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on 7 June 2010
Bill Callahan again worked with Jim O'Rourke on this 1999 album. It's more expansive and diverse than previous album Red Apple Falls, indeed poppier, though it features a downright odd picture of a cat on the front!

The album opens with a sparse simple track, Let's Move To The Country, consisting of Bill Callahan singing over a cello and a barely strummed guitar, but he follows this up with guitar anthem Held, which contains a great riff and beat. River Guard is a somewhat lengthy track, starting with the merest of guitar strums, before a wonderful piano part enters the mix. It's a beautiful melody which builds up with percussion and more piano, before a grear electric guitar before the end and gripping images in the lyrics ("stand there on a cliff with gooseflesh").

He completely changes the mood with the first of his experiments featuring a children's choir, the throwaway No Dancing, to which he sees fit to add heavy guitar and horns. He called this his album for teenagers, though I can't imagine this being a teen anthem, however singalong it is! Teenage Spaceship is another brooding track with more gorgeous piano, while Cold Blooded Old Times is another uptempo, poppy tune featuring "the type of memories that turn your bones to glass" over strummed guitar.

After the moody Sweet Treat, Hit The Ground Running is another track featuring the children's choir over a Velvet Underground-ish groove while Bill Callahan drawls agreeably through the song. The final 2 tracks return to the default Smog setting of sparseness. The album is a bit all over the place so it's not a good one in terms of setting a mood, but it is probably his most trademark album in terms of the `Smog sound'.
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on 16 May 2008
Still listening to knock knock again and again and again years after buying it. This LP is one of the strongest USA indie LP's of the 90's. The instrumentation is SO original, rhythms beat on strings, chords strum on percussion, vocals swoon with deep mystical melancholy.......GOD knows what he's on about, it's all allegory for dualistic meaning of life stuff,Tunes seep so effortlessly from this LP, rhythms to make you dance and words that make you feel all wise as you sing them, perfect 5 stars with out a doubt!
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on 20 April 2000
After 5 solid, interesting but low key albums, Bill Callahan's Smog have finally cracked it. With his best tunes yet like "Hit the ground running" and "Cold blooded old times" this is not only Smog's best album yet, but one of the essential purchases of 1999.
If you havn't yet discovered the pleasures of Smog this is the perfect place to start.
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on 5 January 2015
Bill Callahan at his best.
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on 16 July 2008
Quite simply, this album is perfect. I brought it on a whim after reading up on the band and have never looked back. I have since gone back and ordered the entire back catalouge i was impressed that much. To make a comparison with other bands, i would have to say Tindersticks and Richard Hawley, but that wouldnt be fair. Smog sound like Smog, and you should all own this album
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on 2 December 2015
great!
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on 26 May 2011
me. an ive got yor wife an kids unless you pay up.
yeh it be a real nice album. some say it be too poppy. but not i. for i like it.
just cant listen to it cos that freakin cat. christ it scary.
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on 27 February 2015
Fantastic service, quick postage, will definitely use again - thank you!
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on 15 August 2000
Rather dark, singer song writer folky type music with a number of references to childhood. Each song is a nostalgic journey; easy to have as background music until you listen to the poignant lyrics from "Cold Blooded Old Times" - my particular favourite. The kids singing on some of the songs prevents me from awarding this CD anymore than 3 stars. Still worth a listen though.
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on 4 January 2002
This is decent music and decent music should not need comparisons for promotion - just give it a go.
Why is it decent? Well firstly a label that knows music has put it out, secondly it has a sense of individuality and thirdly you can hear it is done with soul/passion and that's all you need to know (for future reference these are constants that link most good music). If you like decent music buy it - simple as really.
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