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4.0 out of 5 stars
Little Kix
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2001
Ever since i first listened to the orchestral indie concept album 'attack of the grey lantern' i have been a big mansun fan. When six came out in 1998 i was impressed with the way the band had changed my direction. I preferred six to AOTGL because of its greater depth, hard rock and creativity. So I couldn't wait to hear 'Little Kix', Mansun's third album. I must confess, at first i was quite disappointed. This remains the worst so far of Mansun's albums but it is still a good record. Strings and electric guitars have largely been replaced by acoustic songs with smooth-as-ever vocals from Paul Draper. I prefer Mansun's heavier stuff and i trust this will turn out to be just a temporary mellow twist in their life as a band.
1. Butterfly (a new beginning) 10/10 The first 10 seconds of this opener are silence. After that it builds up into a mournful acoustic song complimented by a searing synth. I quite like this.It grows on you.
2. i can only disappoint you 10/10 Another good song. At first it sounds very commercial with its smart keyborad line and restrained gutiar but Paul's superb vocals and interesting lyrics make this a highlight.
3. comes as no surprise 7/10 begins with an acoustic guitar complimented by keyborad before hitting a loud chorus with high vocals from Paul. Not their best song but is ok.
4. Electric Man 10/10 Another acoustic-led song. This is a clean, tight song with an infectious, happy chorus and good vocals again by Paul. However Chad's guitar again sounds too restrained for my liking.
5. love is... 7/10 This song begins with a plodding bassline and develops into a harmonious chorus which fully demonstrates Pauls vocal capabilities. This grows on you a bit but when all is said and done it is a fairly average song.
6. soundtrack 4 2 lovers 5/10 The intro to this is reminiscent of the opening to AOTGL but is not as good. Its too commercial and drifts dangerously close to self-parody.
7. Forgive Me 6/10 Another average song. Bland lyrics and an unoriginal tune are only punctuated briefly with Chad's (for once) guitar.
8. until the next life 8/10 this is an example of a good song marred by bad production. The chorus is heartfelt with strong vocals.
9. fool 9/10 Quite commercial and poppy but is never-the-less a solid tune. This is one of the albums's highlights.
10. We are the boys 7/10 I like the intro to this song with its strings. Also the verse lyrics are quite interesting. However the chorus is weak and uninspiring.
11. Goodbye 4/10 Urghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!! The worst song Draper has ever written and a bad ending to an otherwise solid album. Paul's vocals are not at their best and the whole thing sounds like a parody. Opening with applause probably wasn't a good idea either.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2001
I really liked Grey Lantern, and really hated Six -- so much that I pretty much put Mansun out of mind for a long time (which is easy to do here in America, where the band is not heard of anyway). But when I heard that Little Kix was a cross between the two albums, I thought I might like it. And I do.
Fool and Disappoint U are incredibly commercial and incredibly catchy -- wonderful pop stuff that could have come out in the '60s. Forgive Me sounds like it came off Abbey Road, complete with Harrison-like chiming guitars. There are other highlights (but not as high), and the low points are not nearly as low as anything on Six. Which is a victory in itself.
This 'middle ground' makes sense for the band. It's a good direction for them and they do it well. Now, if only they'd have success in America (but that also goes for Suede, Gene and Pulp!!).
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2001
The problem with this album is that it is simply just lame guitar pop lacking everything that made 'Six' and 'Attack of the Grey Lantern' superb. Their first two albums had such a special element, and originality which is no where to be found on 'Little Kix.'
When I first heard 'I Can Only Disappoint You' on the radio my doubts began, it sounded like a cheesy pop song saved - only just - by his vocals, but even they were not given justice by the track they were singing over. It turns out this album is a slow dull pop album, with one speedy track to promote it.
I still can't get over how a band can change so much for the worse.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2000
Mansun are just one of those bands that are very good when they're good, and just awful when they're not. The very promising I Can Only Disappoint You is one of the singles of 2000, but most of Little Kix just doesn't compare. Songs like Love Is... try to be heart-felt love songs, but just end up being completely superficial. Avoid disappointment. Avoid buying.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2002
I would never say anything of mansun's was bad after their first two albums, but this i have to admit was a little dissapointing. Six had so much depth and could be taken on so many levels. This can't. Although there is some great and very clever parts to the album (ie the counter cords on the piano in soundtrack 4 2 lovers) it still leaves me feeling disapointed. From most bands I would say this was actually quite good - but after hearing the pure genius of "six", when mansun showed their full portential. If you are new to mansun - dont't buy this, their first two albums are much more deep. However if you know mansun well - it's worth a look, out of interest more than anything, but remeber this album is nothing special.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 September 2006
Hmmm! I get the feeling Mansun became a bit wrapped up with being a popular indie band and after the death of brit pop released this some what mess of an album. I mean, it's alright, but not a match to the two previous which were highly above standard for the time and of excellent quality. Fool, Butterfly and I can only disapoint you are cool songs. Electric man is a song to listen to when your driving but not on regular occassions.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2003
Another superb album from Mansun, every track has something for everyone in it and after seeing them live I have nothing but respect for this band (they are actually better live). The only thing that bewilders me is why Mansun have not hit the big time maybe the next album will see them earn themslves a place in the bigger stage.
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4 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2005
The first two songs are pretty good, but this album is not.
I thought it might be a grower but after listening several times I discovered it wasn't.
Not recommended.
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