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Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead
  2. The High Party (Solo)
  3. The Sword In The Stone
  4. Bleeding Powers
  5. Dirty Old Town
  6. Ghosts
  7. (Decaying Artifact)
  8. Six Months In A Leaky Boat
  9. Loyal To My Sorrowful Country
  10. Bonus Track 1


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lookout Records
  • ASIN: B0000CD5HD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,468 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeffrey Jotz on November 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In the years between the breakup of Chisel and the beginnings of The Pharmacists, Ted Leo bounced around his record collection, drawing on over 20 years of absorbing rock & roll, punk, indie, soul, hip hop, etc. and translating it to create music that is unique while remaining familiar. We know that we heard that song before when listening to Ted Leo's solo stuff, but we can't pin just where we heard that riff, verse or melody. All we know is that we like it.
Ted's first solo release sounded like a man left alone with his home studio and tape loops. Almost 5 years later, now that Ted has climbed his way near the top of the indie rock sludge heap, he takes a side trip back to his solo roots. This time, he is armed with the experiences and skills gained while rocking out with the Pharmacists. We see a more focused Ted Leo this time around than on his initial solo release.
Ted has long worshipped at the altar of British singer-songwriters. He draws his social commentary and trebly, stop-start guitar style from Billy Bragg and his cool intensity and whiteboy soul from Paul Weller. While these two artists lurk in the background on Ted's past stuff with the Pharmacists, they really step to the foreground on the Balgeary EP. And no one these days interprets Messrs. Bragg and Weller better than Ted Leo. His version of The Jam's "Ghosts", coupled with "Six Months in a Leaky Boat" (Split Enz) and The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town" (the latter being a fan favorite) all give us an eye into Ted's English-speaking influences around the globe.
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Format: Audio CD
One very good song and the rest is truly Ted solo, just his voice and guitar. The songs are very good, and there's nothing wrong with a man singing solo with only his guitar to accompany him, but geez, would a LITTLE production value hurt? The sonics are really awful on this CD, and the recordings are not even up to demo level. This ep could easily be a 4 star CD if Ted would have taken the time to record the solo songs in a professional setting instead of what sounds like a cheap cassette recorder in his bedroom.
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I've always felt that punk rock was, in part, about stripping music down to its barest essentials. Perhaps one of the most important punk outfits of the seventies, Wire, reveled in sparse arrangements on their debut album Pink Flag. Wire took this punk aesthetic almost as far as it can go, and at first the songs fly past you almost without noticing it, but later you realize their genius.

Ted Leo's new EP Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead is an exercise in this kind of minimalism. The EP contains the title track lifted from his recent album Hearts of Oak while the rest of the eight songs are simply Leo himself on guitar. Three of these remaining songs are covers and the rest are originals. It seems somewhat reminiscent of a punk version of Nick Drake's classic album Pink Moon, where the singer/songwriter forewent all of the strings, flutes, and organs for acoustic guitar and a touch of porcelain keys. That being mentioned, Leo's songs have the energy and power lacking in most singer/songwriter works. Hell, if Ted Leo were to duke it out with John Mayer he'd probably bring the hack musician to tears and then go about kicking the crap out of Dave Matthew just for fun. Leo assures us that when we hear one man and a guitar without accompaniment we don't always have to cringe. Unlike those artists he isn't the Wal Mart safe choice as the closing number "Loyal to My Sorrowful Country" proves with its refrain "No longer will I be loyal to my sorrowful country."

But, perhaps the most important thing about Ted Leo is that he truly illustrates punk's roots. Recently punk has become so restrained to a single sound that it has no choice but to break out, and in doing so reclaim its vast roots. Ted Leo ensure that revolution can go right along with evolution.
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Format: Audio CD
To put it simply, I think this is the catchiest thing I have ever heard. Ted Leo is a true genious and an amazing song writer. This CD is complied of the title track (which is from the full lenght "Hearts of Oak" which is also trluy amazing), one weird interlude thing, and 8 of the catchiest tracks I've ever heard. Every song had me up and dancing around my room, clapping my hands and smiling like a crazy man. The songs are so warm and so upbeat, and are basicly just Ted and his guitar. "Tell Balgary..." is a truly spectacular and catchy release. This is another solid addition to an amazing back catalog, which is just as catchy and well written as this release, if not more so.
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