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Angus and Julia Stone - A Book Like This

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 4 / 4 / 2008

Angus and Julia Stone - A Book Like This
Label: EMI
Format: CD


Enjoyable melodic pop on consistently strong second album from Australian brother and sister, Angus and Julia Stone

This Australian folk duo have been produced, at least in part, by Travis front man Fran Healy - who they had befriended after moving to the UK. Don’t let your opinion of Travis, positive or negative, cloud your opinion of this album. Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of thoroughly enjoying this album, despite neither having heard of the Stones previously. Admittedly, there is little revolutionary going on here. This is delicate folk music, driven for the most part by a simple setting of acoustic guitars and strings, with a bit of percussion, the odd piano and some harmonica. But this is first rate music. Each song, subtly different from the last, catches the ear and almost all are enriched by magical instrumental breaks that, during early listens, took me entirely by surprise. Each of the siblings writes songs and sings. Of the pair, Angus produces the more catchy and conventional music, and the more emotionally direct. Julia might be compared more to Joanna Newsome, but I honestly don’t find her anything like as grating (though it has to be said that I am a big fan of Newsome’s first album). A great deal of care has evidently gone into the arrangement of this album, and it remains consistently good across its thirteen tracks. But I most enjoy the fact that this is music that doesn’t seem to have been over-thought. It could have been made in any decade, from the 60's onward. This is an album that is breezy, intricate, melodic and unpredictable. I’m not saying it will necessarily be universally seen as a classic. But I am predicting that it has the potential to be one that you are still listening to in decades to come. If this website had ever abandoned its principles and used star ratings, I’d definitely have given this full marks!

Track Listing:-
1 The Beast
2 Here We Go Again
3 Wasted
4 Just A Boy
5 Bella
6 Hollywood
7 A Book Like This
8 Silver Coin
9 Stranger
10 Soldier
11 Jewels And Gold
12 Another Day
13 Horse And Cart

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