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Happy Songs for Happy... Enhanced, Import


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Biography

Not everyone gets Mogwai, but that’s what makes them great. Theirs is a majestic, powerful sound where barely a word is spoken yet it is the antithesis of background music. Album and song titles bemuse, confuse and delight in equal measure and live, they are utterly unstoppable.

Rave Tapes is the eighth studio album by Mogwai and their second on Rock Action, the label they set up ... Read more in Amazon's Mogwai Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jun 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced, Import
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B00009ATKS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,777 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Haunted By A Freak
2. Moses? I Amn't
3. Kids Will Be Skeletons
4. Killing All The Files
5. Boring Machines Disturb Sleep
6. Ratts Of The Capital
7. Golden Porche
8. I Know You Are But What Am I?
9. Stop Coming To My House

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Davies on 17 Mar 2006
Format: Audio CD
This record is typical of the later, more mature Mogwai: which means nothing even approaching the feedback terror of ‘With Portfolio‘, and no more samples of late night NFL and answer-phones. Whilst for some this kills the raucous essence of the band, ‘Happy Songs For Happy People’ ultimately shows a band more aware of mood, of structure, and most of all song structures stretching beyond the perfunctory build-destroy mechanism of their earlier efforts.
But enough of that, the opener 'Hunted by a Freak' is simply a great post rock song. Here, the spindly opening riff stretches along with that practiced Mogwai uncertainty, segueing nicely into a mellifluous chorus: soon the delay pedals arrive on scene to increase the emotional fervour. Yet the intention to wig out, to simply add more, is commendably forestalled (see ‘mature Mogwai’) and instead Mogwai shift the mood to one of calm in the middle eight, where a cello weaves between clean guitar lines. This demonstrates Mogwai’s growing maturity working to their advantage, and the shift back into the chorus clinches the songs hymnal quality perfectly.
'Killing all the flies' starts of with a simple guitar riff that is evocative of REM, complete with vocoder-voice layered over the top. The song seems like it would be better suited to a live vocal, and maybe Mogwai could have given Gruff Rhys a call, who added so much to 'Dial:Revenge' on Rock Action. This is a similar sort of song, but the structure lacks any kind of punch and after a flurry of guitars mid-song, collapses away into the same tedious, skipworthy harmonics as closes ‘Kids Will be Skeletons‘.
The intermission of 'Boring Machines' is welcome and vital.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. A. Brown on 4 Jan 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the first Mogwai album I actually heard and I have to say I completely adore it. Everything I want music to be is on this CD, it's exceptionally downbeat and melancholy yet the songs are still incredibly dramatic and moving. No doubt it's not for everyone (which isn't to say it's some sort of incredibly intelligent album that only I understand as it isn't) but if you enjoy sad, clever and above all subtle music then you should enjoy this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 31 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
In a way this album exemplifies the musician's perennial problems of trying to square the circle by coming up with something different whilst staying the same. From the opening notes this is clearly identifiable as being Mogwai and as it progresses can be heard to equal the quality of its predecessors. The individuality of their musical identity creates unenviable inbuilt difficulties: if a piece resembles an earlier recording, the band is laid open to charges of stagnation, of simply having further stabs at basically recording the same album in a new guise; if it differs too much, they risk being accused of losing their identity, or even of selling out and becoming too commercial.

Perhaps tellingly, the two songs that featured in the top ten of the 2003 John Peel Festive Fifty, the only two to be placed, were Hunted By A Freak and the eight-minute epic Ratts Of The Capital, as these side-openers contain the most recognisably Mogwai trademark qualities: the sinister, slow building of the soundscape, the quiet/loud/quiet passages, the tortured guitar. However, elsewhere on the record there are several subtle indications that Mogwai have plenty left to say, musically speaking, and there is more of a democratic band feel than in some of their earlier guitar-led pieces. Four of the tracks are augmented by cello or violin, and a string quartet is employed to atmospheric effect on Killing All The Flies.

As always, the titles remain enigmatic and willfully ungrammatical (Boring Machines Disturbs Sleep; Moses? I Amn't), and in a mark of the new maturity and restraint shown throughout this extremely listenable record, most of the pieces are only three or four minutes long. This is not a record that gives away all its secrets on the first listen, but rewards repeated plays. This is in no small part due to the skilful engineering led by Tony Doogan at the CaVa studios in Glasgow, but also to the collaborative efforts and musical empathy of the band themselves.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Concerned father on 18 July 2003
Format: Audio CD
On first listen, this album would seem to confirm fears that Mogwai have lost the vital edge that made them THE underground british band of the late nineties. Only through perseverance does the magnificence of this music become apparent. While it might seem more subdued than previous efforts, this is a band that no longer need to bleed eardrums at 11, content to play at the peak of their powers.
'MOSES? I AMN'T' is gloriously aphex twin-style ambience, while 'KIDS WILL BE SKELETONS' seems to revisit and perfect the territory of 'Tracy' and 'Katrien's simple melodic build from 'Young Team'. 'BORING MACHINES DISTURBS SLEEP' with it's hazy drone like background and understated vocal goes back even further, to 'tuner' from the 'Ten Rapid' collection.
Every song is a gem in its own way, as highlight after highlight unfolds in its own time. If the album seems shorter in comparison to their last albums, it is because it doesn't need to be any longer, it is perfect. This is Mogwai's masterpiece, and by the time 'RATTS OF CAPITAL' and 'STOP COMING TO MY HOUSE' have played out, you will have cheated on 'Young Team' with the new lighthearted floozy that is 'Happy Songs for Happy People'.
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