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Hats by The Blue Nile
Released: Oct 1989
Label: Linn Records
The Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan is something of a perfectionist. He took five years to make this, their second release, but it paid off. Universally lauded by critics, it's the sort of album you deliberately leave out when having guests over to show you have depth. Rich, emotive and orchestral, this sounds like a cheerful John Martyn going for stadium anthems -- not simplistic, but hardly inaccessible either. Repeated listens will draw you in until you simply must have everything, but be warned: Their output is glacial -- four albums in 20 years. Less is definitely more with the Blue Nile.
Nicholas Baker