Album Review: The Unthanks
  • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 07, 2012

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Live concert recordings can be a mixed bag. Some bands thrive on the freeform jam experience, and live recordings of their songs are considered the "definitive" versions. Live/Dead is as legendary as it is for a reason. However, more often than not, live albums simply lack the polish and attention to detail that made the studio records so mesmerizing. When I began The Unthanks live concert recording of beloved tracks by baroque pop artist Antony and the Johnsons and avant-garde jazz musician Robert Wyatt, I was obviously skeptical of pairing these classic tracks with covers by British folk musicians. All readers can leave those trepidations at the door because Diversions Vol. 1: Live from the Union Chapel: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony and the Johnsons is a hauntingly beautiful take on some of the most inherently gorgeous music of the last ten years.

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