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Oh! Mighty Engine (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

A few big things happened in Neil Halstead's world between his 2002 solo debut Sleeping On Roads and 2008's Oh! Mighty Engine. In particular he was married and fathered twins, and it's likely no coincidence that his sophomore solo work features mature, flowing folk songs sequenced to grow on you with repeated listens. The title track opens with two acoustic guitars, tambourine and a mellow bass accompanying Halstead's hushed vocals. His wispy British accent and English slang contrasts nicely with Americana flavored pedal steel notes, recalling moments on Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left. "Little Twig" is a surfy ditty a-la Little Wings or Jack Johnson, but with Anglo-witted metaphors and production so intimate, you can hear Halstead inhale between phrases. Oh! Mighty Engine was partially tracked at L.A.'s Solar Powered Plastic Plant which may account for the natural and organic sound, even on songs with electronic bits like the catchy "Always The Good," which juxtaposes synthy beats with reedy Mellotron notes. "Baby, I Grew You A Beard" closes with a watery love song that only a grizzled surf-geezer could pen.

Customer Reviews

Great follow-up to Sleeping On Roads!

The songs on this new release have a familiar sound to them if you've listened to Sleeping On Roads, though Neil now sounds a little more comfortable in his new sound in this collection of songs. Fans of SOR will enjoy OME (and vice-versa if you're a new fan). The slight melancholy has gone, and is replaced with a wider range of emotions. Halstead should still be regarded as a top-notch songwriter and a great listen, with this release just adding to his body of work. Neil continually changes and adapts his musical style to fit his life, and having followed his music since the early days of Slowdive, thru Mojave 3 (will there be more?) and to his solo releases, I eagerly await more! Buy the whole album and be happy, or try Paint A Face, No Mercy for the Muse, or Sometimes the Wheels (currently my favorite). And if you haven't yet, check out Mojave 3 to get more good music from Neil.

Simply Bliss

Smooth, Peaceful, Simply Bliss...

Such a nice album

I've listened to it twice now- such beautiful music. The whole album is great.


Born: October 7, 1970 in England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Since releasing some of the finest shoegaze singles and albums of the early '90s with his band Slowdive, Neil Halstead has slowly become one of Britain's most respected songwriters. While Slowdive had more to do with sounds than songs, the transition that band made into Mojave 3 in the mid-'90s allowed Halstead to further emulate the largely late-'60s-based folk-rock songwriters with whom he had become enamored. Along the way, Halstead did something of a tightrope act by earning comparisons to those...
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