Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men

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The cover of this album had a quote from Uncut magazine. It said the following:

“The best album of it’s kind since Elbow’s all-conquering ‘The Seldom Seen Kid”

Well I’m sorry, that’s a giant heap of nonsense. This is by far and away the best album of it’s kind since Elbow’s Asleep In The Back if you ask me. Well, perhaps since Cast of Thousands, but it’s absolutely stunningly good. I’ve been sitting absolutely mesmerised by the beauty of this record for the past 2 hours now. It’s simply magnificent. It makes me wonder why we bother with upbeat music at all. If downbeat music can be this uplifting and gorgeous, why bother picking up the tempo? I mean this is seriously stunningly good. It opens with a spoken word track as well, which is encouraging as it works so well. I say it’s encouraging because The Kays album will be starting with a spoken word track so to hear one sound so good and open the album beautifully makes me feel positive about what we’re trying to do. However, it also makes me want to keep the album down beat because from track 2 to track 8 this album is so lovely. Album finisher ‘There Will It End’ is just the perfect climax to this wonderful record. My previous post mentioned that Natasha Khan (beautiful!) was a good bet for the Mercury Prize, well, I think this should win hands down. Without any quesitons asked, just give these guys the prize and be done with it. Gorgeous. Check them out here. And buy the record here. Enjoy.

TSP Grade = A

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17 thoughts on “Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men

  1. GOOD GOD. I’m not enjoying this at all. I can see the Elbow comparison, but the songs and the album as a whole are too one paced and monotonous. The singers voice is far too smooth, and the song writing too weak, for this to be genuinely affecting. I don’t like the lyrics either. The first spoken word track is good though. I like that. I will now turn them off Spotify and listen to The Smiths instead.

  2. Matthew, I should just ban you from the site for justifying Oasis’ existance by saying “at least they are fast!!” I love Elbow but go listen to Asleep In The Back and Cast of Thousands and you’ll hear many tracks not unlike this album.

  3. You are hearby banned from blogging on your own blog for justifying the existence of shit music because it’s “not unlike” Elbow.

  4. I actually really like this. I can see the Elbow comparison, though the guys voice isn’t as good as Guy Garveys, and arguably neither are the lyrics.

    Musically though it’s all rather lovely though, vaguely mum-esque as well.

    Quite why Oasis were brought into this, I don’t know.

    I agree, definitely not shit. Who is this Matt guy and what does *he* know about music?

  5. Well Matt used the terms “one paced and monotonous” to describe the band and knowing his love of Oasis I thought it was more fitting a term for them.

    But I’m glad you like it Micahael. I agree, the voice and lyrics are not as strong as Guy Garvey – I know few who can match him. But the music is lovely. The last song on the album is particularly beautiful.

  6. It is.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t like the vocals or the lyrics, I do as it goes. It’s just seeing as the comparison to Elbow had been drawn by Uncut.

    Cheers for drawing my attention to them. I’d neglected to pay the remotest bit of attention to the Mercury nominations.

    And, yes, Oasis. Bit shit, really. (Not my cup of tea, rather)

  7. Well it’s easy to dismiss the Mercury nominations when you see the likes of Glasvegas and Kasabian up there isn’t it? I did the same. Then I found these guys. And I’m glad I did. And I’m glad you like them.

  8. The songwriting on this album is definitely not weak far from it, Tim Elsenburg has a way of writing lyrics and music that are so beautiful – you can feel the pain but it is almost like you see the light at the end of that pain, that’s magical songwriting that is and his voice is just the perfect partner for these songs. I have loved this album from the moment I received it earlier in the year, I have let friends borrow it (only on the strict understanding they give it back though!)and even though my friends and I rarely see eye to eye on music they have liked this album. I would strongly urge people to listen to this album and let it melt your heart like it has done mine (at least give it a few listens to see if it grows on you). I wouldn’t want to be without this album – the more I play it the more I love it.

  9. Penny, I could not agree more! I think this really is a magical record. I haven’t let any friends borrow it yet though, I’m not that kind! It’s been on permanent repeat since it arrived just this week. Loving it. Fingers crossed it captures the Mercury and helps these guys get the attention they so obviously deserve.

  10. I was tentative about these guys at first because of the Elbow comparisons – I’ve heard people bandy around the good name of Elbow too much in the past, often in connection with bands who are just dull.

    In this case I can totally see what you’re saying. Amazing vocals, amazing depth.

    This video is LOVELY – it’s a peak into the infamous shed they made the album in. More men should have sheds.

  11. Rosie, I think you just made the best comment to date on this site. “More men should have sheds”. Agreed!

    I don’t like comparing bands to other bands. And I agree, too many bands compared to Elbow are just dull. This lot are special though. Really lovely stuff.

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