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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The second brilliant album from Kurt Ralske, 15 Oct 2002
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Joy 1967 - 1990 (Audio CD)
The debut album from Ultra Vivid Scene is one of my favourite albums of all time , one that does that Speak Memory thing and sends you hurtling down memory lane...The follow-up, Joy 1967-1990 is just as great (Rev is still growing on me however...).
THe album opens with songs as strong as early classics like She Screamed and You Didn't Say Please: It Happens Every Time is a perfect pop song with inventive use of feedback- closer to the final releases by Spacemen 3 than the cliched sound the Mary Chain peddled. Single Staring at the Sun is as perfect as New Order's Regret or The Cure's Pictures of You, if more minimal and lo-fi (with a hint of the Cocteau Twins down there in the guitars)...Early favourite Three Stars is next, in a slighty different version to that on the Staring at the Sun e.p., this gives way to the sublime Special One- which features Breeder/Pixie Kim Deal on vocals. Another perfect pop song that makes the Velvets line "How do you think it feels?" sound original...Grey Turns White takes us to a place of sonic rhythm and odd sounds reminiscent of 154-Wire and Burning Blue Soul- The The, before moving into traditional jingly-jangly territory. Imagine if The Strokes had been futuristic, rather than a mere attempt to sound like Richard Hell, NY Dolls and Television...Poison ends this section of the album, this is as dark and wonderful as early tracks like Extra CD Track and Nausea. Ralske with Richard Close, Byron Guthrie and Kristin Kramer create a sublime feeling with the guitars- that are in overload and to the fore as this song builds. A perfect end to a perfect side of an album...Side Two took me longer to get into, as every time I finished playing Side One, I'd put that on again. I s'pose that's where CD's came in handy: just one side now (painful if the album hits the 70 min mark!). Guilty Pleasure is a more sideways take on classic single Mercy Seat, co-producer Hugh Jones creating the perfect pop atmosphere for Ralske's dark pop songs. Ultra Vivid Scene, I think, will become as feted as The Velvets in years to come (if kids are listening to Psychocandy now, just a few years to go...). Extra Ordinary is pleasant enough, but probably the weakest song on the album, giving way to the gorgeous Beauty#2- which features the great BJ Cole (No Regrets, Silver Moon)on steel guitar. The Kindest Cut takes us back to the divine malice of tracks like Hail Mary and Crash, prior to possibly the greatest song on the album, Praise the Low. Here Ralske, with the aid of viola, recorder and a badhran , builds a sublime percussive song that builds up to a sound of immense power. The album ends on Lightning, another oh so perfect song...
The first two Ultra Vivid Scene albums are classic albums, that not only emit that Proustian thang , but stand up as great works: I can appreciate them more now (and lots of people I know appear to have these albums because they like the covers by Vaughan Oliver, we end up playing them late at night after hedonism). Still not sure about Rev, must play it more; fingers crossed 4AD will release a UVS compilation similar to the recent Belly one- with tracks like Something to Eat and Walking After Midnight on. A great, great album...
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Joy 1967 - 1990
Joy 1967 - 1990 by Ultra Vivid Scene (Audio CD - 2001)
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