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23 [CD]

Blonde Redhead Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: £9.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Blonde Redhead's last album – ‘Misery Is A Butterfly’ – established them once and for all as one of the most distinctive and precious bands of their generation. Although conceived and recorded during a time of trauma, the album was a confident, thrilling and delicately-nuanced sweep of sound which enraptured the already-converted and won the band a whole new legion ... Read more in Amazon's Blonde Redhead Store

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23 + Misery Is A Butterfly + Penny Sparkle
Price For All Three: £30.80

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 April 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 4AD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,671 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. 23 5:18£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Dr Strangeluv 4:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Dress 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. SW 4:35£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Spring And By Summer Fall 4:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Silently 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Publisher 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Heroine 4:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Top Ranking 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. My Impure Hair 4:52£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

As if getting a spread in a popular home decor magazine just a month prior to this album's release wasn't enough of a tipoff, Blonde Redhead have come a long way since their days of mimicking Sonic Youth's brittle art-rock. Clanging guitars have been replaced by warm synthesizers and soft strings, while Japanese singer Kazu Makino's thin voice has become a ghostly moan on the grandiose opener and title track of the New York trio's seventh full-length release, 23. Their last one, 2004's Misery Is a Butterfly, was a lovely throwback to the dream-pop heyday of the Cocteau Twins and Lush. This one presses further down that road, only with a more experimental streak, as cascading guitars, military rhythms, and wobbly melodies shape opulent, otherworldly songs like "The Dress" and "My Impure Hair." --Aidin Vaziri

BBC Review

Possibly one of the most international bands on the planet, this New York-based threesome release their seventh album, a mixed bag of ethereal-sounding gems and forgettable-but-pleasant songs.

Italian brothers Simone and Amedeo Pace (who spent their teenage years in Montreal), and vocalist Kazu Makino (who grew up in Kyoto) self-produced their latest offering, with a little mid-recording help from Mitchell Froom.

Makino's vocals have that high-pitched spooky, sweetness that recalls The Cardigans and Bjork, which fits well with the layered, guitar-laden wistfulness of the band's sound. Tracks here veer between ambient, euphoric melancholy and breathy-sounding pop tunes, making the album hard to pin down.

Title track and album opener, ''23'', named after Makino's lucky number, is under-pinned by a driving drumbeat, matched up with a rich guitar sound, making it one of the few highlights on offer here.

''SW'', on which Amedeo Pace takes vocals, combines Sgt. Pepper-style brass breakdowns with layered guitar sounds and dreamy lyrics, while ''Spring And By Summer Fall'' is one of the few tracks where the guitars get to shine through.

''Silently'' goes as far as sounding distinctly poppy with its saccharine-sweet lush vocals, while ''Heroine'' and ''My Impure Hair'' wouldn't sound out of place on an Air album.

''Top Ranking'' is definitely one of the most interesting and charming songs here, with a great guitar line combined with driving drumming, a sweet electronic melody and the occasional odd electronic sound, while ''Dr Strangeluv'' perfectly showcases Makino's beautiful voice.

This is by no means a stand-out album, but you could spend a perfectly enjoyable 40 minutes with this playing in the background. It's just a shame that the beautiful, layered sound on a few tracks is drowned out by the forgettable mass of the rest of the album. --Helen Groom

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 classic albums in a row 7 April 2007
Format:Audio CD
To be direct and clear, Blonde Redhead's 7th LP, "23", is exactly at the cross of Emiliana Torrini's "Love In The Time Of Science", Mercury Rev's "All Is Dream" and My Bloody Valentine's "Loveless" (Alan Moulder, engineer for that last record, has mixed two tracks of the present item, and that's saying something). And yes, it's THAT good.

I don't wanna quote any song "in particular" (private joke, when you get me...), as each of the ten here are absolute gems. But to fans of the previous two albums, namely "Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons" (2000) and follow-up "Misery Is A Butterfly" (2004, and their 4AD debut), be warned that "23" is a work that might not appeal on first listen. To be more accurate, the production is far less "organic" than Guy Picciotto's job on these masterpieces, as the trio seems to have oriented their sound towards both a much poppier and etherial approach (ranking this LP alongside earlier 4AD releases, like Cocteau Twins's "Treasure"), while also deciding to produce it themselves, to obtain a more hypnotic feel to most of the material featured here.

