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PHANTOM LIMB Phantom Limb Naim Edge (2010)

Phantom Limb

Don't be put off by the name, which nearly caught me out as I was expecting something veering on all out metal, as Phantom Limb's debut album is an absolutely stunning effort.

Inspired by the likes of Etta James and Aretha Franklin, vocalist Yolanda Quartey has a stunningly beautiful voice that is soulful, bluesy and almost certainly the best of her generation. Combining these vocals with the soul tinged country sounds of the songs, the band has created an album that has a powerful, matured sound to it.

Opening track 'Don't Say A Word' has a mellow feel to it, 'Withering Bones' and 'The Hard Way' are country soul, whilst 'My Love Has Gone' is slower, with a definite Eagles feel to it. However, it is the sparser tracks such as 'Good Fortune', 'We Will Carry' and the slightly melancholy 'Playing With Death' that showcase not only Quartey's vocals but the bands song-writing ability. Other highlights on the album include the slow burning 'Spring Flowers', 'Run' and 'Draw The Line'.

The level of musicianship amongst the band is of a very high standard and it is no surprise to find that Quartey and guitarist Stew Jackson are the writers behind Will Young's latest single 'Hopes and Fears' and the band have also been lined up to write with the likes of Damon Albarn and Skunk Anansie's Skin.

In case you are in any doubt 'Phantom Limb' is a superb album and comes highly recommended. I would be very surprised if this record is not the springboard to a very successful career for the band.

*****

Review by Nikk Gunns


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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