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Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!! (Read 10947 times)
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Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
05/05/10 at 02:42:27
 
Hi everybody!
well, we don't visit here that often anymore but... how come nobody hasn't said anything about the release of Justin's new album yet...
I'm really looking forward to listen to your comments, so come on!
I think it's a brilliant album, and it has some of the best songs Justin has ever written... The music is great and his singing is just beautiful!!!
My favourite song at the moment is "The Fight to Be Human" but I love all of them and sometimes is quite difficult to just adore a whole record on a first listen but this time it's happened!
So, come out of Facebook and come back here for a while, dear folks!  Wink
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #1 - 05/05/10 at 09:02:25
 
My copy just arrived in the mail and I've got it playing for the first time!  I just listened to The Fight to be Human.  One of the thing's I've always loved about Justin/Del Amitri are the social commentaries -- his take on things is raw but true.  I just can't find an artist I like better.  Enjoy the new tunes -- a breath of fresh air, much needed.

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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #2 - 05/05/10 at 19:56:07
 
I can't comment 'cos I haven't heard it yet.  Amazon says it's "in the mail."
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #3 - 05/06/10 at 00:13:06
 
My copy arrived tuesday. Listened to the record several times. I think it's a brilliant record with some great tunes. No filler and some of the best songs Justin has ever written. My favourite songs: "You will always walk alone", "The fight to be human" (great lyrics!), "Ready to be" (great guitar riff!) and "Baby, you survived". If you download the deluxe version from I-Tunes you can get 3 bonus tracks: "In my heart, the war goes on", "The darkness of the day" and "What you're looking at".
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #4 - 05/08/10 at 01:06:29
 
I want 'In my heart, the war goes on' - hopefully they're made available some other way. I refuse to take part in the iTunes debacle.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #5 - 05/08/10 at 14:48:51
 
Also, having received the album today - initial impressions are disappointing.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #6 - 05/10/10 at 16:17:55
 
David wrote on 05/08/10 at 01:06:29:
I want 'In my heart, the war goes on' - hopefully they're made available some other way. I refuse to take part in the iTunes debacle.


Hear, hear.  I had iTunes for awhile; more trouble than its exclusionary practices are worth.  And I hate downloading anyway.
Wink
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #7 - 05/10/10 at 16:20:07
 
David wrote on 05/08/10 at 14:48:51:
Also, having received the album today - initial impressions are disappointing.


Oh, but it grows on yer.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #8 - 05/11/10 at 02:27:54
 
I've listened to it pretty constantly since I got it and it's not growing at all. 

There's filler (At Home Inside Of Me; Can't Let Go of Her Now), tedium (Ready to Be; Baby, You Survived) and plodding, over long, wordy messes (The Fight to be Human; Everyone I Love). That's six of eleven songs that are as weak as most of the material on Can You Do Me Good?

There's quality on there - three of his best songs in The Way That It Falls (the best on the album by a mile), As Long As You... and You'll Always Walk Alone. Plus solid fare A Man... and Anywhere Away From You. It just sounds like 'I need to make something upbeat' rather than making something good.

But that's half of the album, and the other half is so devoid of inspiration that it'll shortly be consigned to a life on my hard drive and not on my mp3 player.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #9 - 05/12/10 at 16:21:20
 
The beggars are getting choosy!

I don't know how many albums Justin is selling these days but I imagine he's doing it more for love than money.  I am not likely to EVER complain about anything he puts out because I find his take on life, love, the world, whatever, is still better and more interesting than most other stuff out there.  I'm just happy he's recording at all.  He could just sit around with nothing to do....  Wink

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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #10 - 05/13/10 at 09:32:42
 
Quote:
The beggars are getting choosy!


I guess that's for me, but let's look at it this way: I'm the one buying Justin's album so, should I be grateful to him for releasing it? Never going to happen. I'll never be a beggar for a particular artist's stuff. If it's not good enough, I'll say so.

If you like it, that's fine. It's up to you. Personally, I think it's a backwards step from the frankly awesome What Is Love For. That's not being choosy, I just don't make excuses for an album that effectively gives up and has a cup of tea after every good couple of songs. A feature of Del Amitri themselves after Change Everything.

