|1. What Time Is Love?|
|2. Make It Rain|
|3. 3 A.M Eternal (Live at the S.S.L)|
|4. Church of the KLF|
|5. Last Train to Transcentral (Live From The Lost Continent)|
|6. Build A Fire|
|7. The White Room|
|8. No More Tears|
|9. Justified and Ancient|
This is a dance album of sorts, but it is very tongue-in-cheek and has a distinctly commercial edge. The pair were notorious jokers--the back cover shows them clutching sheep to their chests--and after managing to rule the charts they disbanded and turned their back on the industry completely. Their disdain for the music business comes through in their over-the-top futurism and relentless air horn blasting, both of which are an acquired taste and quite nauseating after a while.
Aside from the singles mentioned above, White Room also contains the soulful "Make It Rain", the surprisingly subdued "Church of the KLF", some Scottish poetry on "Build a Fire" and unforgivably crass use of some King Tubby trumpet on the dire "No More Tears". It's hailed as a classic, but don't believe the hype. --Paul Sullivan
I consider the singles to be the weakest tracks from the album however. A gripe I have with this release is that the version of 'Last Train to Trancentral' is not that which I loved that was included on the original album. It is the more commercial single version. This is what causes me to give this 4 rather than 5 stars. I also feel that the second disk of this release is not worth bothering with at all. Tammy Wynette!?!?!
The highlights of the album for me are the more mellow soulful tracks such as Build A Fire, Make It Rain, Last Train To Trancentral (original LP version - not included here). These tracks sound just as good and relevant today.
I'd say that this album is a bit of a lost classic. Forgotten when mentioning classic albums like Screamadelica, Leftism etc. This is probably due to the subsequent unavailability if this disk after the KLF split. Great to have it back, minor gripes aside.....
So what's the KLF all about? Well this album perfectly illustrates their influential "stadium-house" sound. Big booming tracks with strong beats, catchy melodoies and strong vocals, which were generally massively over-produced. The choruses are catchy, the raps are smooth and the beats can get you dancing. This has aged a lot better than most of the dance music out at the time. The four singles are:
What Time Is Love?- A thumping track with a strong melody and beat, their break-through hit is more dance-floor focused than the other singles. Look out for the cheeky MC5 sample. Sadly, the album is missing the KLF's last single- the fantastic America: What Time is Love? rework of this track with rock guitars and a brilliantly reworked chorus. I found the CD single on eBay and it's well worth looking out for.
3AM Eternal- Soulful break-beat house with a very strong female vocal (KLF ah-hah ah-hah). This is great cruising music when you're in the car (see the video)
Last Train to Trancentral- Futuristic sounding, with a cool synth line and loads of vocalists doing very litte. Sounds like early trance.
Justified & Ancient- Slightly over-represented- the last 5 tracks on the CD are the included EP of this. You get the original album version with a male vocalist, a version with a female vocalist, the radio version with Tammy Wynette (and it's 12" mix) and a remix. The original is pretty weak, but the lively radio version is a lot more interesting, and the long version is the best, as it's heavier on the rapping.
Apart from the singles, the other tracks are generally slow, vocal chill-out that's very listenable. They make a good break between the fast singles and give the album a lot of variation.
So what's to say? This is a cracking album. It's dancy in places, chilled in others, and fantastically produced throughout. The lyrics are pretty pointless, most of them doing little more than advertising the Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu (but then, the whole album was tongue-in cheek). It's good to play when you're not really listening, it's good to play in the car when you're driving, it's good to play when people are round and it goes down well everywhere. Even my mum likes these tracks, which is testament to their appeal.
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