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Missiles

The Dears Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 7.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Music

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Biography

The band formed in 1995 and released their first album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, in 2000. Their orchestral, dark pop sound and dramatic live shows cemented The Dears at the foundation of the then-emerging Canadian indie renaissance.[1] In 2001 and 2002, they released the EPs Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique and Protest, respectively, as well as a collection of unreleased songs, Nor the ... Read more in Amazon's The Dears Store

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for 23 albums, 9 photos, discussions, and more.

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Missiles + Gang Of Losers + Degeneration Street
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Oct 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dangerbird
  • ASIN: B001EN46ES
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Disclaimer
2. Dream Job
3. Money Babies
4. Berlin Heart
5. Lights Off
6. Crisis 1 And 2
7. Demons
8. Missiles
9. Meltdown In A Major
10. Saviour

Product Description

BBC Review

Having recovered from the strains of an unrelenting touring schedule which pushed them to the brink, Montreal's favourite Gang Of Losers The Dears return with their fourth longplayer.

Years on the road and an excessive lifestyle had left frontman and figurehead Murray Lightburn questioning whether any viable future existed for The Dears, but following a prolonged break and a dramatic downsizing in personnel, they're back with Missiles.

Now down to a permanent line-up of just two (Lightburn and his wife Natalia Yanchak), and joined by a troupe of musicians loaned from other bands, the outfit admit - with a wry nod to the obvious cliche - that the preceding discord has spawned much of what we hear on the album.

Despite this, the collection starts promisingly with the warm electro of Disclaimer, a sweet, understated track typical of what Canadian and American lo-fi bands do so well. Single Money Babies overflows with ideas, from simplistic but structural bassline to the rise and fall of the instrumentation which eventually mixes in the form of a satisfying, building round.

Berlin Heart is a soft rock, country ditty that would be overlooked as fey if recorded - as it easily could have been - by The Feeling, and Lights Off has more than a passing resemblance to Radiohead's Paranoid Android. And at halfway in, the record begins to sound like a repetition of itself, usurping criticism of overt references to outside influences.

Crisis 1 & 2 only differentiates itself from the rest with a frankly annoying and unnecessary guitar riff that wouldn't be out of place on a drivetime anthems compilation. Missiles is an ode to 70s glam rock which somehow misses the mark, and by the time the organ and children's chorus of 11-minute epic Saviour kicks in it's hard to maintain any enthusiasm for the continuing, dreary strains.

Chronologically, it's as if Lightburn gradually lost the inclination to fight the feeling of pessimism that had dogged the band in recent years, caving in to the temptation to musically wallow. An indulgent end to an album which begins with promise, Missiles is not an accurate representation of what The Dears have to offer. --Keira Burgess

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Dears classic 21 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD
As with their previous albums this album rewards repeated listenings. Murray Lightburn himself ask his fans to listen to it four times to appreciate it and I found that about right. For me I was lucky enough that the fifth listen was to see them perform a lot of it live. If you're a Dears fan already then you won't be disappointed. The stand-out tracks for me are 'Lights Off', 'Crisis 1 & 2' and 'Demons' but the others come pretty close, and overall it's as good an album as you're likely to hear. Another triumph for a truly great band!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hits The Target 29 Jan 2009
By Gannon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
`Missiles' is a more mature outing for Murray Lightburn and sole remaining Dear (and wife) Natalia Yanchak. Gone are the youthful distractions of noisy outros and keyboard noodlery as can be found on the debut No Cities Left, and instead, relaxing saxophone anecdotes (Disclaimer) and measured song building, breaking into clever release (Missiles).

Fans will be easily pleased; repeat listens reveal a subtle grower. New comers to the Dears are not really the intended market for the record, and so may take longer to love the smug couple, but should find plenty to enjoy nevertheless. Murray's vocals are soothing as ever, but don't quite live up to the former, Morrissey-level of lyrical dexterity with which comparisons were made. Awkward moments such as the high-school-like syntax ordering that allow tears that will not `quell' to be sung purely to achieve a rhyme, or the cringe-worthy mention of someone being `as cool as a cucumber' undo a little, but not much of the musically-sound, good work.

Murray does not appear egocentric, insisting on his input alone and as such, Yanchak's moment comes in `Crisis 1&2' where her vocals serve as welcome distraction. Murray allows the discreet guitar work and considered bass of the album to do a lot of the work for him, the rhythmic drumming in `Dream Job' also being pleasingly noteworthy, progressing the listen forward with each stroke.

