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Cate Le Bon Vinyl
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 15.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The reviews are in. The second album by silver-plated songstress Cate Le Bon, CYRK, is a bona fide critical hit. The cavalcade of comparisons that crop up in every review - John Cale, Nico, Malkmus et al - give you an idea of the regard in which Le Bon is currently held.

So it is with great pleasure that we can announce the Welsh artist is releasing CYRK II (The Control Group). During ... Read more in Amazon's Cate Le Bon Store

Visit Amazon's Cate Le Bon Store
for 4 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

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CYRK [VINYL] + Mug Museum
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  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging

Product details

  • Vinyl (30 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Turnstile
  • ASIN: B0076EKQLQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,282 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Falcon Eyed
2. Puts M to Work
3. Cyrk
4. Julia
5. Greta
6. Fold the Cloth
7. The Man I Wanted
8. Through the Mill
9. Ploughing Out Part 1
10. Ploughing Out Part 2

Product Description

BBC Review

"Cut a remote island in two and place one half to your ear…" is how Cate Le Bon sells this album. That's a pretty esoteric description, but as you listen to the Welshwoman's second LP, it starts to make sense. Cyrk is a curious musical brew that blends Velvet Underground-style shaggy jangles with a kind of bucolic psych-folk sound. There are also some unexpected embellishments: parping brass at the end of Greta, Mike Garson-ish piano on Through the Mill, blasts of sax to round off two-part album closer Ploughing Out.

If the album's metaphorical land mass is remote, it's also rather eerie. The mid-tempo drone of Julia could soundtrack an age-old pagan ritual, while Greta is pretty spooky stuff for a song about a baby niece. "You existed in moonlight before you were born," Le Bon croons over a heavy fog of a synth line.

This ominous atmosphere is intensified by Le Bon's clipped, Nico-like vocals and largely ambiguous lyrics. The Cardiff-based chanteuse – a sort of protégé of Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals – has developed a set method of songwriting. She pens her melodies first; then she mouths the sounds that she wants her lyrics to emulate; but she doesn't finish them until the night before recording. As a result, her songs don't really tell straightforward stories; they paint impressionistic pictures instead. Le Bon's not averse to the odd nifty couplet though. "What I hoped for most / Was to be his greatest host," she sings on The Man I Wanted, a song which perfectly captures the thick, oppressive nature of romantic desire.

Cyrk is as idiosyncratic as an album named after the Polish word for circus probably ought to be, but it's not inaccessible. Songs like Fold the Cloth, Puts Me to Work and Through the Mill are underpinned by ringing guitar hooks and Le Bon speckles everything with pretty (if pretty unsettling) vocal melodies. The result is a rare beast: a genuinely off-kilter pop record that never feels too self-conscious or contrived.

--Nick Levine

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Customer Reviews

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Rooksby
Format:Audio CD
Picking up where Me Oh My, her splendidly warped 2009 debut, left off, Cyrk intensifies the Nuggets-styled psych-weirdness, draws the curtains & wistfully gazes out in the moonlight. Though a slightly darker proposition than it's predecessor - lyrically, certainly - Cate has nonetheless conjured up another clutch of instantly memorable melodies that perform that savvy trick of simultaneously seeming utterly fresh & frustratingly familiar.

Though she's still obviously very fond of Stephen Malkmus's cockeyed approach to songwriting - Cyrk occasionally sounds like a Trish Keenan-fronted Wowee Zowee-era Pavement grappling with Faust's "It's A Bit Of A Pain", it has to be said (fine by me, frankly!) - she's excelled herself in terms of eerie, indelible hooks & eccentric, opaque wordplay this time 'round. At the moment, my favourite tracks are the vespertine "The Man I Wanted" (a curious "down-but-not-out"-type lament), & the pleasantly disturbed "Greta" (which reminds me, a wee bit, of "Jugband Blues"), but I expect I'll have changed my mind again by the time you read this. After all, at a succinct 35 minutes' duration, there's no room for filler.

It's still only July, but I can't imagine they'll be many better LPs released this year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welsh pyschedelia 30 May 2012
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
More of Cate Le Bon's highly disciplined creativity. This isn't a million miles from her first album, My Oh My. The rhythms remain uncomplicated, the arrangements simple and sparse: the pleasure lies in the melodies (I think the melodic lines have a deep relationship to Welsh speech patterns), and in her gorgeous, natural voice. Check out her videos at: [...]

Note that the vinyl *does* come with an MP3 download code (at least mine did), but it's lightweight vinyl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars classy girl singer guitarist 20 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD
great cd this girl is so good buy everything she does .she's even Better live go and see her great girl
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bought For My Daughter 4 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Listened to this once and came to the conclusion It was another of my daughters weird pres ents. Having said that though I thought the 2nd Half was better than the first.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some promising bits but a tad self indulgent 16 July 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album has 10 tracks over around 35 minutes. All songs are written by Cate Le Bon (one a co-write); there are 6 supporting musicians credited (some of the names just about legible through the plastic disc-holder).
The lady has a very pleasant (husky/strong) voice and some nice turns of phrase + there is some decent "psych" instrumentation - can't argue with any of that. However, none of the tunes stick and it gets a bit "samey"- a bit noodley/self indulgent.
There's no information given re who played what instruments and no lyrics are included - both black marks for this purchaser.
Its worth a listen but is a bit too "clever for the sake of it" for me. Clearly some talent but needs to give a bit more to the listener if its to be developed.
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