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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly consistent, excellent compilation, 12 May 2004
By 
T. SMEDLEY "terrysmedley" (Taunton UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone (Audio CD)
This is the last of St Eteinne's commercially UK-release albums (* see below) that I have bought, planned more of an afterthought/gap-filler, really.
Well, I was in for a shock, because it's superb!! The album flows as well as any studio-effort, it being, I beleive, a collection of B-sides and non-album singles from their first two albums ('Foxbase Alpha' and 'So Tough'). It shows a good range of the band's abilities, from catchy singles: 'Who Do You Think You Are', 'People Get Real', to dancefloor-based material: 'Speedwell',as well as the more melodic, standard St Etienne fare, always of a high quality.
However, for me, the standout track is 'California Snow Story', with it's echoes of Angelo Badalamenti's 'Twin Peaks' soundtrack, a simple Sarah-and-a-piano track which is emotive as anything they have ever done. One of those songs which makes you stop what you're doing and contemplate.....well, anything really!
The album does overlap slightly with the 'Too Young To Die' greatest hits collection, which is possibly why I left buying it 'till last. The same is true, I expect, with the more recent 'Smash The System' complilation, which I have yet to buy at all.
BUT DON'T LET THIS PUT YOU OFF! This album is worth every penny in it's own right.
* Unfortunatley, perhaps, St Etienne are one of those bands who revell in releasing fanclub-only albums, oscure EP's, alternate versions of albums for foreign consumption, as well as whole albums abroad not released in the UK. Very frustrating!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurrah!, 24 Feb 2002
By A Customer
I remember playing this album once while doing the washing up, and within the opening bars of the first song, my flatmate, who was a Goth, went into a kind of weird spasm and screamed 'What is this? Turn it off! Please!' I love this album, it's an impeccable sequence of sublime, cheesy pop songs. And it's ideal for removing those stubborn goths.
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You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone
You Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone by Saint Etienne (Audio CD - 2001)
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