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15
4.6 out of 5 stars
The House We Built
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£14.98+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2001
Once again, we see an example of how the best music is often the most overlooked. Alisha's Attic have proven themselves to be amazingly talented singers and songwriters time and again, yet a big, stupid chunk of the British public constantly ignores them in favour of inferior, manufactured trash. In this, their 3rd outing, they have shown a much more mature side to their ability, though still retaining some of their beautiful quirkiness in the songs. These girls aren't afraid to experiment, and it shows, in songs such as 'Pilot', Pretender Got My Heart' and 'If You Want Me Back'. 'The House We Built' may not have reached the top 10, as it deserved, but Karen and Shellie are one of the few bands around today that signal hope for the future of music. Well done Girls!!^_^
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I'm writing a rather belated review for this incredible album. I should have done it sooner as it's a real treasure.
Alisha's Attic were always the outcasts of pop; always just a bit too out-there and kooky to make an impact on the charts. Ultimately, it was their lack of promotion and subsequent low record sales that sealed their fate and it's a real shame.
The House We Built was produced by Bill Bottrell (he of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Sheryl Crow fame) and in his own words is 'the greatest record i've ever worked on'.
The House We Built is an album packed with magic and originality, something which is severely lacking in modern music today. It's full of spark, clever observations and beautiful harmonies. A record that immediately picks you up and out of a bad mood and puts you 'on a vibe'
Organic and simple (the girls made a concious effort to strip the album of all manufactured sound) the album has it's heart firmly-wedged in a sound reminiscent of the 60s; Karen & Shellie's musical influences, such as Dusty Springfield & The Mamas And Papas, totally leaving their mark.
Highlights have to be the epic 'Pretender Got My Heart' and it's soaring chorus of oohs and ahhs; romantic and haunting in it's telling of a false love and it's misplaced expectations. 'Perfectly Happy' is another stand-out; the girls' interpretation of the classic 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', with a rather pessimistic undertone - quite unlike the idealistic original!
This is an album to be savoured and adored, full of beauty and truth.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2001
Well, I hate to fly in the face of the prevailing opinion, and I fully admit I'm obviously the exception here, but this album didn't quite do it for me. Sorry!
I think your response to this album will probably depend a lot on what you thought of their previous album, Illumina. If you liked it, you'll love The House We Built. If, like me, you preferred the quirky, synth-pop surprises, melodies and harmonies of Alisha Rules The World, and found Illumina a bit flat and lacking, you might not. To me, Illumina's straight-forward guitar, drum and bass setup seemed to be a bit of an enforced change of direction in the absence of Dave Stewart's production and a weaker collection of songs - "we might not have anything unusual but hey! we're a 'proper' band now" - and the trend is continued here.
Again, it's only my opinion, but the songs and arrangements on The House We Built (with three exceptions) seem really very dull and without melody, and the lyrics are uninspired. They're still trying to cram too many words into a line and the crass man-bashing sounds tired and automatic. But there is an upside ...
It's impossible to dislike the sisters too much, and the three standout songs - The House We Built, Pretender Stole My Heart and If You Want Me Back - are truly superb.
I think I was expecting the album to be more like their first rather than their second, and this is obviously not the direction they're moving in. As such it's probably just not my sort of thing any more, which is why I didn't get on with it. But I thought it was worth posting a review to get this angle in, not simply to slag it off but because others might feel the same way too.
Full apologies to those who loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2001
Alisha's Attic are one of those bands that you might hear a few singles buy and you like them all, but you never get round to buying their album. If that is you, then you are missing out on A LOT! With one of the most original albums this year, Alisha's Attic are back on the scene! The influences are very eclectic; "perfectly happy" sounds like it could be part of a 50s musical, "pretender got my heart" has clearly spent some time in hungary, and "sex is on everyones tongue" has a laid back western feel. Produced by Bill Bottrell (of Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow, and Shelby Lynne fame), this album recorded in Mendocino, CA, takes on the relaxed and observational atmosphere of its birth place. There are no contrived lyrics or cheesy pop songs in this house, all are sincere and thoughtful, with a twist of ironic tongue and cheek. "it is the way pop music SHOULD sound" Shellie Poole tells us, and rightly so, because this is REAL music, from the heart. This is one of the best albums i have ever heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2001
The dynamic duo of Karen and Shellie Poole return with their third studio album under the auspicious direction of master craftsman Bill Bottrell. The resulting album is a fine blend of edgy pop melodies and sharply crafted lyrics. Fans of previous Alisha's Attic albums will find a wealth of new material here and will certainly not be disappointed. For the uninitiated this album will prove to be a great introduction. Beautifully crafted ballads such as the haunting melodies of Pretender Got My Heart and the excellent Pilot sit alongside the trademark quirkiness of Perfectly Happy. Other standout tracks include the bouncy sound of That Other Girl and the gentle ballad that is If You Want Me Back, this is one of those rare albums that contains hardly anything in the way of filler material. In fact I personally found the weakest of the tracks to be the title track, and even this is certainly not without its charm. All in all this is definitely an album that should find its place in everyone's collection, I am sure that no one will be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2001
The long awaited 3rd album from the 2 classiest essex girls you will ever meet is finely coming out! It also sees a new direction for the Attics. Gone are the synths and drum machines- they have been replaced my wineglasses and warm strings. The album starts off with the laidback "Sex is on everyones Tongue"- an outlook on the current sex scene. The album also sees Alisha's Attic flying on "pilot", a hot contender for the next single. The chug-a-chug guitars and sweeping strings give a sense of just taking off and escaping from it all. Hit single "push it all aside" is reminiscent of 1997 hit "indestrucible" and details Karen and Shellies love hate relationship..."Nothing could be sweeter than loving eachother!" Perhaps the album's strongest track is current single "Pretender got my heart" as featured on the Bridget Jones Soundtrack. More sweeping strings and slightly gypsyish melodies give it an EasternEuropean quality. Tha single, out soon, features the mini-movie or videoclip, as well as an acoustic version of "if you want me back"-another album track with sweetly sung harmonies and gorgeous acoustic guitars. This will be one of the albums of the year, BUY IT!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2001
Alishas Attic may not make much of an impact on the charts but they sure do in my music collection. After the dissapointment of "Illumina" the girls have gone back to their roots in an album that, although doesn't quite match up to their debut, has a pretty good crack at doing so.
Better tracks include "Sex is on everyone's tongue", the album's title track "The House That We Built", the two singles ("Push It All Aside" and "A Pretender Got My Heart") and the irrestabley catchy "If You Want Me Back",
If I had to say something bad about this album I would comment that the music in places seems cheaply produced and often rushed. Any tips for the girls? Well I suggest they work more on their lyrics which now seem to be getting just a tad repetitive.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2001
Sometimes I don't think Britain deserves Alisha's Attic. People would much rather stick their thumbs in their ears and buy derivative drivel from the latest TV-manufactured "band". Shellie and Karen, on the other hand, sing their own powerful, melody-charged songs with skill, passion, charm and humour. The result is a treat for those who remember what real pop music is all about. Wake up, Britain!
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on 6 December 2009
Not a lot I can add to earlier reviews of this excellent album, other than to point out that, at its current price, it is an outstanding bargain. The cheapest House you'll buy - that's for sure! And no Council Tax to pay.
The fact that Alisha's Attic are no longer recording is a great loss to popular music. But what an outstanding way to bow out.
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on 8 December 2012
Illumina is still their best album. This one is a good album but as a Alishas Attic nut, Illumina is still the best one.
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