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Matt (London)

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The Futureheads
The Futureheads

5.0 out of 5 stars check your head, 26 July 2004
This review is from: The Futureheads (Audio CD)
I am angry. And confused. I have just seen someone give this album something less than a shining review. I simply don't know how this is possible. From beginning to end this album rocks - both hard, and also with wit and intelligence. Criticisms about The Futureheads being 80's throwbacks is unfounded. They are a cut above Dogs die in hot cars, and Franz Ferdinand, in that the sounds that they borrow aren't tumbled together into a pastiche, but rather are studied, distilled, reinterpreted, re-invented, and delivered in suprising patterns, and formations.
There are parts of this album that sound like The Housemartins duelling with The Jam, others like The Beautiful South inviting At the Drive In over for a party. An open mind is a must then - but if you have that, this album will not disappoint.


Now Here Is Nowhere
Now Here Is Nowhere
Price: £10.03

9 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Keep it a secret, 30 Jun 2004
This review is from: Now Here Is Nowhere (Audio CD)
I have heard the names of great bands being dropped in reference to this album by Secret Machines: Spiritualized, Mogwai, Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, and Pink Floyd. Naturally I bought this album with high hopes. I am sorely disappointed. This album has NOTHING in common with these seminal artists, apart from the odd flourish that has been unashamedly snatched from 'Dark Side of the Moon'. Instead we have an alagamation of whiney vocals and hyper-produced Rod, Jane, and Freddy harmonies, a mess of self-concsious nonsense lyrics, over-complicated chord changes and the sort of bogus mysticism that I thought had gone outwith Kula Shaker. Yes they have a tight rhythm section, no they don't have any tunes. The whole thing sounds less 'progressive' and more like a bad medley of the weakest 60's pschadelia ever produced. You just don't get the impression that they 'mean it' - if Secret Machines want to do psychadelia they could at leat have the decency to inject it with some genuine acid-fuelled explorations rather than this polished, hyped, maufactured platter. Spend your money on real 'progressive' music like Tortoise, Mogwai, and Godspeed, and give this a wide berth.


Up In Flames
Up In Flames
Price: £9.95

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype, 25 April 2003
This review is from: Up In Flames (Audio CD)
In a fit of passion (for new music) I recently spent my last tenner on this record by Manitoba that has been garnered with the most lavish of praise from all quarters of the music press. Disappointed? That doesn't even come close. 'Like early Mercury rev' they say, 'in the same camp as the Flaming lips' , 'elements of aphex twin'......it's all lies. I listened to the album again and again - seeking out the nuggets of genius that I had been told were abound. I was left completely underwhealmed - the songs float whimsically in and out without ever taking flight for long enough to be engaging. This would be fine if this was a proper ambient album - but it's pretentions are far greater. But just as it lacks the beauty of ambient records it also lacks the balls of a dance record - Bass sounds and other important elements are consistently too low in the mix...even at high volume this record lacks any kind of punch.
The lyrics are completely devoid of any meaning or any warmth, but even worse is the fact that they are cut and layered and repeated to such an extent that you get the impression that they're supposed to mean something...
Sort of like the polyphonic Spree on a really bad trip which has made them lose their sense of humour and the ability to play their instruments.
Altogether very poor...I'm sure that I've heard better music coming from the bedrooms of countless teenage dance producer wannabe's....
save your last tenner for something else.


Is a Woman
Is a Woman
Offered by westworld-
Price: £14.73

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty made of Sadness, 12 Dec 2002
This review is from: Is a Woman (Audio CD)
I must be the only person in the world who didn't really like the album Nixon. It just didn't do anything for me. I had bought the album after seeing Lambchop play a brilliant live set at the Big Chill festival in the summer, and was very disappointed. What I didn't realize was that the material that they were playing was almost all from the (at that time forthcoming) album 'Is a woman'.
And what an album it is - from beginning to end a melancholy, astonishingly thoughtful and quite beautiful piece of music. It is fragile and stripped down, but all the while engaging - all the while capable of suprising with a husky lyrical twist or a smokey heartbreak piano line. This, put simply, is the sound of beauty made of sadness. Brilliant.


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