Quote:
I am not likely to EVER complain about anything he puts out because I find his take on life, love, the world, whatever, is still better and more interesting than most other stuff out there.


Well, obviously I still rate him or I wouldn't have bought the album, but I equally won't blindly buy whatever he records unless it's actually good. I don't think The Great War's a great album, it's pretty mediocre. There are enough good songs on it though to make it a worthwhile purchase for a fan.

When you see him leaving off something as good as In My Heart, The War Goes On in place of middling garbage like Can't Let Go of Her Now, it's easy to understand why his albums don't sell.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #11 - 05/14/10 at 09:05:55
 
We obviously have different takes on several elements of Justin Currie/Del Amitri's body of work.  I've never been disappointed by anything Justin's written (oh, Can't Let Go of Her Now just started on my iPod -- see, I hear him struggling with commitment in the song, far from middling garbage to me).  That's what I like about his stuff -- there's always something in his writing that resonates with me.  There's an honesty in every one of his songs, even those wrapped in the most frivolously poppy melodies and cliches.  It's why I listen and yes, it's why I'll loyally buy even an album full of Jilted Joe's recorded next to a leaky urinal in some dingy men's room somewhere in Scotland.  It's his voice (ideas) I seek out.  His pop delivery method (which I'm a sucker for, yes) just makes it all the better for me.  I don't feel that I, nor he, has any excuses to make for this latest offering.

I want to encourage him to keep writing, keep recording, keep releasing albums because I want to keep hearing what he has to say.  So no, I just can't bring myself to complain/compare/feel jilted...I just feel grateful that his voice is still there to be heard.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #12 - 05/14/10 at 15:11:09
 
I don't want him to make excuses, just write a better album. It's cool you're a fan, but he's written these sort of songs many times before, and better too.

He's moved from an album where he felt like he actually cared about the songs, to one where it's an exercise in making something catchy. And it sounds completely fake much of the time.

You're a fan - that's great, but don't dismiss someone else's opinion as 'beggars getting choosy'. You do Justin and myself a disservice. I'm just as much a fan, and probably more because I know he can do better and actually want him to.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #13 - 05/15/10 at 16:41:43
 
I mostly agree with David.  The album is pretty good, but nothing special to me.  It doesn't really have any bad songs, but doesn't have any great songs.  Just a bunch of listenable but unremarkable songs.  Would I - or most of us Del fans - really listen to this album much if it were sung by someone else?  I doubt it.  Fortunately, JC's voice is awesome and he can turn average songs into good ones, which is the saving grace of the album. 

It's odd.  On one hand, just because it is Currie, I will like the album because I am a big fan of the Dels.  But on the other hand, I'm probably always going to be disappointed because I hold him to a higher standard than an average artist because I know what he is (was?) capable of when he is on top of his game.

Honestly, even though he is one of my all-time favorite songwriters, I think he could use some songwriting help at times.  I also don't care for the production and arrangement.  The playing lacks depth and vitality (which is definitely something Harvie brought to Del's recordings).  The sparse piano-only arrangement he did of "The Way That It Falls" on the radio a couple years ago is so much better than the bland string version he put on this album.  He took the soul right out of it.  I also preferred the original version of "As Long As You Don't Come Back".   

Like I said - it's a pretty solid album and I don't dislike it.  I think it's ok.  But I guess I just expect more.            
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #14 - 05/16/10 at 14:47:15
 
Jon, you're right on the button. I've never thought Iain was any great shakes as a guitarist, but one listen to something Not Where It's At shows that, as a producer and arranger, he knew exactly what a song needed.

That's the case with each of their albums: bits of mandolin, harmonica, 12-string harmonising, occasional bass, little guitar figures throughout, underneath the riffs.

