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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New forms, old ethics
New readers start here: Temperamental continues the long, slow evolution of Everything But The Girl, a band who've never been shy of exploring different styles and trends: jazz-flecked Eden, agit-pop on Love Not Money, coffee bar music with Idlewild, even big band sounds and smoooth shiny, shrink wrapped soul on Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and The Language of Life...
Published on 3 Feb 2004 by mc1965

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fifty fifty
Some good songs and some not necessary. The best of this record is Tracy's voice, as usual.
Published on 4 Mar 2009 by Ilovemusic


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New forms, old ethics, 3 Feb 2004
This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
New readers start here: Temperamental continues the long, slow evolution of Everything But The Girl, a band who've never been shy of exploring different styles and trends: jazz-flecked Eden, agit-pop on Love Not Money, coffee bar music with Idlewild, even big band sounds and smoooth shiny, shrink wrapped soul on Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and The Language of Life. Course it helps that Ben Watt is as talented a composer and arranger as any in the business, and the cool and lovely voice of Tracey Thorn could be singing the ingredients list on a cereal packet and you'd still want to listen. But what makes them special is they're keen observers of the human condition from blissed out lovers to drugged out club hedonism to marriages fallen apart and the restricted lives people lead because of poverty and fear. Temperamental explores new forms in rhythym and dance yet remains true to their old ethos - quite an achievement.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of good tracks, but badly ordered, 20 Aug 2006
This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
EBTG's 1999 studio album, Temperamental, is the most recent one they've released. They're currently on a break and it looks uncertain whether they'll return. So, 7 years later, how does the album sound?

"Five Fathoms" is a great opener. The melody is very catchy, Tracy Thorn's vocals as good as ever, and there's quite a range of instruments. The strings are particularly pleasing.

After a dancey start, "Low Tide of the Night" is more ambient. Thorn's vocals are really memorable. More strings, which add to the overall chilled feel, and there's a nice sax melody in there too. The track goes on a bit though, with little variation and mostly unexciting background melodies.

"Blame" ups the tempo considerably, with some very emotional melodies (particularly in Thorn's vocals, unsurprisingly). This has similarities with the title track from "Walking Wounded". Really, really good stuff here.

"Hatfield 1980" goes back to the ambient feel of the 2nd track. So far, the styles seem to alternate, which is rather confusing. The lyrics have a few similarities with "Lullaby of Clubland" (more on that later). It's an OK track, but not that exciting really.

Next up is "Temperamental", similar in style to "Five Fathoms" but in a minor key. The guitar riff is really catchy, and the vocals are great. Definitely one of the best tracks here.

"Compression" is the only track without lyrics, although there are still vocal effects. It's reasonably interesting, similar in style and tempo to "Blame", and there's a catchy bass riff. But at 7 minutes long with very little deviation from the main theme, it doesn't quite reach classic status.

"Downhill Racer" is another ambient track, but it's much better than the earlier tracks. It's shorter, but is a lot more memorable. As ever, the vocals are great. The whole track feels very warm and well thought out. It all fits together extremely well. A perfect afterclub track!

"Lullaby of Clubland" is next. This is a firm favourite for me, with excellent vocals and lyrics, a beautiful tune and an extremely memorable chorus. Brilliant!

The penultimate track, "No Difference", adds piano to the ambient style of earlier tracks. It's quite good, particularly the piano and the guitar. The brief guitar melody that plays almost 2 minutes in is a great addition. However, it goes on a bit - even for a 4 minute track.

Last up is "The Future of The Future" - which is also on "Junk Science" by Deep Dish, so you might already know it. I love this track - it's a great way to close the album, with an upbeat feel and catchy piano chords. Vocals are average in the verse, sometimes feeling a bit boring, but they really brighten up for the chorus: "It's so bright tonight" - which stays with you long after the album ends. Brilliant, and very memorable.

To sum up - I like this album a lot, but there are a few average tracks and the ordering of the tracks isn't very well thought out. There's no sense of continuation - it just feels like a bunch of dance tracks with a bunch of ambient tracks scattered between them. The distinction between each style isn't a major problem, but it does make me wonder if I'm listening to the same album by the time it ends. Still, most of the tracks are good. And, if you feel like trying out my preferred order, here it is...

