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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 22 January 2003
James, Laid, is one of the seminal albums of the 90's. As mentioned elsewhere, this is completely different from everything else they've done, which, in my opinion, is something of a bonus.
Laid and Low... are two very witty songs with cracking, catchy, tunes. Lullaby & Skindiving are entrancing while Out to Get You submerges you in their vibe instantaneously. Songs are attempted from a whole range of angles and speeds but the slightly dreamy tone is never lost. It is the perfect album stoned yet a drunkard will always manage to sing along. One can just sit and listen but, equally, I found it useful writing my dissertation.
Say Something and Laid are probably the most well known tunes on the album but please don't think they characterise it. The whole (ignore the bonus tracks, as interesting as the are) is much greater than the sum of it parts.
A true masterpiece this really didn't sell enough records. If you like catchy tunes, good singing (some nice harmonies), interesting drumming, wicked lyrics, spot on production, and grown men dressed in skirts eating bananas: buy it and help James get the recognition they deserve.
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on 21 December 2011
Not to disagree with the rest of the reviewers on here - this is a fantastic record and in my top ten. Maybe top five. I bought it on (far too quiet) tape when I was (nearly) 14. I listen to it every winter. This may seem empty, considering this album came out nearly 20 years ago, but I am confused to see people reviewing this album as one that is 'perfect for a Sunday afternoon' or 'getting over a hangover' This is a dark, very dark album. The lyrics here deal with the loss of a sense of self as an adult when faced with loneliness, doubting the loving connection between two people, the pressures of coming to terms with the expectations of adult life, mental illness, failed communication, the despair of monogamy.... that's the first side.

Maybe people don't listen to lyrics, but this has opened my mind, repeatedly for 18 years.

Oh and yeah, if they (and 'Eno Collaboration') had had the sense to leave out Low Low Low, this would be one of those rare un-skippable albums.
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on 30 September 2005
This is one of the most gorgeous albums I own. From the barely perceptible bass opening of 'out to get you' to the overly boisterous (by comparison!) 'low low low' and 'laid' there is not a weak song on the record. Most of the tracks are mellow and haunting, with occasional breaks for more up-tempo numbers. Amazingly they do not clash but work together to create an album far greater than the sum of its individual tracks. I have always felt that 'electioneering' let Radiohead down on 'OK Computer' because it sat so uneasily with the rest of the album. How James have managed to weave such different songs together to such good effect on 'Laid' still baffles me.
PS is one of my favourite songs of all time. The slide guitar is simple yet utterly beautiful and ushers in a wonderful melancholic song.
This album has seen in many a sunrise with me and soothed away almost as many hangovers. It is perfect in both situations. Everybody should have this record in their collections, without exception.
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Produced by Brian Eno, this album is imaginative as it is professional, playful and laid-back, and his skills serve as an enormous boost to the band's incredible songwriting. Eno also supplied additional vocals on Five-O and Dream Thrum, and played bass and keyboards on certain tracks. On the title track, James deals with the disparities of love in a delirious fashion, howling strategically over a surging stream of sound. Sometimes is a quirky piece of power-pop, while other gripping numbers include Knuckle Too Far, Skindiving and Low Low Low. The cast responsible for putting together this classic album deserve applause for their meticulous attention to detail and the beautiful arrangements. It's lively, melodic, full of unexpected hooks and engaging melody lines. Without a doubt some of the best melodic rock of the 90's.
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on 24 May 2016
Laid is one of the best 1990's records, and here it's also issued with the extra album of material that nearly made Laid a double-album. I wish James would return to this wonderfully atmospheric, guitar based spacial material that Eno brilliantly coaxed out of them 23 years ago - and leave behind the heavy, multi-layered synth sound of recent records.
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on 6 December 2000
...and to think I was just passing Safeway at the time. I nipped in to see what CDs they had and there it was: Laid for half the price of a current 'trendy' chart CD.
But give me this any day. Personal preference will decide whether you like each track (there isn't a bad one on it) but as a collection it takes some beating. And in Five-O they have created a haunting piece of atmospheric genius; try listening to it loud on headphones!
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on 4 January 2009
This for me is James at their peak, its an almost perfect album (they should have left Low,Low,Low off not the best tune and doesnt sit right with the other songs)
The production by Eno is sparse but at the same time so ambient and uplifting.
I just realised the other day that Five-O is the most played song on my Itunes, the lyrics are beautiful and the overall sound is so atmospheric, its amazing.
Dream Thrum, One of the Three and P.S are also outstanding.
Its well up there in my top albums of all time.
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on 22 January 2001
My joint favourite James albumn (along with Millionaires), Laid reaches deep into me and caresses my soul with its spectral fingers.
A far cry from the vigourous Seven, Laid is gentle, yet meaningful. Songs like 'One of the Three' and 'Dream Thrum' strike you instantly as being pure masterpieces. 'Sometimes' is an awesome track where the cadence of Booth's vocals competes perfectly with strumming of the music.
A brilliant choice for anyone.
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on 21 June 2015
I always liked this album, a bit of a slow burner, with songs creeping into your consciousness on repeated listens. It sounds fantastic on vinyl, I'm glad I went to the expense of purchasing it again. The CD doesn't really do it justice.
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on 26 January 2002
When LAID came out in '93, not only was it totally different from what people expected of James, but it was also one a few classic albums the '90s produced. It was such hailed at the time by the astute music papers, although sales were rather disappointing compare to previous records.
Listening to this record today, reveals why it sounded like a classic back then. Songs like "Five-O", "Sometimes", "Out To Get You", and "P.S" are, to use an over used term, absolutely timeless. Brian Eno's production is perfect. Every song has a life of it's own. This was the best that James got, they knew it and it was a shame the rest of the world didn't catch on. It's long over due for recieving the title, Classic.
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