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4.0 out of 5 stars23
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on 17 October 2000
This is Hefner at their best. They just keep on improving, this is FABULOUS. I can't stop playing it, especially 'Painting and Kissing', for me its a sing-a-long special, but isn't that what appeals about Hefner? For those that lived through the Thatcher era 'The Day that Thatcher Died' is pure heaven. Nice touch boys with the youngsters singing their hearts out for the chorus. And what can i say about the beautiful vocals proved by Amelia? She is heavenly and can only enhance the songs.
I could gush along some more about the boys, but just go out and buy it or order it on-line and play it till you can get to see them live. I LOVE HEFNER - there's only one f in Hefner!
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on 18 October 2000
The main theme is London. And, according to lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Darren Hayman, the secondary themes are 'shoes and having sex on the floor'. It's certainly not your average concept LP, then. But, for Hefner, the introduction of a brass section, and female backing vocals (provided by Amelia Fletcher of Talluah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research) for this record was enough of a departure. And why not? Hefner have always had the knack for a catchy folk song. In the main, this record maintains that.
The title song and top 50 'hit' Good Fruit are amongst the best songs the band have ever recorded, and on these numbers the sharper production of We Love The City seems most comfortably used. Latest single The Greedy Ugly People and Painting And Kissing meanwhile deviate little from the classic Hefner blueprint, and in this much are also effective. Whilst She Can't Sleep No More, and The Day Thatcher Dies wobble dangerously close to Blur circa '96, the later repleat with the embarrassing inclusion of children singing (when has a song ever been improved by such a thing? ) the record just about survives it's weaker second half with dignity in tact. Helped admirably by delicate closing number Your Head To Your Toes, one of three out and out love songs on the album.
It's probably not as good as the first two LPs, with the marvellous juxtapostion of sexual and religious imagery of earlier times disapointly absent here, but it's still music to fall in love with, if you're as guilty as Darren is of being 'in love with being in love'. Kick of your shoes and enjoy...
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on 17 October 2000
indeed there are two hefners out there, one who write tunes and one that certainly doesnt, but for now "we love the city". 14 days in the making, or thereabouts and whew what a journey through the highs , lows and inbetweens. this there third album, and although self produced it is as polished as a wee polished thing, its sexy, glamourous and horn-(y)..... too compare the hefner of the fidelity wars with the hefner of we love the city would be childish, they are a changed band, jack has gone full time, amelia fletchers pressence is felt all over the album and and where theres hooks, theres brass! the next single must be the day that thatcher dies, and it is worthy of a placing in the fab 40, as much as all the songs go though, yet another flawless album, even if the greater london radio hints at pink floydd. so all you punk rock kids and hip hop boys and even the heavy metal girls, give little baby hefner a home this christmas, you wont regret it.
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on 17 October 2000
Name me a bad Hefner song and I will hit you because you're lying. Here are twelve new tracks that reinforce my view that this is the best band in Britain right now by a long stretch. Who cares about the quality of Darren's voice (which is underrated, at least it has a bit of passion in it) or the apparent lack of innovation for which they are criticised - these are fantastic, witty, timeless songs. Buy all their albums now. They haven't been out of my CD Player for months, and this one will be no exception. And if only the band would send me a signed copy of "Hymn For The Alcohol" my life would be totally complete
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on 5 October 2000
Hefner have always been the antithesis of the polished rock acts of the 80's and 90's. As Darren boasted on the Hefnet site during the recording of this record, whilst the likes of Embrace utilise up to 12 vocal takes for one solitary song, he does 12 before breakfast.
So, what do we have here? More of the same high quality actually. For people who care about passion and heartfelt sentiment then this is the band. They are more polished than before but they are also better and more together. Miti has again done an excellent job and songs like 'The Greedy Ugly People' and the fantastic 'Greater London Radio' clearly show this. Excellent stuff.
My only (miniscule) gripe is that the band no longer sounds like the bedsit band that they once were - or at least sounded like! I recommend this album to fans and beginners alike - it is probably their most accessible album yet...also, quite possibly their best.
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on 17 October 2000
Two of the reviews on this page have been due to a case of mistaken identity. There are two Hefner's you see, this one, a London indie band on Too Pure, and Hefner the solo artist, who makes slightly dull dance music which sounds like a slow version of M-People.
Anyway, this new album from Hefner the band is brilliant. Their last album proper, "The Fidelity Wars", was one of the greatest albums I've ever had the pleasure to listen to, and "We Love The City" can only be seen as an improvement. The sound is lusher and the arangments are bigger. And yet Darren's vocals and lyrics are still the focal point, and are only getting more brilliant. Brimming with bedsit angst, this is soulful indie pop at its very best. Highly recommended,this album will almost certainly be my album of the year. Buy without fear, and don't let the other negative reviews put you off.
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on 20 October 2000
Hefner have been one of the best bands of recent years for those of us who like our music intelligent & bittersweet. "Breaking God's Heart" and "The Fidelity Wars" are both simply excellent albums. So how does this compare? Well, ok...
The band's sound has definitely filled out and it is a good album, with some great songs (esp. Painting And Kissing). However, the songs are patchier. For example, "Greater London Radio" and "She Can't Sleep No More" are completely missable (and not as good as some of Hefner's recent b sides). And then there's the truly awful "The Day That Thatcher Dies".....
So overall, it's a good album, but if I was recommending a CD to a first time Hefner buyer, I'd have to say 'leave this till last, and go buy Fidelity Wars'. Every song on FW is a gem and that's not true of this.
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on 17 October 2000
If you do then make sure that you buy this record, another great set of folk pop tunes from London's finest. Their fourth album is a beautifully composed hymn to all that I love about living in the city, and everything that frustrates me. Darren Hayman's songs about city living and the often wierd world of human relationships are laced with a wicked humour, so that even when the worst is happening he still has half a grin on his face.
This album also highlights Hefner's musical progression, from '98's lo-fi Breaking God's Heart, to tight brass arrangements and supplementary vocals from indie diva Amelia Fletcher.
This is one in a million, and if you don't listen then you've only yourself to blame!
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on 17 October 2000
Much as I'd love to say what tuneless drivel the other Hefner are, I've never had the pleasure of hearing their work, so I'll stick to the point: this Hefner have made a beautiful heart-wrenching album which is a fantastic listen from start to finish. It's about as polished as they've ever been, which is not very - compared with most. So they're less worried about some bum notes, and more with the real emotion of the songs - and of that there's plenty. Let's hope some of this genius is on display in the forthcoming Umbrella Heaven LP, which I believe Darren Hefner has had a hand in producing.
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on 22 October 2000
At a time when most British guitar bands are still keyed into the "pub rock" ethos of Oasis et al. Hefner produce music of real bite and character.
The clear Violent Femmes influence that characterised their early work is increasingly being subsumed into their own distinctive sound, which on this outing is augmented in parts by a horn section.
Sadly underrated in their own country and now apparently finding their name usurped by a middling dance act, this paean to the city of London is deserving of wider attention.
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