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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miles and co's tracks of the trade signal stellar return
After all the criticism that went with the last long player (was it a 'proper Wonder Stuff album' or just a Miles Hunt project with the Stuffies badge badly sewn on etc), this outing sees the four official members bedding down and delivering something that amounts to at least a partial 'return to form'.
From the rousing opening number,...
Published on 22 Feb. 2006 by chriscolverd

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but not up to the Stuffies standard
On it's own terms, this is a good solid rock record. At first I thought most of the songs were unremarkable (and I still think about 30% of the CD is pretty unremarkable) but the record did grow on me. Not enough to give it an enthusiastic recommendation, but it's worth a listen if you're curious.
I will say that the record is not up to the standard...
Published on 9 Mar. 2006


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miles and co's tracks of the trade signal stellar return, 22 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
After all the criticism that went with the last long player (was it a 'proper Wonder Stuff album' or just a Miles Hunt project with the Stuffies badge badly sewn on etc), this outing sees the four official members bedding down and delivering something that amounts to at least a partial 'return to form'.
From the rousing opening number, 'Tricks of the Trade', it's clear that this is more the result of a band pulling in the same direction again and sharing ideas as a unit but still with the unmistakeable Hunt hallmarks. The first half of the album barely hits a duff note; standout tracks in the form of the aforementioned opener, the first single 'Blah Blah La Di Dah', the punchy 'Say it Ain't So' and the gorgeous, reflective 'The Sun Goes Down on Manor Road' invoke thoughts of "Stuffies classics in the making". These tracks could be from any era really and are bound to feature in setlists for a while to come, sitting perfectly amongst the old favourites. Tricks of the Trade and Manor Road especially, are about as infectious as anything they have ever done. In a nutshell, it starts off sounding like a Wonder Stuff album should (it's mixed better than the last one too): lyrics and tunes up to scratch (Angelica Maybe is a minute or two too long perhaps, but patience folks - Miles has another story to tell), a fuller sound (helped by Erica Nockalls' excellent violin playing) and you find yourself asking if the second half of the album can get any better!
The answer, sadly, is no. Much of what is left isn't up to the standard of the first few tracks; even though they do improve with repeated listens, there isn't quite the musical exhileration and bite of the opening barrage of songs. Even the great albums contain the odd filler but perhaps the tracklisting could have been slightly better? It's a minor gripe, all things considered as - on the whole - this is better than anything Mr Hunt and co have delivered in absolutely ages! Many early reports (talking about actual fans, not two-bit industry hacks) summed it up that there's something for everyone on this album. That's not far off the mark.
The best way to approach this album, however, is as the first proper offering from the Wonder Stuff as they are now; with the 'new boys' Mark and Andres as much a part of the group as old hands Miles and Malc; all mucking in and making this better than a lot of the rubbish out there. Many bands would take twice as long to come up with something half this good. So, this time, accept it - this IS The Wonder Stuff. And they're sounding pretty great to me. Maybe the definitive Stuffies album is still yet to come...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Returning to form, 22 Feb. 2006
By 
Mr. Graham Colebeck "gcolebeck" (Bournemouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
Well, the second album from the reformed Stuffies... the headline news is that they (or rather Miles perhaps) are returning to Wonder Stuff form rather than an extension of Miles' solo work (which definitely has its highlights but a generally different feel). More good news is that Miles seems to be finding his cynicism rather than the increasing bitterness that had been marking previous outings.
This album itself is not perfect, it does tail off towards the end but there are plenty of "proper" Wonder Stuff tracks to get your teeth into (Tricks of the Trade, Blah Blah are immediate stand outs).
Overall, it's not quite up there with Hup, Never Loved Elvis or Groove Machine but it's a superb fourth place!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return to Form, 31 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
Anyone who listened to Escape From Rubbish Island as I did may have got a sinking feeling when first playing Suspended by Stars.
But it didn't take long for that feeling to be replaced by smiles, this album marks a return to form.
As others have said songs like 'Blah Blah...' 'Tricks of the Trade' and my 2 favourites 'We Hold Each Other Up' and 'Last Second of the Minute' are just classic Wonder Stuff songs.
If you've had any interest the the band before, buy this album.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality, 28 Feb. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
Wow!!! I really wasn't expecting much of this album, i had read some great reviews but i thought Miles must have sent the reviewers a bottle of whisky each. I didn't rate 'Escape From Rubbish Island' that highly but this album rocks. Right from the word go its like instant classic Wonder Stuff but bang up to date sounding at the same time. The new fiddle player is totally cool, its hard to say what this album sounds like compared to other their other albums cos it contains a little bit of all of them and something fresh too. I love it, the creative juices are still flowing. Its a shame this won't get the exposure of other newer guitar bands because it stands head and shoulders above a lot of other pants out there polluting the airwaves. I don't wanna go song by song or talk about Miles's famous sneer, the great production or the quality and freshness (sounds like a bunch of bananas!!) of the tunes from a band celebrating its 20th birthday. Just get this record. Its cool. You won't be disapointed.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Solid but not up to the Stuffies standard, 9 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
On it's own terms, this is a good solid rock record. At first I thought most of the songs were unremarkable (and I still think about 30% of the CD is pretty unremarkable) but the record did grow on me. Not enough to give it an enthusiastic recommendation, but it's worth a listen if you're curious.
I will say that the record is not up to the standard of classic TWS CDs. I've thought awhile, and what seems to be missing is the "joy of creation". The original lineup produced songs that sounded like the band was enjoying themselves (or at least enjoying playing). The musicianship is solid on all TWS records, but with the last two outings they don't seem to be having "fun".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the musical shorthand of genres and labels are redundant, 29 Jun. 2007
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
On the 19th March 2006, The Wonder Stuff turn 20. Twenty years ago the world was a very different place. Television stopped at midnight, the Internet existed only in the movies, and the country was in the grip of a violent misrule by a warmad harridan intent on selling off everything left to line the pockets of their cronies.

