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Curious Thing

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0035KGWR2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,762 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Don't Tell Me That It's Over
2. Spark
3. I Got No Roots
4. Love Love
5. An Ordinary Life
6. Give It All Up
7. My Only One
8. This Pretty Face
9. Troubled Soul
10. Next Big Thing
11. Your Time Will Come
12. What Happiness Means To Me

Product Description

Highly anticipated 2010 sophomore album from the British singer/songwriter. Amy Macdonald's debut album, This Is The Life, made her one of the world's most successful British female artists, The album went to #1 in five countries, including the UK, and has achieved platinum or multi-platinum status in 12 countries and has sold three million copies globally. Curious Thing was recorded at Paul Weller's Black Barn Studios, in Ripley, Surrey, and the man himself features on the album. Universal.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Amy Macdonald has been strumming her acoustic guitar since her dad introduced her to the instrument when she was just twelve. She began writing her own songs and began performing to busy crowds in small venues in her home town of Glasgow. The Glaswegian singer-songwriter's debut "This Is the Life" (2007) sold over three million copies and went to number one in five countries.
Self-taught and inspired by the band Travis she's now back with an energetic album that will please her fans both here and in Europe, where she's even bigger.
Paul Weller lends a hand, in his own studio, where this album was recorded.
The first single "Don't Tell Me That It's Over" sets a furious pace with guitars and drums that frame her strong, Irish/Celtic-sounding voice.
The Scottish songstress has a clear, vibrant, pure voice, that evoke comparisons with singers such as Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries and, at times, Sinead O'Connor and writes straightforward, elegant, pleasantly stirring songs with flowing melodies and heartfelt lyrics.
The inclusion of string arrangements, meanwhile, lend it a cinematic sweep, and underline the newfound confidence in her songwriting.
Once again she proves herself to be something special, a talent that is bold, refreshing, and will leave you wanting more and more. If it's not her relatable lyrics or the catchy acoustics that accompany them that have you hooked, her voice is something that is simply undeniable.
The rest of the album follows suit with songs that stand up on their own, even without Amy's obvious talent as a singer.
Whether she rocks out with her band or holds her own with nothing more than her voice and a guitar, she shows poise and musicianship, and she is only 22-years old.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e16599c) out of 5 stars 37 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e198534) out of 5 stars A Curious Thing Shows A Lot Of Maturation May 11 2010
By Philip R. Heath - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I learned that Amy MacDonald was releasing her sophomore CD A Curious Thing this year, I was very eager to hear what she would have to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed her debut This Is The Life, and I wondered what direction her music would take. Listeners hoping for This Is The Life II will probably be disappointed as her sound has changed. This is apparent from the opener "Don't Tell Me That It's Over" as it is produced slickly compared to the more sparse style on This Is The Life. It is electric with energy from the first notes as it carries through the first chorus and yields to a brief stringed accompaniment. There is also the heavily Coldplay influenced piano theme that repeats at different parts of the song. All combined it creates a broad, sweeping sound that was nowhere to be found on This Is The Life. While it is quite different, it is also really cool. The opener sets the tone for the CD as a more mature sound - even on songs that on the surface are similar to This Is The Life lack the degree of feisty attitude. Take "This Pretty Face" for example. It has the same saloon sounding piano that "Barrowland Ballroom" had from her debut, and the theme seems to be more of regret than bravado. Listeners will also find more musical complexity on songs such as "I Got No Roots". It starts out sounding like a ballad lament for the first minute but then it builds over the next 40 seconds into a bouncy pop rocker. This song also contains the line that gives the CD its title "And this life I lead/it's a curious thing". The song that would sound the most at home on This Is The Life is the peppy "Love Love". It is the song that also seems to suffer the most of the repetitive lyrics so common on This Is The Life. A whopping nine lines in the song contain the title phase.

I've hinted at this some already, but I think that the more significant change on A Curious Thing is the perspective that MacDonald seems to have gained. I would expect that the experience of success and touring has matured her in ways beyond the roughly two and half years between recordings. On "Ordinary Life" I can't help but think of other artists (such as Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Counting Crows Adam Duritz) who have found fame to be more than they bargained for - "I don't care about the spotlights/I don't care about the nights/All I wanted was an ordinary life." Other songs show a depth in both lyrics and instrumentation. I can't help but get a strong sense of loss listening to "My Only One". The string arrangements that serve as the primary backdrop create a bittersweet sadness that really supports the lyrics. Similarly "Troubled Soul" seems to be an earnest message to someone she knows who is hurting.

