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Turin Brakes JackInABox Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

They say time flies when you're enjoying yourself, and if gentle, handcrafted gems are...

Chris Long 2003

It's hard to believe we've had the swooning acoustica of Turin Brakes for half a decade now. They say time flies when you're enjoying yourself, and if gentle, handcrafted gems are your thing, you'll soon find that the days and weeks quickly disappear while listening to this album.

Ether Song, the follow-up album to the deliriously received debut The Optimist, was tragically under appreciated, and chances are that JackInABox will receive the same fate. Not because the album of acoustic led songslacks anything, but because somehow the critics just don't seem to get it.

Too often lumped in with the coffee-table elite (stand up Katie Melua, Jamie Cullum and Eva Cassidy), a fair listen to the third album from Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian reveals a progression to their sound that shows a depth and ability far beyond that of their more bland contemporaries.

The band's detractors often lazily accuse them of producing a long list of moaning nonsense, butI don't thinkthey've been listening properly. The truth is that JackInABox is full of toe-tappers such as "Asleep With The Fireflies", "Over And Over" and the Radio 2 friendly "They Can't Buy The Sunshine". Then there's gut-wrenchers like the angelic "Forever" (showing off Olly's choirboy past to its limit) and the pearly "Above The Clouds".

There's even something of Nick Drake in many of these songs, all twisted and complex guitars combining to create something beguiling and magical.

Turin Brakes haven't done themselves any favours by releasing the album's most ordinary track, the untaxing "Fishing For A Dream", as the single to promote the album. If you happen to like it, great; if you don't, ignore it and buy the album anyway. It might just be the perfect soundtrack to this summers sunsets.

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