "New Monthly Flavour," "The Apothecary," "Cynical," "The Barfly," and "No More Stones" all stand up well to repeated listening.
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Format: Audio CD
Wow! What a wickedly entertaining CD!

If you don't absolutely love it right from the start, listen to it a second time. By the third hearing, you'll find yourself singing along uncontrollably, running the tunes through your head constantly, and wondering why the heck someone didn't tell you about this kind of music sooner! Infectious songs and tremendous musicianship coupled with clever lyrics that manage to both entertain, and convey a powerful message that leaves the listener with something to chew on. Fusion at its finest! Soapbox Heroes is HIGHLY recommended!
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By Kris Oller on July 20, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I got the other CDs from ETH not too long ago, and enjoyed them, but I have to say that I think this CD is their best. I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop since I got it (it's THAT good). The songs go from making you want to dance around, to making you sad, back to making you want to dance. And every song makes you want to sing along (happy OR sad).
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I think Soapbox Heroes may have convinced me to widen my horizons. I'm not one to listen to music in the "World" genre, but Enter the Haggis blows me away with this CD. You can feel their amazing energy in this recording-an amount of energy that I would only expect from a live show. "Lancaster Gate" and "No More Stones" just explode! I'm a rock music fan and I'd never pick "Celtic" music as my listening choice, but Enter The Haggis has definitely crossed borders and caught my attention. I'm so glad I stumbled upon these guys!
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Enter the Haggis are a wonderful group of extremely talented musicians and they create fabulous music----I highly recommend them to anyone. I had the pleaure of seeing them live and they sound as good live as they do on their albums!!!! I bought all of their albums and suggest you do too!
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This is a very different album from Casualties of Retail, which drew much of its inspiration from country and bluegrass music. This album draws heavily on jazz and also goes back to some of the harder rock roots of Aerials. Each song is very different, very new, and more than simply "celtic rock" - this is truly celtic fusion, with not only the overriding jazz and rock influences, but flavorings of horns (One Last Drink) and piano (Buchanan has finally added piano playing to his contributions to the band). It is certainly a political album, but the band is never irritating nor negative, neither is it in your face. Even when the subject matter is serious, the messages are positive and hopeful, one thing which sets this band apart from similar ones in the mainstream. This album is Haggis at their best to date.
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I own two CD's by Enter the Haggis, and this one, "Soapbox Heroes" has got to be my favorite! The first track on the CD, "Lancaster Gate" is an instrumental, but it is so AWESOME! And if the second song "One Last Drink" doesn't get you toes tapping, I don't know what will! They sound like a combination of Country, Rock and Celtic music, nothing like I have heard before, but if it sounds like a strange combination to you, let me tell you, IT SO TOTALLY WORKS!!! These men are increadibly talented, and are definately worth a listen! I am a mother of two,(which includes a teenager) and I am "young" enough to appreciate GREAT music when I hear it! Give these guys a try, and I promise, you won't be sorry!
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Enter the Haggis is the best band I have heard in WAY too many years. ETHs previous CD, Casualties of Retail, blew me away with talent, originality and variety but Soapbox Heroes WELL surpasses even that. The style of music cannot be described with any words. So many styles are apparent and incredibly the band blends them flawlessly. Their music appeals to all ages and styles so I am POSITIVE anyone buying this CD will need to buy several spare copies because they will never want to take it out of their player.
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