Would it be so bad for Justin to take Roddy Frame's approach on Surf, and just strip it back down?
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #15 - 05/17/10 at 20:03:15
 
I always thought Iain was a very underrated guitarist.  He's not a shredder nor technician, but he plays with a lot of feel and balls, and knows how to fill up a song (as you mentioned).  His playing just added a lot of weight to songs that otherwise might be a bit limp.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #16 - 06/05/10 at 10:16:39
 
David wrote on 05/11/10 at 02:27:54:
I've listened to it pretty constantly since I got it and it's not growing at all.  


I disagree. On initial listen, i'd be inclined to agree with you, but the nuances in the songwriting and Justin's lyrics and phrasing are the things that, to me, make it more satisfying upon multiple listens and what i'd consider to be a brilliant album. We all have to remember that even simple songs are filled with small things and finer mechanics that make Justin the master of what he does. Every song is a winner. I'd originally thought that "The Fight To Be Human" was much along what you think.....long, doesn't necessarily go anywhere, an 8 minute song in the middle of an album. But listen to the way that the instruments slowly come in, building the song up and making it huge by the song's end. And it's a two chord song, basically--Justin is no fool. If he's using two chords and 8 minutes, it's for a reason.

What this album does so well--like "What Love Is For?"--is that it's big sounding, but everything is economical and organic. It's an album that Justin can take on tour with a regular band and pull off. Each listen reveals a song that makes it seem like I hadn't heard it on the previous listens. It's weird. I'm like, "did I really listen to that before?". I have a new favourite song on each listen.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #17 - 06/05/10 at 10:21:16
 
Jon L. wrote on 05/17/10 at 20:03:15:
I always thought Iain was a very underrated guitarist.  He's not a shredder nor technician, but he plays with a lot of feel and balls, and knows how to fill up a song (as you mentioned).  His playing just added a lot of weight to songs that otherwise might be a bit limp.    


Yeah, absolutely. I do miss Iain from the Currie/ Harvie axis. Iain always had a really good tasteful playing--like other guys like Mike Campbell (Tom Petty) and Johnny Hickman (Cracker), they're essential to the singer and song as a sideman, because they add enough colour and flash without taking away from the song, almost in a textural way. I like Eddie Van Halen, but he's an example of a guy that is usually putting his own personality and style ahead of the song (especially in their cover versions)--which works for some bands, and doesn't work for others.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #18 - 06/05/10 at 19:10:41
 
ryan s wrote on 06/05/10 at 10:16:39:
i'd be inclined to agree with you, but the nuances in the songwriting and Justin's lyrics and phrasing are the things that, to me, make it more satisfying upon multiple listens and what i'd consider to be a brilliant album. We all have to remember that even simple songs are filled with small things and finer mechanics that make Justin the master of what he does. Every song is a winner. I'd originally thought that "The Fight To Be Human" was much along what you think.....long, doesn't necessarily go anywhere, an 8 minute song in the middle of an album. But listen to the way that the instruments slowly come in, building the song up and making it huge by the song's end. And it's a two chord song, basically--Justin is no fool. If he's using two chords and 8 minutes, it's for a reason.


You clearly got a different version of the album to me. I always find it odd that Justin inspires such sycophancy - The Fight to be Human is a dreadful, dreadful song - no chorus, no melodic development, the lyrics have basically told the entire tale within the first two verses and, well, it's just dull.

There's a really arrogant tone to yours and the previous poster's responses - as if you somehow speak for Justin and all that is good about songwriting. Let's be clear - it's a well written album, but it's more a matter of craft than any great inspiration. Well put together, intelligently thought through, completely uninhabited by the artist.

I've listened to it several times and, basically, I find no reason to listen to it again. I don't like the production, I think the arrangements are plodding and only half the songs are worth listening to. And my favourite song from the sessions wasn't even on the album. FFS!
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #19 - 06/29/10 at 18:42:11
 
Quote:
There's a really arrogant tone to yours and the previous poster's responses - as if you somehow speak for Justin and all that is good about songwriting. Let's be clear - it's a well written album, but it's more a matter of craft than any great inspiration. Well put together, intelligently thought through, completely uninhabited by the artist.


