on 3 January 2004
If you've never experience the legend that is the CARDIACS then this is the rush of madness that precedes pure DEVOTION.A prog-rok fusilage of igenuity spouting such classics as 'Is this the life' and R.E.S (previously found on mouldering cylinders from 'The Seaside'. The beauty and fragile madness of 'The Whole World Window' is the plateau of this incredible, and one of the best alternative/underground/talented bands of all time. This makes life SPECIAL and MAGIC again. BUY IT and forever tingle at the opening of 'A Little Man And A House'.Perfect...
on 13 August 2000
anyone interested in music of the finest kind should buy this(or any other
any one interested in music of the finest kind should buy this(or any other) cardiacs album.big bouncy sing a long tunes with intricate timing,slow parts,fast parts,loud bits,quiet bits and all with the best instrument manipulation ive ever heard.big bangs on the drum and on the organ,guitars,bass,sax,violin,mad percussion and much more besides.album highlights include the stomping"is this the life" the manic"dive" and the cry a long to"the whole world window".put simply just buy this and listen to the best kept secret in music today.
on 29 March 2008
I owned this on vinyl back in the late 1980s, but lost the record and had to make do with a cassette copy. When I started transferring music to my mp3 player a three years ago, I thought I'd get the CD, but unfortunately it was no longer available from the Cardiacs web site - until now! Just bought it and it's great - so don't be fooled by the sellers on Amazon trying to charge extortionate prices - I bought mine direct from the Cardiacs web site for £13 including P&P.
on 10 October 2011
tl;dr - quitessential Cardiacs album that is gonna be hard to afford. If you can'd afford this just yet then get the Cardiacs rude bootled album which has most of these tracks on. AND BE SURE TO LISTEN TO THE WHOLE WORLD WINDOW IF YOU'VE NOT HEARD IT BEFORE!
The fact that this album has 9 reviews compared to the 3 of other albums shows just how influential this album is. I also have 2 copies of this album (one of which is vinyl and I don't even have a record player) so it is a biggy for me.
'A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window' (to give it it's full and proper name) is the most straight forward of Cardiacs releases, featuring lyrics which can be followed (in EVERY song no less!)songs which keep their tempo (with the exception of R.E.S.) and practically a whole orchestra.
This album also features a perfect selection of the bands talents. The first track is a slow, beautiful lament of people at work before hitting the pulsing chorus (which always requires you to join in) and ending on a line that is to be a reccuring theme of the album 'that's the way we all go'.
'In A City Lining' is the preppy dance tune with a thumping drum line and a strong fairground theme thanks to Sarah Smith's saxaphoning.
'I'm eating in bed' is the new edition to the CD format, having been mysteriously lost on the original pressing. This has always been a firm fan favourite and has a great opening line ('firstly there's a spanner in here, secondly it has the right of way').
'Is this the life' is the little oddity. It's the Cardiac's first (and sadly only) time in the charts. This is a driving masterpiece, thumping drums, excellently infectious guitar hook and a great little sax solo thrown in. The Singing on this is gentle and almost sad and shows Tim Smith to have great emotion in his style (this really comes out the later album sing to god).
The Interlude is a nice little musical number, lasting only 45 seconds. It's pretty well known if you've seen the live performances, and contains the childish, fairground theme we all love.
'Dive' is another great dancing track; bouncy musically, excitable vocals and an excellent chorus to keep you interested.
'The Icing on the world' is again a thumping track, feeling like a marching band with Smith annunciating each line to the point of sounding bitter.
'The Breakfast line' (tow tow it!) is a return to the more spontaneous timing structures of old Cardiacs tracks. With many twists and turns, odd little instrumental additions and a fun chorus it's always a highlight for me.
'Victory Egg' is my second favourite on this album. A great tempo led by the vocals, wonderfull steady music in the background with added brass section flourishes. A truelly wonderful song.
'R.E.S.' is the spontaneous, dancey, funky, fun track that has to be the test for all fans. If you can dance all the way through this one without messing up the timings you are officially a Cardiacs master!
Then there's 'The Whole World Window'. My favourite ever Cardiacs song. An orchestral masterpiece. Slow, moving, and with the distrubing lyrics needed in a Cardiacs classic (it's about an inflatable girlfriend... seriously...). It's always able to give me goosebumps, just as it builds towards the ending. It was a staple song in the live shows for a while and made it onto the Cardiacs Bootleg album (along with most tracks from this album) but due to the constantly fluctuating line-up this was never played after On land and in the sea. Possibly the saddest thing in my life is that I'll never hear this song live.
this is an album to get if you love the Cardiacs, one of the most sought after albums for the English underground circuit, and a great reminder of the band at their finest.
Don't get this if you have no taste, or are just planning to sell it at an extortionate price. It's not fair of you to do that.
on 21 April 2007
Truth be told, reviewing Cardiacs albums is almost pointless. The idea of a good review is to give the interested reader some idea as to whether they should buy the product. So for all those reading, I shall say this once, and once only - there is no excuse for not buying every Cardiacs album you can get your hands on.
A Little Man... is their best effort, though, and probably the best place to start if you're still not sure (meaning that you haven't heard any of their stuff). Like all their albums, it's incredibly complex, brilliantly played, beautiful, emothional and everso-slightly totally ****ing insane. To borrow a tired, shameful and overused but, on this occasion, wholly appropriate phrase - buy it.
on 13 December 2010
This album changed my life. I remember listening to it for the first time on my friend's sony walkman on a bus in greece in the late 80's and I can still see the arid villages and plunging bridges that I saw while totally freaking out to RES for the first time. Truly inspirational, a wonder to behold and a fantastic spectacular live performance that will leave you wondering and puzzling and yearning for years to come. Tim's certainly created his own monster now DIDN'T HE!
I would recommend it as the entry point to the world of the Cardiacs before venturing on to the darker, harsher, more intense sounds of their past and future.
on 15 May 2012
Utter Masterpiece containing one of favourite songs of all time.....'Is This The Life?'
Always angry that their long deleted albums go for so much money, making it hard for new fans to access their music.
Fortunately this has now been rectified as the band have now put all their albums on iTunes!! So no more people getting ripped off by being charged about £80 an album!!
on 1 November 2006
Cardiacs are an amazingly intricate band with fantastically confusing melodies which sound so wrong yet so perfect. This is my favourite of their Albums and every song is put together in such a special way - from the stop-start mayhem of R.E.S, to the smooth almost "ballad" that is the Whole World Window. Well worth a purchase it's just a shame it's so hard to source!
on 14 March 2015
Just a simply stunning tome of a piece. This is the one that got me into Cardiacs and started a lifelong love of all those who sail on the big ship. It had long been out of print but has been re-released through cardiacs. net for the princely sum of £12. The highlight for me has to be In a City Lining with all its tempo changes and twiddly bits. Bill and Tim's songwriting is probably at its finest on this album - with the quirkiness of RES through to the ethereal epicness of The Whole World Window,
on 22 June 2014
Reviewers have in the past wasted their energy trying to pigeonhole Cardiacs. Their music can be complex, baffling and at times seemingly chaotic, but always contains wonderful tunes. That's the nub of it, the melodies.
The time changes and unconventional structures can be a shock to fresh ears, but give it a chance and it all comes together.
All Cardiacs albums have their own character but this is an ideal starting point.