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22
4.6 out of 5 stars
Richard D. James Album
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This was the first 'Aphex' album I ever bought and it led me to seeking out every piece of sound created by the man that I could get my hands on. The first few listens caused me alot of confusion and brow lowering I must admit but one thing it wasnt was boring or unoriginal, quite the contrary.
The melodies and strings are so emotional and catchy yet the beats are a jungle of mashed up beats and mettalic futuristic sounds. Ive been listening to this album almost every day for the past 6 years as I find it very theraputic, despite all the noise! I listen to it whenever I feel down or even angry.
My mates hate it and think its just simplistic noise but it is so deep and beautiful I cant descibe it.
My favourite album of all time without doubt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2007
Don't be fooled by the evil grin on Mr James's face on the cover of this CD; the `Richard D James' album is alive with mischievous melody, warmth and nostalgia.

Sure, the accustomed manic, machine-gun beats, pulsating programming and breakneck changes of pace are very much in evidence, but behind this front are some truly lovely synth washes, strings and melodic threads which dance merrily in and out of the maelstrom of sound.

The whole record, although barely over half an hour long, is packed with variety. Just when you think you have got the measure of the thing with the first four tracks James pulversises you with intense beats at the end of `Corn Mouth'. This is brilliantly followed up with the spooky child-like vocal samples on `To.Kill A Weakling Child' which are buried in sound as the track progresses. Then comes arguably the most remarkable track on the record and the only beat-free one,`Goon Gumpas', whose gorgeous string and synth melody unexpectedly conjures up images of pastoral bliss.

`Girl/Boy Song' is perhaps the highlight of the album, though, combining in its melody and rhythm all that has gone so well before. The album's longest track, it builds superbly to a brilliantly melodic climax.

This is hardly restful music but is constantly challenging and enjoyable. The nostalgic atmosphere (I swear there are some ZX Spectrum loader sounds on at least two tracks) is so different to label mates Boards of Canada but no less potent. A remarkable achievement.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2001
"Richard D James" by Aphex Twin in my humble opinion is a truly complete work of art. Although there are no tracks here that could sit comfortably in todays music chart, songs like "4," "Cornish Acid" and "Girl/Boy Song" really have to be heard to be believed. Richard utilises alien soundscapes and simplistic, yet at the same time utterly complex drum patterns to confuse and coax the listener into a false state of security. His music could be criticised for being too simple to create, my friends comment being "An 8 year old could write this," but that would be completely beside the point, an 8 year old didn't write it, it was created by an intelligent and rhythmically conscious musician. This goes to show that music doesn't necessarily have to be infinately over-written or complicated to produce the mood or tension that was strived for in the first place.
This, I believe is the very concept behind Aphex Twin and his work, he shows us that sound IS music, rather than music being sound and rather than an album just being a collection of different melodies, it takes the listener on a journey of discovery and bewilderment. Calm >>>> Chaos >>>> Paranoia >>>> Ultimate Enlightenment. This may sound intolerably pretentious but what you're given isn't always what you get.
There is one drawback however, it's too short!!! :(
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2002
It is easy to be put off by the mere thought of abstract electronica, but here, Aphex dispels any myths that it is anal and obtuse. While often disturbing, particularly on 'To Cure A Weakling Child', every track on this album demonstrates a keen sense of melody. The opener, '4' in particular uses a beautiful wash of strings to addictive effect. The rhythms are very strong on the album, as you would expect, but they are never obtrusive. The music itself is difficult to describe, but there is a signature use of strings on nearly every track, the best use being on the single 'Girl/Boy Song'. The beats crackle in the background, and the general impression is of an ironic naivete, with playground melodies used against the dark undercurrents of each piece to create one very unsettling movement. Unlike recent album, 'Drukqs', this is a very succinct listen, and you will not be pressing the skip button. Indeed, it's brevity is this album's one disappointment, but otherwise is a very good introduction to Aphex.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2000
This album is unlike any other album you will hear. A mixture of styles, the whole album will not be to everyones tastes, but there is something for everyone here somewhere. '4' is a lively start to the album, with echoey snares, an apparently simple drum loop until you listen closely. Cornish Acid is a much darker track, Fingerbib is a bouncy tune that wouldn't be out of place on childrens TV, but still somehow fits in with the overall feel of the album. To Cure a Weakling Child is a very strange track, that really has to be listened to to be understood. The diversity of tracks does not, however, prevent the album from maintaining a similar feel throughout, with dark ambient pieces combining with imaginative drum loops, and floating melodies over the top. This album certainly should not me missed, and definintely not by Aphex Twin fans, who will almost certainly love its quirks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2000
Aphex twin has come up trumps again, giving the world his new album. Right from the start, you get the feeling of what its about. 4 brings you into the world of Richard D. James and graphically tells what to expect. He drawns the line beautifully between varied songs, that confuse the litsener and repetiveness that bores them. Each song has the re-occuring theme, but is never the same as the last. Richard draws upon a classical theme, with big string parts, but adds a fast drum and bass style snare, but it never sounds that the two are forced upon each other. the strings are written for the snare, and vica-verca. Overall, a stunning album that i am happy to recomend to anyone.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2005
From the opening strings and ridicuosly complex yet simple drum machine loops and beats you know this is going to be a special musical journey. This is album has it all, Richard D James, or Aphex Twin as most people will know him as is perhaps one of the most ground breaking artists of recent times. His electronic beats, blips and melodic chords come together in a symphony never heard before....The best aphex twin album out there....... oh yeah, and if you are looking at either selected ambient works albums (also by Aphex Twin), go for number 2 for sure.
Break the monotony in music of recent times, and expand the mind and ears, BUY THIS ALBUM!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2000
this is the first aphex album ,my mate bought it and i swiped it after hearing 2mins of it. it is a very new,and welcome, type of music.even within the album there is a diversity of songs,goon gumpos is what i want at my funeral whereas i will torure my mates with "to cure a weakling child". it is v.scary!it is a good album if you are pissed off with modern poppy tripe. i would suggest that most people buy this to listen to it as it is a geniuses outlook on life. r.d.james is a genius in my view...see for your self.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2010
This is an album i'v wanted for some time. On purchasing it i'd say i have mixed feelings towards it. There are some great tracks on here but the album almost seams to be lacking a theme or any kind of consistancy. Owning some of his earlier EP's i found i owned some of the tracks already. Over all i prefered the "I care Because You Do" album that came before but this is a great album for a fan of the genius that is Richard D. James.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2000
Wow, clearly the work of a genius, music you can feel, great cd! more mellow than some of his more recent work, in my opinion this cd is too short, however i usually play it at least 2 times anyway..
If your new to aphex twin, or a hardcore fan, then this album will appeal to you, because of it's varying styles.
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