Anyhow, if their first four Lps showcased an obvious Sonic Youth-oriented sound, it took them the last 8 years and an awful lot of time getting their act together to stand, eventually, among American's Alternative Music Scene's best acts at a unique place: a band as much treasured for the universality of their melodies as for the way they find out how best to carve these marvels deep inside our hearts, bodies and souls.

A strong contender for album of the year, NO LESS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 9/10. 'Top Ranking' 14 July 2007
Format:Audio CD
Blonde Redhead's breathtaking album combines the sonic intensity of shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine with the dream pop of Cocteau Twins and Lush. Despite the stylistic conceits, they overwhelm the listener with the strength of the songwriting and dazzling, dizzying soundscapes. Like contemporaries Asobi Seksu (check out their stunning single 'Thursday'), they mine a territory between some of the aforementioned bands but somehow create something greater than a sum of their influences.

Opener '23' gallops out of the speakers at a white-knuckle velocity, Kazu Makino's vocals soaring and diving in melodic layers over frenetic guitars and heavy-doses of Kevin Shields-style reverb. 'Dr Strangeluv' is gentler, redolent of Cocteau Twins circa 'Heaven or Las Vegas', while the icy, ethereal 'Dress' could from Goldrapp's 'Felt Mountain'. 'SW' is more daringly original, part-Radiohead, part-Sigur Ros, part-M83, it features a male vocal lead, a propulsive breakbeat and weird Sergeant Pepper-style brass arrangements. 'Spring And By Summer Fall' keeps up the ferocious pace with Black Sabbath style vocals in a call and response with guitars echoing the vocal hook.

'Silently' is lovely ethereal pop in the mold of Elizabeth Fraser and Kate Bush, while 'Publisher' and 'Heroine' feature vocal manipulations for something more drifting and otherworldly, the latter owing a debt to early Goldfrapp in particular. 'Top Ranking' is more conventionally song orientated, but given bite by a crunching, rolling beat and other sonic emphemera. 'My Impure Hair' is underpinned by a wonderfullly discordant country tinge, a somnabulant merry-go-round finale.

The album is packed with ideas but never feels top heavy, blurring all the studio trickery into its technicolour swirl.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a discovery 23 May 2007
Format:Audio CD
I had never heard of Blonde Redhead until I listened to their latest album in my local Fopp store. Wow! I was instantly taken aback by their sound and decided to purchase the CD. Not a bad decision at all in hindesight.

The female singer has, as a previous reviewer said a ghostly and quite unique voice which immediately caught my attention. I especially like the opening track '23', 'Heroine' and the stunning 'Silently' (my favourite) sung by her. I like other tracks by the male members of the group 'Spring and by summer fall' a really energetic and slightly rocky number which effectively varies the tone of the album.

I have played this album a lot and I'm not bored yet. A real find! I will now have to investigate their other albums. Album of the year for me so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
Opens with the passionate '23' and the spell is cast with Kazu providing another magical performance, about how in 23 seconds so much can happen to change a life, and the number 23 chosen because of its enigmatic theories "23 magic, if you change the name of love". Kazu continues the brilliance with 'Dr. Strangeluv' with so many beautiful sounds & vocals...another melodic winner with Amedeo creating the guitar fills. Then emerges the best track (so far) in 'The Dress' with Kazu's strange vocals "Horse loves you when you move with him...people hate you when you're changing"....& the Japanese sounding keyboard backing heightens the atmosphere. Now it's the turn of Amedeo via 'S.W.' and his vocal interpretation reaches Kazu's and is a powerful sound of high emotion. Amedeo follows up with the wonderful 'Spring And By Summer Fall' with its steady urgent drumming (Simone as always doing superb drums). Kazu with 'Silently' probably the most commercial here & reminds a little of Supremes 'Baby Love'. 'Publisher' a gloomy sounding effort with synth dominating "Say what you say, say it like a cat Say it to my face and say what you know everyone says". 'Heroine' a pretty piece which is seemingly about a friend Roland committing suicide. 'Top Ranking' "I take my ceder to where the mountain is high" as Kazu takes us up there via beautiful sounds, a catchy refrain & is apparently about the horrors of the Vietnam war (yes this is not party music). Final track is the weird 'My Impure Hair' which is perhaps the weakest here.. Perhaps not as strong or beautiful as previous LP 'Misery Is A Butterfly' but nevertheless essential & a display of passion brilliance & magic.
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