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Kingsize
Format: Audio CDChange
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I had only really been previously aware of the Boo Radleys due to Wake up Boo! and a good friend and singer in my one-time band tipped me off about this album. It has now gone on the win the acolade of my 'favourite album' and I quite simply never tire of hearing it.
I beleive the trio of Kingsize, High as Monkeys and Eurostar are unrivaled as the heart of any album, for sheer beauty and showing a band's quality. These three alone make it an essential purchase, but don't think the other songs are any weaker for them, Comb Your Hair flows along effortlessly, with melodies and emotion lesser bands would kill for, the opener Blue Room in Archway, is joyously experimental, harking back to Giant Steps and the slower songs such as She Is Everywhere and Song From The Blue Room have a grace and intimacy unmatched in modern music.
Having subsequently bought all the band's albums, only the afore-mentioned Giant Steps comes close and the others have suffered unfortunately in the shadow of Kingsize and rarely graced my CD player. If rumours are to be beleived and the lack of success for this album was partly to blame for the band's split, then shame on the record buyers out there for denying us a follow-up
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2000
Martin Carr, Simon "Sice" Rowbottom, Tim Brown and Rob Ceika had released four albums without capturing the public attention. These four albums show a marked progression towards the creation of "perfect pop" and on their fifth album they seemed to have done it. Mention the Boo Radleys to your average joe and he could easily sing you the chorus of "Wake Up". At last it seemed the Boo's were ready to rescue a pop market that was dying fast and they had set themselves up for world domination. Then came "C'mon Kids" which although strong in places was certainly not perfect pop and served to diminish the Boo's new fanbase. It may seem a bit much to give a band's history when describing just one album but this is neccesary to truly understand what went into what turned out to be the bands final album. Perfect pop. The songs are the strongest of the bands career, Sice finally perfects his incredible vocal technique, the rhythm section gel perfectly and Martin Carr's guitar playing leaps from frail (Blue Room In Archway) to bruising (Free Huey) seamlessly. When I listen to this album I know it's the greatest record ever made. If the world had been listening as they were in 1996 this album would have revolutionised. As it is, it remains unknown, a reward for those who kept faith in a band capable of so much. If the album doesn't move you to tears then you are not listening hard enough. I know that lots of reviews say that you must own a record and I won't be so brash. You are simply not a complete individual if you don't.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 2 August 2000
This is the kind of album that you always knew the Boo Radleys could come up with, but were afraid they never would before they split. Both a fusion of their pop style from 'Wake Up!' and their spaced-out weirdness on 'C'mon Kids' and a progression from both albums, it's packed with simple, brilliant tunes. Check out 'Kingsize' for rousing anthemic happiness; 'She Is Everywhere' for subtle paranoia; or 'Jimmy Webb Is God' for affecting tribute. Whatever emotion you need, it's certain to be on this one glorious album, packaged by a band whose creativity was criminally under-recognised by the majority of music lovers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2000
Having a penchant for British pop music, I have to say The Boo Radleys is a fine example of that sound I am so fond of. "Heaven's At the Bottom of This Glass" is a perfect execution of their style. Yeah, they do sound a bit Beatlesesque, or like a less pissed off Oasis, but they still sound cool. And for anyone interested in the sounds of some lesser known, interesting American pop/rock bands, try gigolo aunts and splender.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2001
That the Boo Radleys split up shortly after the release of this LP is a crying shame, as is the fact that Kingsize was largely ignored by a music-buying public who evidently lost interest after the magnificent Giant Steps. If the wayward pop of Wake Up! didn't alienate you, then the carefree rock of C'mon Kids almost certainly did. Shame, really, 'cause Kingsize stamps all over those two LPs, and comes darn close to matching the majesty of Giant Steps.

Things get off to a fairly low-key (but thoroughly enjoyable) start with the archetypal Martin Carr glumness of Blue Room In Archway and The Old Newsstand In Hamilton Square, then the manic dance track Free Huey kicks in. That this flagrantly uncommercial track was the only release from an LP brimming with potential singles was typical of the Boos' eccentricity. Naturally, it flopped.

Things really start to get interesting with a trilogy of songs that rank right up with the Boos' best work. The title track is a real slow burner, lulling you into a false sense of security, then hitting you with a killer middle eight, and by the time Sice spits out the lyric "Politics is power / And power is a daily need", you'll be lucky if your head's still on the right way. The "I'm coming up for air" coda's pretty tasty too.

High As Monkeys follows, a glorious, rip-snorting amalgam of power-pop and psychedelia, glued together by harpsichord and strings, then Eurostar blows your head clean off your shoulders. Sice's voice never sounded better than on this particular gem; if you remain unmoved when he sings "You've been away too long / At times I feel so alone", I fear you may have no soul.

Elsewhere, Comb Your Hair again showcases the Boos' mastery of driving '60s-styled pop and introspective lyricism (not to mention witty; viz "We've both been sitting here too long / Turn it off, there's nothing on / The television will not be revolutionised"). The LP closes with another classic, The Future Is Now, which reflects (with a degree of optimism that permeates an atypical proportion of Kingsize) on the dawn of the new millennium to a backdrop of cheesy synths and unique harmonies.

Kingsize is, frankly, a criminally-ignored masterpiece which amply demonstrates why the Boo Radleys were one of the jewels in the rock music crown in the '90s. OK, so it bombed on release, but take my advice - if you already own one Boo Radleys LP, and it isn't Kingsize, then you must buy it. It really is that good.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
I love this album. I know one person who really doesn't like it. That's Martin Carr. Having met the guy, I told him how much I liked it, but he said that he was, rather than getting married, was heading towards a messy divorce. During this recording, he was smoking a lot of dope and not really connecting. If anything, the seeds of the band's demise were sewen here. But that doesn't stop Kingsize being touchingly wonderful. Jimmy Webb is God, Adieu Chloe Chloe, Blue Room in Archway, Free Huey. Ace stuff.
Having said that, it doesn't quite touch the peaks of the earlier more energetic work, and I still think that Giant Steps was Carr's crowning moment with the Radleys, just as his later work with Brave Captain goes even further. It would seem that ennui was really setting in, and perhaps the self-searching was beginning to turn into self-pity. So he stopped before it went really wrong.
Despite this, Carr seemed to find himseld with his solo work, and I can recommend Advertisements For Myself and GO With Yourself without reservation.
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