1. Five Fathoms

2. Downhill Racer

3. Low Tide of the Night

4. Hatfield 1980

5. No Difference

6. Lullaby of Clubland

7. Temperamental

8. Blame

9. Compression

10. The Future of the Future
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best 99 release, 3 Dec 1999
By 
A. REY "array" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
This CD is awesome. The music style is a real advancement since Walking wounded, it is WARMER, there is more deep house in it, there are some more "good dance clubs" oriented tracks here. Ben has learnt so much from drum and bass, house music experts, the music production is just perfect but warmer than in their previous release. The lyrics are also most about nightclubbing, but the view is so romantic¡¡¡ If you do not know nightclub culture you will not enjoy the lyrics I guess, I think they are very subtly crafted touching such themes like drugs, sex, nightclub solitude, individualism... I am amazed at such powerful lyrics such: "If I'm going home, I'd better change my clothes" "And it's so <<bright>> tonight, do you see those cars? Those signs?" Can you guess what brightness is she singing about? "I've got no coat. Are you on your own? When are you going home? Get into me" "When you're down and troubled you don't tell your friends, you don't tell your family, won't let them talk about me. I'm gonna let nobody down, down, down" or Five fathoms lyric: "I'll take you home, I'll make it easy. Love more. Love more." I'm sure she's meaning having sex when taking you home, but it's so subtle, it's expressing at the same time the difficulty of relationaships when going out at night. Tracy's tremendous, she's completely renewed in Temperamental track while remaining romantic, and serene in most of the other tracks. I really think this is a marvellous CD, a real 1999 music CD unlike most of the CDs populating the charts. It should appeal to nightclubbers, specially those in the gay scene (gays or heterosexual people) who tend to listen to more good club music and have already an insight about what she's singing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great CD, 15 Mar 2013
By 
M. Beckley "Michaela" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
Timeless and classic transports me back to my youth haunting vocals and stonking beats !!! brought it along with Walking wounded CD especially like five fathoms , low tide of the night and downhill racer a bargain and always on in my car.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect transition, 14 Sep 2007
By 
M. Sinclair "Mike" (Crumlin, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
I had only realised a few months ago that this album actually existed. I had always assumed when five fathoms was released, no album followed, but an album did follow, and what an excellent album. I was expecting to like the album, from after hearing the great single five fathoms, and I was really impressed.

I thought Tracey's voice always suited next to dance music than EBTG's previous work, and an album like this proved my point. With their hit song missing, I thought they'd be back with more to follow. But instead, two great albums followed. The previous album walking wounded was almost like changing over from their old style to the new, and in this album, they get it spot on. As soon as I first heard low tide of the night on this album I got shivers down my back, I could tell I was in for a great album.

I had their best of album for years and must've listened to it about 200 times, and I had always especially loved the remixes of driving and missing. I had always craved for more, and this album was almost like the missing piece of my puzzle.

This album is filled with perfect house music and two very addictive drum and bass songs, blame and compression, with a booming bassline and beats to blow your mind. This album was the stepping stone for Ben Watt to lead him on to a future in dance music as lazy dog.