This is a collection of refined indie rock tracks, which sit regally in the Canadian landscape from whence they sprung. Murray has hinted that this album might be the Dears' last, but he should rest easy knowing that if it is, it would not be with a whimper that he left us.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty excellent! 12 Feb 2011
By chris
Format:Audio CD
Missiles is a great album. It is a more sombre and less immediately enjoyable album than Gang of Losers, but in time Missiles reveals itself to be a lovely album to really immerse yourself in.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear(s) 16 May 2009
Format:Audio CD
The Dears were one of the few bands in the world that it was possible to be passionate about, but not any more. Missiles isn't a dreadful album, just very, very average. There are a few good tracks but even they don't rival most of the tracks from Gang of Losers & No Cities Left.

Where the Dears once sounded like expert songwriters, Missiles sounds unfinished, lazy and unsure of itself. The style, humour, romanticism and defiant optimism of their best work is gone. A real shame. Miserable and repetitive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some people may think you're wrong, but I know you're onto something... 28 Oct 2008
By Joseph R. Lacombe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There have been some mixed reviews going around in regards to The Dears' fourth LP, "Missiles". I say "some" because truly there aren't many reviews of it at all. In fact, I am only the third review on Amazon.com about the album and it has been out now for a week (or probably more by the time the review is published). That is not to say that The Dears are not a worthy or awe-inspiring musical experience by any means, but are perhaps simply underrated.

That being said, I must say that this album is simply heart-wrenching. I had been anticipating it since 2006, when the band released "Gang of Losers", which left much to be desired on my end. However, I feel that "Gang of Losers" was absolutely necessary to achieve "Missiles'" intriguing sound.

I would move through the track listing and systematically describe each one, but I feel that would be a waste of your time. Rather, I truly, truly recommend that you give it your own listen. It is quite a diverse album. The songs range from the strange intimacy of "Missiles" to the orchestral, mellotron-laden "Lights Off" (which, by the way, contains one of the most soulful guitar solos I've heard in years). "Crisis 1 & 2" is under 4 minutes, but is very catchy and driving. Natalia Yamchek sings sans-Lightburn for the first half of the song, then delivers up the second half to him, literally splitting it into parts 1 and 2. The album finishes with two overwhelmingly beautiful pieces, "Meltdown in A Major" and "Saviour." The first stands out as a shining, moving masterpiece from which I took the title of my review. I find it hard to choke back tears at every listen. The latter is a full-bodied and epic confession, with Murray Lightburn pleading, "I am a sinner / Ain't no beginner / But I'm paid up in full." The song builds to warm, hopeful heights as a chorus of children assure us, "We'll make it right."

Natalia sings in "Crisis 1 & 2": "Don't let me down", and truly this was my very thought when I bought the album and slipped it into my car's stereo, thinking I would skip around and hear only a few tracks. Instead, I ended up driving around for an hour because I couldn't stop listening. It is still in my car's stereo. I would even venture out to say that this is my favorite album of 2008 so far.

5/5 stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A transition album... 27 Oct 2008
By Manny Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak are the only two members of The Dears to continue carrrying the flag of the band on this album by the Canadian indie outfit. And somehow it feels that they are in transition: though Lightburn's passion shines through every single track, though it's the same Dears we learned to get addicted to in No Cities Left and Gang of Losers, their two best albums, it's still not quite at the same point as these two albums.

If I take tracks like "Disclaimer," "Savior" and "Meltdown in A Major," I can totally say it's still there: The Dears are alive and well. It's just some of the power of their previous work that needs to come back... or maybe this is just their way into their new sound. Because of this, I cannot give them five stars.

Having said that, this is SO FAR BETTER than most of the music you can listen to these days that four stars sounds like an accurate assessment of "Missiles." Oddly enough, though not their best album to date, it makes me feel happy... they are still with us.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dears Falter a Bit On Their Fourth Outing.. 21 Oct 2008
By Cale E. Reneau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Since The Dears first released No Cities Left in 2003, I've consistently had the band filed under "Favorite Bands" in my mind. Murray Lightburn and the musicians that surround him have been a reliable source of quality music for as long as I can remember. Whether it was "22: Death of All the Romance" or "Ballad of Humankindness" (my #1 song of 2006), The Dears have always managed to strike a chord with me (no pun intended), tugging on my emotions and forcing me to ask myself difficult questions about life, society, and the nature of people.

