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Theme Park


Price: £7.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
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Theme Park + Holy Fire
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Feb. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Transgressive
  • ASIN: B00AZ3VLF0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,357 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Big Dream
2. Jamaica
3. Two Hours
4. A Place They'll Never Know
5. Tonight
6. Saccades (Lines We Delay)
7. Wax
8. Ghosts
9. Still Life
10. Los Chikas
11. Blind

Product Description

BBC Review

Theme Park don’t have a drummer, and boy does it show.

This debut by twins Marcus and Miles Haughton, and school buddy Oscar Manthorpe, is all shimmering guitars and synths and poppy choruses. It sits in the same dance-meets-indie camp as Friendly Fires and Foals, and shares influences including Orange Juice and Talking Heads.

But if you’re going to try and rouse a dance floor, you need a beat that doesn’t sound reedy and synthetic.

So much of this album is pieced together perfectly, each song full of sunshine and memorable melodies, and crafted with care. Theme Park are young, yet they have a wisdom that belies those years, knowing how to layer up instruments, knowing how to make a guitar riff sing.

This is most obvious on Wax, a simple track built on a single riff that spirals around in your head long after the song has finished.

There are calypso rhythms on Ghosts; opener Big Dream has an inauspicious, minor-key intro before the tune kicks in; and Saccades is a strange, meandering song that begins as an ethereal ballad before building to a funk-filled crescendo. It’s diverse. It’s clever.

But Theme Park fail to get pulses racing. This noise is too restrained and the beats are too tinny; it is so carefully manicured that the life has been sucked out of it.

On Big Dream, they get away with it: the laid-back tone doesn’t want to break a sweat, and that’s fine. But on Jamaica and Tonight – two songs that long to be radio hits – you want everything to hit harder.

You want the mix to jump and pound and excite. But it doesn’t, and the choruses feel hung out to dry.

This makes for a frustrating listen, because the talent is there – damn, even the songs are there. The best one, Two Hours, is also built on a generation-capturing lyric: “I can’t feel anything,” Miles sings, “and it’s bringing me down.”

Belting from a summer festival stage and buoyed by audience sing-alongs, these songs will work a charm. But in the studio, they’ve been tweaked a step too far.

--Mike Haydock

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Hockney on 26 April 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Really wicked album and one of the best bands I have seen live this year!! Worth every penny & definitely worth seeing if you get the chance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Palmer on 8 Mar. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first saw Theme Park play in Hoxton last autumn and have been hooked since. This debut album is very good but it could have been a world beater! I just feel that songs like Two Hours and Jamaica have been overcooked in the studio and they seem to have lost their va va voom! Don't get me wrong, I don't think there is a bad song on the album and I would definitely recommend that you buy the album but because of the production some of the songs sound a little bit tinny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. R. Hales on 2 Aug. 2013
Format: MP3 Download
I've seen Theme Park live a couple of times and enjoyed them enormously on both occasions. The last time I was struck by how much more confident they seemed and that they really seemed like a band destined for great things.

Sadly, it seems they acquit themselves rather less well on record. Their debut CD seems to be hurriedly recorded, under-produced and poorly mixed. The vocals, in particular, tend to be frustratingly buried in the mix or unforgivingly over-exposed leaving the record seeming more like a demo than the finished article.

All this said, after a few listens familiarity renders the mix less jarring and the quality of the tracks rises to the surface. At this point there are more hits than misses - I particularly enjoy "Jamaica", "Tonight", "Wax" and "Ghosts" balanced by "Los Chikas" which shows the poor vocal mix of the attempted Beach Boys harmonies at its weakest.

Hopefully the budget for the next Theme Park record will allow them to make a more polished CD. For now this record, whilst enjoyable, does nothing to capture the charm and energy of the band's live performances, which is a real shame.
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