So, to summarise, even if you've only heard of their song missing, you should definitley get this album. I'd give almost every song on this album 10 out of 10. A very underrated album. What a pity it all had to end here.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars habit-forming, 27 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
I have to 'fess up from the outset to hating almost everything about clubs. Avoiding the drunks and drugheads. Dodging the yobs swinging punches at each other amid the pools of sicked-up lager. Being made to stink of other people's cigarettes. And the incredible self-absorption of the least interesting, worst-dressed people on earth.
And the pounding crassness of most of the music. I mean, this market is so staggeringly uncritical of poor quality, it made a hit out of "Boom boom boom." That's how bad you can be and still make money.
Why am I banging on about this? Because in every decade there've always been one or two brilliant, tuneful dance acts. And when dance is good, it's very, very good. There's just something about listening to timeless dance music in the dark, in the car, in the rain. In the Seventies, it was Chic. In the Eighties, it was Shalamar. Today, it's EBTG.
This stuff is brilliant. I can't think of another word. I think their secret is that the tunes come first. All of these songs actually have one; the dance gloss comes later. There are a few tracks that sound like they've been listening to themselves a bit much, it has to be said. There's another Wrong and another Single on here. But that's OK cuz I loved those too.
I'd have given this five stars except that Ben and Trace have always been a bit up themselves lyrically, and they're getting worse. Poor old Trace remains in deadly earnest, like she's still a pale and interesting English student at Hull University (an oxymoron, if ever there was one) rather than a filthy rich woman pushing forty who doesn't work for a living.
But hey, who's complaining. Anything's better than "Boom boom boom, lemme hear ya say whoa. Whoa!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love the way the tracks are mixed on this, 10 July 2014
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
Love the way the tracks are mixed on this, great to listen to in the car on a sunny day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you want an objective review then read no further!, 5 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
I could happily listen to Tracey Thorn sing my shopping list all day, so this review was always going to be rather biased, but let me try and explain/justify that.
There are wonderful singers in every genre and age (e.g. Ella, Dusty, Joni; the fact that their first names suffice speaks volumes), but TT is my favourite pop singer ever. She may well not be technically the most gifted (The amazon review says she's impossibly flat, but I can't hear that!), but she has this brilliantly easy languid way of evoking loss and desire that I find irresisible. I particularly like this album because I think Tracey's voice is as good as it is on any EBTG release, and also bcause the instrumentation supports the song and then gets out the way of that voice.
My personal all-time favourite album by this pair is "Love Not Money" which has a very different jazz/folk feel, but I rate this pretty highly too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Temperamental, 24 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
I only became a EBTG fan after the release of the Todd Terry re-mix of their fabulous song Missing, which I bought as a CD single version - containing several different versions of the same song because I knew, or thought I knew, I wouldn't like any of their other songs on the original Amplified Heart album. I waited for "Walking Wounded" to be released as I had heard this was to be in the same style as Missing, and loved every minute of that CD - playing it over and over. There were no less than four hit singles taken from Walking Wounded, of which I enjoyed the Todd Terry remix of the adultery-themed "Wrong" the most.

After Walking Wounded everything seemed to go quiet on the EBTG front and I lost interest. I bought The Best of EBTG because it included Protection and Better Things - Tracey Thorn's collaboration with Massive Attack, and the Todd Terry remix of Driving. I didn't like any of the early songs on that album initially, but grew to enjoy their covers of Rod Stewart's I don't want to talk about it, Paul Simon's Only Living Boy in New York, and EBTG's own early song Each and Every One. The problem with this earlier material, for me, is lack of song hooks and sense of energy. This problem was completely resolved by their dance-orientated material, which also managed to remain lyrically consistent with their themes of romantic alienation, regret and loneliness - striking a chord with many of us.

I was surprised and delighted to discover this one later album by EBTG called Temperamental, as it had completed bypassed me at the time of release. In style it is a direct successor to Walking Wounded, and I would argue that its strongest songs - especially the title song, but also Five Fathoms, Lullaby to Clubland, Future of the Future (all released as singles but only reaching the lower reaches of the chart) are definitely equal to the heights reached on Walking Wounded.

There is, at first listen, a lack of variety in sound and tempo - unlike Walking Wounded which included ballads like the exquisite Mirrorball alongside the dance tracks. I assume this was the cause of its comparative lack of commercial success. There is so much to enjoy here though that this album deserves much more attention, and perhaps - in this age of relentless dance albums - was ahead of its time. The lyrics invariably hit the nail on the head, and the vocal quality of Tracey Thorn is outstanding, as ever.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good (As always), 18 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Temperamental (Audio CD)
So here marks the last album to date by Everything But The Girl, and as expected the quality of their turnout is nothing but genius. This shows that Ben and Tracy after over 17 years in the music game can be versatile, move along with the times and still keep what makes them unique.

If you're looking for another acoustic album like Amplified Heart or Eden, this won't be the album you're expecting - The closest you will probably get to that is "No Difference". This album is more electronica, consisting of 90s house, Trip Hop and Drum and Bass with that special EBTG signature touch to it.

This is an amazing transition from their previous album "Walking Wounded" and a brilliant way to end such a long run of good music. Certainly one to buy!
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