Alternative music reviews

The Miracle Mile

Glow Aug 2005

This is the third CD they have sent me and although it's still not quite my type of thing I am beginning to feel a familiarity with their work so that it's like an old friend visiting. The first notable thing is the incredible packaging for the album - double gatefold sleeve, two booklets, stunning photography, and 55 minutes long. Musically and lyrically, they take the same care.

Miracle Mile are a million miles away from the Indie/Alt explorations I love. But they inhabit a very difficult musical universe - their natural audience doesn't listen to new music. The generation that grew up with Seventies music (Barclay James Harvest, Peter Frampton, Al Stewart and the whole folk-rock scene) would really appreciate the seriousness of the songs and sheer intricacy of orchestration. This is an album constructed with real care and deserves to reach a wide audience. Very much "adult" rock - not pop hooks but just telling stories to people with experience of life and all that it entails.

Stories We Could Tell Jan 2005

I gave the earlier Miracle Mile album 'Alaska' a pretty qualified review saying it's not really my sort of thing but it's quite good. This album is more of the same quality 'middle-of-the-road' music. It is very much 'Radio 2' music (that comment will only make sense to UK readers). But these are excellent songs that would sit well with the 'classic song' output of that station. Perhaps it's all a bit intelligent and certainly too new to be accepted for radio play on that type of station. It's sad that someone so talented as Trevor Jones can be largely ignored. Beautifully packed and produced as Alaska was - this is an album for the 30+ generation.

Alaska June 2003

I wasn't going to review this CD because I just couldn't relate to it - I read the press release and it talked about the music being perfect for Radio 2. I agreed with that (although I've heard Radio 2 these days is quality classic music for the over 30s) and couldn't see how they would fit in to an Indie/alternative website. I still don't, but on my last listen before I placed it in my rejected CDs box I began to appreciate elements of their music. The truth is it just comes down to some stunning guitar work on some tracks particularly Willful and Boo Said that would grace any alt-country favourite (okay, the rest of the music don't have that twang but you can't fake country from the UK). It doesn't have the musical surprises and explorations of pain and obsession that would attract me but it is such a well thought out and executed work that I can't help but admire it.

If you have arrived on this website and think that Will Oldham is a whiny, nasal get or you have never have heard of Will Oldham and just want to listen to beautifuly constructed, accesible, 'English' songwriting then you could do worse than check out The Miracle Mile. They are perfect for an intelligent 30 to 50 year old audience who liked Richard Thompson/Yes/Fairport Convention/Supertramp but have grown up and have familes and want to listen to music they feel comfortable with. There's a sincerity and directness that sounds to me like a development of English folk-music - lose the traditional feel, orchestrate it, and play and sing it with sensitivity and some considerable musical talent.

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