34629-2 Breathe
Produced by Richard Feldman
Released on 1996
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
34629-2 cover  

S o I went into this one teeth clenched, braced for the mediocre pop music ahead by telling myself “It’s only music,” and recalling that none of this diminished Vienna one iota. I really need to relax more. Breathe turned out to be a breath of fresh air after the sometimes stifling studio pop of Pure and Answers. I even let myself get a little excited when I saw Robert Fripp’s name in the credits (he doesn’t disappoint on “Guns And Arrows”). Past albums seemed disingenuous in their global crossings, but Breathe succeeds because the Celtic arrangements are authentic. Accordions, pennywhistles, mandolins and harmoniums rise and fall behind Midge Ure’s acoustic guitar, sweet sighs that elevate familiar melodies into meaningful statements. The opening “Breathe” is lovely, a breeze left over from Lilith Fair, as is “Fallen Angel.” At its grittiest, Breathe recalls Elvis Costello’s King of America (“Fields of Fire,” “The Maker”). The production is hushed, shrouded, almost elegiac in tone; producer (and co-composer) Richard Feldman carefully balances the sweet and the sour like some invisible confectioner. Maybe I’ve reached a point where I’m less unsure of Ure and his artistry, or maybe Breathe really is sweeter than earlier works. I’ve only read one review of this (negative), though it seemed to me the critic had only given it a cursory inspection, padding down the pockets and determining that Ure wasn’t packing any heat this time. I don’t agree. Breathe ingratiates itself quickly, ripples with realism at the acoustic and electronic ends of the spectrum, delivers a number of memorable songs and mixes things up often enough to avoid being a studied genre exercise.

34629-2 sleeve gatefold 34629-2 back sleeve
34629-2 sleeve gatefold 34629-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BREATHE    (Midge Ure)
  2. FIELDS OF FIRE    (Midge Ure/Richard Feldman)
  3. FALLEN ANGEL    (Midge Ure/Richard Feldman/Eric Bazillian)
  4. FREE    (Midge Ure/Richard Feldman/Larry Klein)
  5. GUNS AND ARROWS    (Midge Ure)
  6. LAY MY BODY DOWN    (Midge Ure/Richard Feldman)
  7. SINNERMAN    (Midge Ure/Mitchell)
  8. LIVE FOREVER    (Midge Ure/Richard Feldman)
  9. TRAIL OF TEARS    (Midge Ure/Mitchell)
  10. MAY YOUR GOOD LORD    (Midge Ure)
  11. THE MAKER    (Midge Ure)

CREDITS

MIDGE URE -- acoustic guitar, vocals, mandolin, electric guitar, engineer
ERIC BAZILLIAN -- mandolin, melodica
MIKE FISHER -- percussion
CHARLES JUDGE -- keyboards
DAVID PALMER -- drums
Pat Crowley -- accordion
Sally Dworsky -- vocals
Richard Feldman -- percussion, programming, keyboards, engineer
Robert Fripp -- soundscape guitar
Frank Gallagher -- fiddle
Matthew Hager -- vocals
Ofra Harnoy -- cello
Ethan James -- harmonium, hurdy gurdy
Larry Klein -- bass
Andy Kravitz -- drums
Iki Levy -- percussion
Maxaynne Lewis -- vocals
Eleanor McEvoy -- vocals, backing and Gaelic vocals
Frank McNamara -- accordion
Jeremy Meehan -- bass
Paddy Moloney -- Uilleann pipes
Jamie Muhulrick -- keyboards
Noreen O'Donoghue -- Celtic harp
Liam O'Maonlai -- bodhran, vocals, didjeridoo, Celtic vocals
Dean Parks -- guitar, guitar solo
Shankar -- vocals, double-violin
Jackie Sheridan -- backing vocals
Kate Stephenson -- backing vocals
Monalisa Young -- vocals
Brian Tench -- mixing, engineer
Lee Manning -- engineer
slow HEARTH studio -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
WW 1996 BMG CD/CS 34629 lyric sleeve

 

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