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Sam K. from BELLEFONTE, PA
Reviewed on 10/10/2010...
Great song selection, well written, one of Al Stewart's best!
Outstanding, outstanding, outstanding.
Vinzo | 09/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With "Between the Wars," Al Stewart once again delivers a work composed of songs built around historical persons and events. Covering the period roughly between WWI and WWII, the topics range from espionage ("Night Train to Munich") to the celebrations for Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic ("When Lindy Comes to Town"). The CD features some impressive guitar playing, particularly by producer Laurence Juber (who at one time plied his trade for Paul McCartney's Wings); almost every song has some kind of finger-picking acoustic guitar work that one rarely finds in pop music. Highlights of the CD feature the aforementioned "Night Train to Munich" (reportedly based on an old movie of the same name) and "Lindy Comes to Town" as well as "A League of Notions" (great lyric: "Woodrow Wilson has his fourteen points/but Clemenceau turns to Lloyd George/and says 'You know that God Himself has only ten'"), the title track, "Joe the Georgian" (which imagines victims of Josef Stalin waiting for him in the afterlife and what they'll do when they see him), and a poignant "Laughing into 1939" (which contrasts England's complacency with Hitler's and the Nazi's coming to power and unleashing war on Europe once again). The final cut, "The Black Danube," is a nice instrumental close to the CD. This CD continues the move back towards a more folk-music style Al Stewart started to undertake with the "Famous Last Words" CD (after prior efforts "Last Days of the Century" and "Russians and Americans" had taken him into more of a rock music genre). Indeed, it particularly recalls the feel of "Past, Present, and Future" from 1975. If you like Al Stewart's brand of historically-themed folk-rock songs, by all means get this CD. It is truly one of his best efforts."
Vinzo | Boston, MA United States | 03/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Al Stewart is the single best folk songwriter of tales of long ago and far away. He has a way with words and stories that transcends labels. His skills as a songwriter and storyteller have been far too long overlooked. "Between the Wars" is the beautiful melding of musical styles, great guitar playing and tales of events between WWI and WWII. No one but Al could pull it off. He has made a truly exceptional recording. His accompianists, as tasteful as ever, take his songs to new heights and lend so much to each compostition.
Al Stewart writes with such intelligence that the listener yearns to learn more about the subjects. In concert, he usually provides glimpses into the creation of his songs, which is very entertaining. Of course, those few people who know that this man has continued to make incredible music after his fling with "Year of the Cat" fame, are well aware of his estimitable catalogue of great music. "Between the Wars" ranks up there with his very best."