Missiles - an album marked by tensions within the group that ultimately found all but two of their members departing - continues to examine these deep themes rarely poked at in today's music. However, while the music continues to traverse this path, it rarely packs the punch of the band's earlier work. The band's previous two album have been marked by slow-building movements that eventually erupt with emotion. On Missiles, songs die with a whimper, often ending unemphatically or even worse, fading out entirely.

Missiles is also plagued with songs that go on for entirely too long. Album-opener, "Disclaimer," takes nearly 7 minutes off of the clock before finally deciding to call it quits. During that time, the listener is forced to listen to a completely uninteresting and possibly juvenile vocal melody and harmonies that sound just a little bit off. By the time it's all over, most will find themselves asking what the point of it all was. The album doesn't end any better either, with the 11-minute "Saviour" being more of a lesson in tedium rather than an actual attempt at making emotionally gratifying art. It seems to me that Lightburn is too focused on tearing apart the structure and style of The Dears' previous work that he forgot about what made it such a joy to listen to. The lyrics were always the band's crowning achievement, but if that's all that's required, I would have taken up poetry-reading a long time ago. Great music couples brilliant lyricism with musical compositions that elicit excitement and emotion. That, for the most part, goes entirely forgotten on Missiles.

Still, there are a few tracks that manage to satisfy, if only on a minimal level. On any other album, "Dream Job" wouldn't have even been noteworthy. On Missiles, it's the album's best track. Lightburn's declaration of "You got dreams of taking someone else's dreams away," is sort of brilliant. And the song, while never really reaching the heights that it could, manages to get be somewhat catchy especially when they add in a synthesizer towards the end. Unfortunately, the song fades out far too early and you're left wanting more than you actually receive. In reality, the only song that could possibly be considered a contender when put up against any older Dears song is "Crisis 1 & 2" which finds Natalia Yanchak taking over the majority of the vocal work and doing an absolutely fantastic job at it as well. It's always good to hear her and Murray harmonizing together, and this song is no different. Murray eventually adds in his own vocals to great effect. It's the kind of song that makes me remember why I love this band. However, rather than finding some sort of satisfying conclusion, the song simply fades out - leaving the listener hanging.

Missiles may not be the album that I was expecting or wanting when I first heard that The Dears were recording a follow-up to one of 2006's best records, but even at its worst it is far from bottom-rung. Though it fails to satisfy on an emotional level, many of Lightburn's arrangements contain the same grace and consistency that we've come to expect from the band. What the album lacks is the emotional tension, discipline, and enthusiasm of their past records. Missiles is a record that can be quite enchanting at times, but more often just downright disappointing. Most bands have at least one sub-solid, however, and if there was ever a band who could overcome such a downfall it would be The Dears. Even if it's not the same band it was 2 years ago.

Key Tracks:
1. "Dream Job"
2. "Crisis 1 & 2"
3. "Demons"
4. "Missiles"

6 out of 10 Stars
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grand Album that has Endearment and Sentiment 8 May 2012
By WJR - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great Album that is Brillant as opposed to the Bombastic Ballyhoo that calls itself Talent in Today's Music The Dears are Montreal's Super Group. Viva la Dears!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars A deliberate, melancholy epic 10 Dec 2010
By J. Leard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
My introduction to The Dears was 2006's "Gang of Losers", a tremendous work of angst, sorrow, and passion. While "Missiles" is certainly still the same band, the passion and verve of "Whites Only Party" is nowhere to be found. Instead, "Missiles" is a deliberate work marked more by emotional restraint and tight arrangement spread out over lengthy tracks. This isn't the same punchy group of songs the band brought forward before. Lightburn repeats lyrics more, there is less singing overall, and the music does much more of the heavy lifting on its own. "Lights Off", with its repeated refrain of "through the back of the head", drives home the single-minded focus of what Lightburn does choose to say, and what he doesn't is brought forward in the spastic, sorrowful guitar solo that anchors the song's second half.

This isn't an album that grabs you immediately, but rather one that slowly but surely digs its claws in. And like so few albums anymore, it asks to be listened to straight through, from front to back. This is how it delivers its message of paranoia and stress and mania, how the repeated refrains and patient melodies and structure. The album closes with "Savior", an 11-minute monster that never feels formulaic or drawn-out; it just is what it is. It works, and it serves as a fitting coda to an album that, via "Crisis 1 & 2", asks one simple question as it takes measured paces through the audio landscape that Lightburn creates: "I'm dying to know how much you care."
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