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The Sea Nymphs

Crossover Prog

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The Sea Nymphs The Sea Nymphs album cover
3.86 | 10 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. "The Spirit Spout" (2:20)
2. "Shaping The River" (2:07)
3. "Nil In The Nest" (1:53)
4. "A Thousand Strokes And A Rolling Suck" (2:18)
5. "Christ Alive" (3:24)
6. "Mr Drake's Big Heart" (0:17)
7. "Lucky Lucy" (2:23)
8. "Gods Box" (1:54)
9. "Piano Interlude" (0:44)
10. "Up In Annie's Room" (3:37)
11. "Mr Drake's Big Heart Reprise" (0:17)
12. "The Psalm Of Life" (2:37)
13. "The Corner Of Sin" (2:38)
14. "Tree Tops High" (2:36)
15. "Dog Eat Spine" (2:51)
16. "Sarah On A Worm" (2:47)
17. "Lilly White's Party" (5:14)
18. "Appealing To Venus" (2:34)
19. "Abade" (4:19)


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Tim Smith- Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Sarah Smith- Backing Vocals, Saxophone
William D. Drake- Backing Vocals, Keyboards

Releases information

Released on cassette 1992
Released on CD 1995

Thanks to frippism for the addition
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Audio CD$251.05
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Audio CD$166.90

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THE SEA NYMPHS The Sea Nymphs ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (40%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE SEA NYMPHS The Sea Nymphs reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frippism
4 stars 4.5 quite frankly

It is a great pleasure for me to see the Sea Nymphs on the Archives. A rather strange and intriguing project, the Sea Nymphs consist of three past and present Cardiacs members: Cardiacs leader Tim Smith, former Cardiacs sax player Sarah Smith (formerly Tim's wife, now known as Sarah Cutts), and former Cardiacs keyboard genius William D. Drake. The album itself is a strange monster. A wonderful floating creature coming to bless your heart with a dose of beautiful and touching melodies which are very Cardiacs, but the sound is completely different. Gone is the punky headbanging of Cardiacs epicness, and more prominent the folky and very Anglo-Saxon sound (it just sounds English, you know what I mean). And so you here also find something for someone who really can't stand the insane barrage of sound Cardiacs but is intrigued by the beautiful melodies hidden in between (like me own papa for example).

The album is comprised by a bunch of random recordings done by our lovely folks, but it slides from song to song in rather dashing way. The very atmospheric and rather unsettling aura is kept throughout the whole albums and is the mood is very cloudy and and winter- ish. You feel like they played this in a forest in a random October morning.

Highlights: The folky pan flute fun of Nil in the Nest, Lucky Lucy and its shimmering keyboards, The mesmerizing and sobering Up In Annie's room, which feature Tim Smith's greatest lyrics in my honest opinion, the truly wonderful and mind blowingly beautiful The Psalms Of Life, the glorious piano fun Of Dog Eat Spine, the chilling instrumental Sarah On A Worm, Lily White's Party and its glorious sing along fun, and the mystic, emotional joy of Abade, beautifully sung by Sarah Smith.

The sound is mainly focused on eerie keyboard effects and beautiful vocals, without really any percussion or drums except for Abade. The songs tend to be rather simple in a technical sense but Tim Smith being the master mixer and producer he is manages to bring the complex arrangements to the forefront and deliver a immersing experience. William D. Drake's piano lines are always such a treat to hear that every time I hear Dog Eat Spine I get a huge smile on my face!

For every fan of Cardiacs should without a doubt hear this album. Unfortunately at the moment it is almost impossible to get any physical copy, or a digital copy! I hope for people that Alphabet Business Concern picks up again after Tim gets better, so people will be able to get their hands on it. For now if you manage to get a copy consider yourself lucky! And hang on to it! Not only is it quite the rare album, but the music is also rather excellent.

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars I'm so pleased to see this wonderful album added to the archives at last! Imagine the 'Cardiacs' but far more beautiful and atmospheric. Gone are the guitars, shouty vocals and manic tempo shifts.

William Drake takes centre stage with his superbly watery and sometimes reverbed piano and synths adding a rather folky and aquatic sound to the overall feel of 'The Sea Nymphs'.

Next to 'Sing to God' I think this is the best 'Cardiacs' album available. (Don't let the name fool you... The Sea Nymphs are basically the 'Cardiacs' under a different moniker).

Unfortunately you'll have a real hard time getting hold of this recording now. I bought mine in 1993 and have never seen another copy since...

Sometimes melancholic, occasionally beautiful but mostly dreamy (in a non cheesy way), and always engaging. I love his album to bits. I can understand why it didn't fall under the 'Cardiacs' umbrella - as it's very different in sound and feeling to their recordings, but in my opinion is every bit as good as their best releases. Tim Smith shows a side to his singing that I've not heard before or since. A voice that could, believe it or not, do beautiful things.

An exquisite little strange album that defies categorisation.

One of the prettiest, smoothest flowing recordings I've ever heard... LONG LIVE TIM!

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Hard to believe this is the same core group of musicians who made up the Cardiacs. This stuff is as artsy and appealingly simple as anything that band did, but at the same time there is a beauty and peacefulness to these short tracks that was certainly not a characteristic of most of the Cardiacs' music.

The most striking thing about these songs is the absence of drums or really any percussion for the most part, nearly all the instrumental parts being provided by a couple of synthesizer keyboards along with a smattering of guitar from time to time. The stilted organ is overpowering at times, giving songs like 'Up in Annie's Room', 'Appealing to Venus' and 'Christ Alive' a heavy and brooding feel when laid atop Sarah Smith's somber vocals. Yet at other times the sound is more like a throwback to simpler times with acoustic-sounding synth woodwinds and minstrelly vocals delivered by the Smiths in unison with backing by Will D. Drake ('Dog Eat Spine', 'Mr. Drake's Big Heart Reprise', 'Nil in the Nest').

And still elsewhere Ms. Smith delivers her own form of vocals in theatrical form, almost vaudevillian at times and especially with the weirdly titled 'A Thousand Strokes and a Rolling Suck' and 'Tree Tops High'.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of this record. I don't really think it's a progressive music album per se, but it certainly is eclectic enough to avoid being classified as commercial or pop in any way whatsoever.

For fans of the Cardiacs I'm sure this is a conversation piece sort of like the Knitters albums were for X fans. Beyond that I'm not sure I'd recommend it for general consumption although I am quite intrigued by what seems to be a strong sense of purpose on the part of all three players. I'm just not sure what the purpose was, and the 'band', as it were, decided not to let most of us casual observers in on the story so we're left to scratch our heads and slide this one back into the stack. Three stars just because it piques my curiosity and is kind of fund to listen to.


Latest members reviews

3 stars Tim Smith, Sarah Smith and William D. Drake take some time off the Cardiacs here to play some music that is in one sense quite different and in another sense quite similar to the mothership. The songs on this one are rather calm and slow and keyboard oriented, which is quite different from what we ... (read more)

Report this review (#1515698) | Posted by Lewian | Tuesday, January 19, 2016 | Review Permanlink

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