The one low spot on the CD for me is the ill-advised inclusion of the hidden track - a live recording of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark". Covering The Boss is risky business, and for MacDonald it doesn't pay off.

Overall, though, A Curious Thing is a very strong effort from Amy MacDonald. I was quite pleased with both the maturation of instrumentation and lyrical content. Some may find the changes too much, and I would encourage anyone in doubt to take advantage of online options for listening to full songs before buying. However, if you are open to change, I think you will be pleased with A Curious Thing.

Download this: Don't Tell Me That It's Over
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e198588) out of 5 stars An Incongruous Thing April 20 2010
By Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After her fresh and exciting folk-rock debut album portending a bright muscial future to come, this is a real disappointment. It feels like Jim Steinman (of Meatloaf fame) meets Joan Baez -- the album is far over-produced and the vocals are lost in a wall of sound. There are one or two memorable songs here, and the lyrics overall are simplistic; that would be OK if the songs were presented in a straightforward fashion, but the bombastic and overpowering music (with really annoying echo-effects throughout) underscores how trite many of the lyrics really are.

So, I suppose they'll make a lot of money, sell out a lot of stadiums, and maybe Amy 3 will be a little better.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e198864) out of 5 stars Takes many listens to shine! Aug. 21 2011
By C.Farr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
After slowly then fully falling in love with the first album I was indeed slightly disappointed by their second endeavor. But as with the first after listening to many times Amys vocals become clearer and more defined and the music becomes less muddled and more sophisticated. I am again truly amazed by Amy and her band. Although I am 55 years old I cannot believe this group has not become even more popular than they are, especially in the USA. I truly believe that their talent can easily take them into the realms of the best of the best of Rock and Roll! I haven't loved any group as much since the days of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Yes, Stones and on and on and on..
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e198d8c) out of 5 stars Maybe next time May 6 2010
By Joseph Vincenza - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Sophomore efforts are often the most difficult recordings any artist will ever put out. Particularly if your debut was a stellar success. Such is the case with the second CD from Amy Macdonald. A Curious Thing is not a bad recording. But if this were in fact her debut, few people would have paid too much attention. Not because it is flawed or otherwise unpleasant. Quite the opposite, it's too listenable. The production is clean and tidy, and sounds pretty much like other pop diva arrangements you'll hear on any given radio. The lyrics sing of 20 something angst, with overly simplistic rhyming laced throughout the 12 tunes. Well, 13 if you could the hidden "Dancing in the Dark" live track.

If A Curious Thing were on in the background, you'd probably tap your feet at points, and think the sound was pleasant enough. But there isn't anything here to pull you in, to make you want to stop and listen. No real stories here, no real emotions, and no new ideas musically or lyrically, either in content or presentation. It's not a curious thing, it's just how it goes when a person tries to follow up an effort that was very close to perfection.

Luckily for us, Amy is a young artist with what I hope will be many more releases for us to enjoy. I for one, look forward to her third effort.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e198648) out of 5 stars Another brilliant album by a brilliant singer/songwriter!!!!! March 26 2010
By Jason George - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I couldn't imagine a follow up CD could be just as good or better than "This Is the Life", but "A Curious Thing" is so fantastic. Her debut was great, but I don't know, this may be better. I can't stop listening to it. The sound is basically the same and the lyrics are sincere and shows just how good of a songwriter Amy is. The band deserves a round of applause. The piano player is awesome--especially tracks like "Pretty Face" and "Don't Tell Me That It's Over." It's so wonderful listening to an album that doesn't sound like everything else on the airwaves. She's unique and has her own sound. She is herself. That's why we all buy her music. There is not one bad song on this CD. If you can get your hands on the Switzerland or Finland import, it is well worth the price for the bonus track "Young Lovers." Only Amy MacDonald would give us bonus tracks and B sides that could be the next single. Did I mention this lady is brilliant?!!

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