It wasn't intended to be arrogant, and if you're reading that into it, you're reading something that's not there. I have, however, written many songs that have reached the public ears and done so to a fair amount of public acclaim where there's public reactions to it, so I like to think that I happen to know a thing or two about what constitutes something of merit and the nuances that  go into songwriting and production. Ie: "The Fight To Be Human" sounds pointless and dull to you, but i'm pretty sure that Justin challenged himself to write a minimalistic song that didn't have a traditional chorus. It's not like he said to himself, "must write a chorus". Coming from that standpoint, I think he succeeded....if people dislike it because it's supposed to be "more interesting", that's not the point.

I'm not trying to rip on you, i'm just pointing out that you're wishing that it's something that it's not even trying to be. Most of the Dels albums and Justin's stuff--while some say he's just written the same song over and over--have a surprising amount of diversity....no more evidence than needed that sometimes the fans don't like those detours.  Some people didn't like "What Is Love For?" because it was too dark and plodding; others don't like this one because of the return to the shiny happy pop songs.  Grin
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #20 - 08/06/10 at 02:29:30
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/j6nv

Found this review of the Great War, although not the most positive I have seen.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #21 - 08/08/10 at 23:20:17
 
...i just ordered the cd...will give my 5 cents as soon as i have listened to it...
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #22 - 08/17/10 at 01:06:16
 
Was just looking at some old interviews before the Great War came out and thought these might be of interest:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/showbiz/celebrity-interviews/2010/05/07/justin-curr...

http://findarticles.com/p/news-articles/herald-the-glasgow-uk/mi_8039/is_2010052...

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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #23 - 08/18/10 at 00:58:26
 
strettoncc wrote on 08/17/10 at 01:06:16:


Thanks for the link...

What can i say...not always easy to be a fan of a band/singer who's fairly pessimistic...

I sure wish Del Amitri wasn't just a story from the past.

As per now, i enjoy the new record...the last 2 records were too slow for my taste (i love slow songs but not only).

Cheers
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #24 - 08/24/10 at 01:58:55
 

Couple more reviews - interesting assertion in the first that if there was to be a film of his life he would be played by Colin Farrell!!?!??

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/2010/05/04/2010-05-04_justin_curr...

http://www.dailymusicguide.com/Reviews/justin-currie-the-great-war-album-review-...

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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #25 - 08/24/10 at 07:07:35
 
Ok...i had the cd for about a week. Couldn't listen to it as much as i wanted since my wife always has headaches when i put some cd but well  Roll Eyes.

While not spectacular, at least in the beginning, this cd is definetively a grower. Maybe not the best record ever by Justin & co but really good and my fav record for this summer/autumn (and probably my fav Dels/Justin record since "Twisted"). Here are my current favs (though it's getting more difficult every day to chose some):

- You'll always walk alone
- A man with nothing to do
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #26 - 08/24/10 at 09:09:29
 
the cd is top.

my favorites: You'll always walk alone and At home inside me
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #27 - 08/31/10 at 02:28:54
 
Due to this release, i've listened again more to the last 4 records (walking hours, change everything & twisted apart) and also the b-sides "Lousy with love". Here's my current ranking.

1. The great war is indeed imho the best cd since 1995
2. What is love for follows closely (great cd too).
3. Lousy with love...love these amazing songs.
4. Some other sucker's parade a bit rougth but with great songs too.
5. Can you do me any good? There are some fantastic songs here as always but still one of the cd that grasps me the least as a whole.

Basically...i am extremely happy with the last release...much more than what i had been expecting after the first listenings.

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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #28 - 08/31/10 at 04:26:23
 
Track by track comments on the Great War by the great man himself...

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/scottish_listings/scottish_music/801250...
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #29 - 09/02/10 at 22:45:12
 
strettoncc wrote on 08/31/10 at 04:26:23:
Track by track comments on the Great War by the great man himself...

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/scottish_listings/scottish_music/801250...


Thanks for giving the heads up on that one! Some interesting explanations by Mr. Currie.
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Re: Justin Currie's The Great War is out!!!!!!!
Reply #30 - 09/12/10 at 16:43:15
 
Another review. From the fabulously titled Badger Herald...

http://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2010/05/06/former_del_amitri_le.php
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