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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
The Lion's Roar
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$9.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on January 24, 2012
Once upon a time two sisters walked into a Swedish forest, one with a guitar the other looking painfully young at the age of 16 and they both sang a song. The tune in question was a spine tingling cover of Fleet Foxes "Tiger mountain peasant song" and the sisters posted a video of it on the internet. It turned into a quiet and persistent sensation having been viewed well over 2 million times. The sisters in question were Johanna Söderberg and Klara Söderberg and their band is First Aid Kit. Happily suspending the fact that they are from Sweden they produce the type of Americana which is heartfelt and passionate, Their debut album 2010s "Big Black & The Blue" was a showcase for their brilliant voices although it was if truth be told a tad downbeat, lacking in variety in some parts and the echoes of Robin Pecknold's Seattle wonders were everywhere.

On their latest album "The Lions Roar" there is a clear and determined attempt made to rock things up and give a bigger sound. The bittersweet harmonies remain firmly in place but better songs with fuller production are everywhere plus growing signs that the sisters can write a fine set of lyrics. They recently reduced Patti Smith to a tearful wreck with a stirring version of her "Dancing Barefoot", yet it is to that other female giant of music that this albums finest song is dedicated. "Emmylou" name checks the romance of Harris with her true love Gram Parsons, plus June Carter with the Man in Black. It could easily be clichéd and trite but instead it is a splendid country concoction and possibly the finest thing the sisters have done. There must be composers in Nashville thinking that a monster has been created in Stockholm that can out countrify them in every respect. The opening title track equally sees the sisters drawing from Dylan and Cash with considerable aplomb, harmonies to die for and a melody drawn from the ages in a powerful alt country ballad. Indeed the opening three songs which conclude with the "In the hearts of men" a song Neko Case would have mortgaged her house to write sees First Aid Kit barely putting a foot wrong. Further musical peaks arrive in the form of the beautiful ringing gentle ballad "Blue" (not a Joni Mitchell cover) and the wonders of the rolling "To a poet" which certainly has a Fleet Foxes tinge and is frankly all the better for it. A step change comes when the sisters truly cut loose on the last track with a rollicking hoedown entitled "King of the world". This reviewer was idly speculating that the Felice brothers who have sadly lost their mojo of late should produce a song of this quality when by happy accident some of them turn up with Conor Oberst to sing backing vocals. This serendipity is actually rather obvious when you hear this joyous song jam packed with handclaps, violins, accordions and horns (one can only hope that Ian Felice has exercised his demons since the troubling "Celebration Florida"). Finally a doff of the cap to the gorgeous strummed lament "New Years Eve" which is solid proof that First Aid Kit are maturing into an act as classy as a pair of Jimmy Choo's. Please seek this song out you will adore it.

"The Lion's Roar" is the sound of a band rapidly maturing at light speed with a talent well beyond their years. Listen to their first EP "Drunken Trees" and chart the scale of the journey to this new LP and the size of the musical leap. It's all quite remarkable and in the context of the evolving story of the Söderberg's we should warmly welcome the fact that "sisters are doing it for themselves".
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on March 20, 2017
A refreshing album; both exciting and dramatic folk. Another masterpiece :)
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on March 30, 2017
Fantastic album
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on January 20, 2016
Great CD - I first heard FAK watching the movie Wild and just thought wow, I need to hear more from them. So I just sampled some of their tunes on YT and bought this CD first. I listen to it in the car,at home, on my iPhone when I'm out hiking. I also have Stay Gold and love it just as much!! Buy either one or both !! Yes, I still buy cd's - best sound quality for those that care and have a system that you can hear the difference on. Emmy Lou - an homage to Emmy Lou Harris and Gram Parsons - has the best sound engineering of all of the tracks. The rest are ok recordings - but buy this for the great songs, incredible lyrics, and vocal harmonies.
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on January 5, 2017
The highlight of the album is "Emmylou." It's a beautiful song and the harmonies are spot on through the entire disk. You can hear in their sound the way Emmylou Harris inspired their style. I would recommend the album.
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on February 7, 2012
A totally satisfying album -- beautiful harmonies, beautiful lyrics, beautiful orchestrations, moving, powerful, gentle, poetic, lovely, serene. So good.
It is a little bit country, a little bit folk, a little bit '60s, a little bit surreal -- all woven together really nicely.
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on March 17, 2012
This is the second glorious album from Swedish sisters Klara and Johana Soderberg (and Benkt plus Mattias Bercqvist great names by the way) and a `difficult second album' this most certainly aint. It kicks off with the title track with a song that has one foot in country and the other infolk with pedal steel and mandolin to boot. `Emylou' is just beautiful with pared back simplicity and harmonious vocals to die for.
`In the hearts of men' slows down the pace but is hauntingly languid and just washes over you like sunshine on a winter's day (God I am getting real gushy here sorry). Track 4 `Blue' gets the tempo up a beat with a lovely song of missed chances.

`This old routine' is probably my favourite, although it is hard to choose from so many gems, with a rich lilting vocal on a tale of love worn through with beautiful mandolin and an underscored percussion that Tindersticks would be proud of (probably!) Track 8 `I found a way' is another tale of dark and flawed love that the beautiful harmonies hide like a gossamer veil.

Penultimate track `New Years Eve' is an effortless blending of simple arrangements with a crystal clear vocal that flows like a tributary to a great river. This leads us into `King of the World' which is a lovely slice of country life and we have guest instruments of violin, trumpet and accordion, almost a ho-down, and a great way to finish a truly beautiful album. I can't wait to see them later this year and for album number three, this though is an absolute triumph.
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on October 9, 2014
Maybe this album will grow on me. I bought Stay Gold at the same time as The Lion's Roar after hearing one song by FAK on the radio that really caught my ear. Based on reviews here I couldn't decide which to buy so bought both. I gave SG 5 stars and this one 3. To me TLR kind of sounds the same from track to track while SG shows the growth of this duo in both song writing and musicianship and has a couple of really stand out songs.
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on February 19, 2012
After downloading one of their singles free on itunes, I decided to go out on a limb and purchase this album. Within a couple of listens, I knew I made a wise purchase. I can't remember the last time I was so swept up by a new artist. They write songs with beautiful lyrics, melodies and instrumentation reminiscent to Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket. And the harmonies coming out of these sisters are as pristine as Simon and Garfunkel. As of today, The Lion's Roar is my favorite album of 2012.
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on January 24, 2012
Mix together the best of The Avett Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel, Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Indigo Girls, and The Jayhawks and you have First Aid Kit. This album is loaded with breathtaking harmonies, gorgeous melodies, and lyrics that display a maturity far beyond their years. These songs are shockingly good. This is the type of album that bands struggle for decades to make and rarely do. It's amazing that these sisters can write songs that sound timeless and fresh and emotionally compelling. "To A Poet", "The Lion's Roar", "Emmylou", "Dance To Another Tune", and "New Year's Eve" are the highlights but every song on the album is excellent. I expect First Aid Kit to be the breakthough story of 2012 and be the big Grammy winner during next year's show.
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