Not much changes then. And here we are, two decades on, and The Wonder Stuff - revamped into a smarter, rockier beast than their chartbound incarnation of a decade ago - are still at it. In some respects, with a Wonder Stuff album you know what you're going to get. And yet, you don't.

It starts with a simple, single guitar tone, and then it goes everywhere. "Tricks Of My Trade" clearly sets the agenda. Almost, in some respects a Musical Year Zero, a restatement of intent : The Wonder Stuff clearly aren't messing around... "Those were different times, my mind a different place ... I still have so much left to do."

The same biting roaring noise, the same infectious and caustic lyrics made out of love and hate, big stadium rock, and yet, initimate and intelligent. Actually, to call it stadium rock is utter nonsense. Stadium rock is twaddle. This is - possibly - the best album they've made so far.

Blooding the studio debut of a longstanding lineup, "Suspended By Stars" is timeless. An immaculate production results in a record that sounds like both a classic rock record, and something that ONLY could've been released now. The songwriting - once Miles petulantly threw out anthems like "Radio Ass Kiss" and "Who Wants To Be The Disco King?" like a West Country Johnny Rotten - has matured.

Maturity is a frightening word. Not quite as frightening as immaturity, but not far off. Instead we get all the familiar old concerns, this time spat forth articulately and in the wrapping of an expansive, brilliant soundscape. I dread to think of The Wonder Stuff as classic rock, but this goes so far beyond the confines of the `indie' ghetto that the musical shorthand of genres and labels are redundant.

By turns flippant and angry, "Suspended By Stars" also does sincere in a way that Bono could only hope for. "We Hold Each Other Up" is the type of song that, by rights, should immediately usurp TheKeaneBoys and TheSnowChiefs in the `meaningful' stakes by virtue of the fact that it is both sincere, smart, and uncliched. Or boring.

The addition of new fiddle player Erica Nockalls expands the band : whilst the limitations of a rock four piece were hardly felt on the previous album, there's no doubt that the new stuff just feels more diverse, wider. "We Hold Each Other Up" suddenly unfolds into something big and beautiful when her dulcit, modern fiddle tones grab hold of the song. And suddenly the song moves from a dedicated black & white to a colour panorama.

Elsewhere, The Stuffies show that they can do exactly what they did in 1991, except now they can do better : "The Popular Choice" is just one assasination of whatever the British call Culture these days, "Blah Blah La Di Dah" is equally successful at being brash, silly, honest and self-lacerating. (A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.)

"BlahBlah" also has the honour of being possibly the best Wonder Stuff song of all time. I say possibly, because there's a lot of competition. But it's certainly everything every old Wonder Stuff song wanted to be.

Aside from a couple of potential misfires (more down to my personal tatse than any particular shortfall in quality or style), "Suspended By Stars" is a consistent and quality experience that shows the pale young indie boys who weren't even born when they started : This Is How It's Done. The pretenders to the throne should hand back the crown now. Because the young men who want to sound old are getting boring, and to be boring is the biggest crime there is.

And this is so much more than they could ever hope to achieve.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars timewarp, 1 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
Listening to this album made me feel like I had stepped back in time to an alternate 1996 in which the stuffies didn't call it a day at the phoenix festival. Single blahblahladidah is a stuffies classic as is the opening track, tricks of the trade. We hold each other up is a slow burner that grows on you like a creeper vine.
This is an excellent album, all wonderdtuff fans need this, and everyone else should give it a go.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Wonder Stuff, 10 May 2006
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
This is the Wonder Stuff at their best, with a set of catchy tunes that hook you straight away. Tricks OF The Trade is a great opener, but my favourite tracks are 'Angelica Maybe' and 'Sun Goes Down..'. Great album that holds its own amongst a batch of great new British bands
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4.0 out of 5 stars come on stuffies fans, 22 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
hey no review for this very good wonderstuff album. the usual quality songwriting from miles hunt,the popular choice and say it aint so are as good as the classics.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Description For You All, 17 Jan. 2006
This review is from: Suspended By Stars (Audio CD)
Product Description:
Suspended By Stars is the most definitive Wonder Stuff album to date. Written by the whole band, this album has the rawness of Eight Legged Groove Machine, the folksiness of Hup, the maturity of Construction For The Modern Idiot with an overall feel of Never Loved Elvis mainly thanks to the superb fiddle playing by new member Erika Nockles. With 18 Top 20 singles and 3 top 10 albums under their belt, this album will be released on the band's 20th Anniversary of forming. Mixed by the legendary Paul Tipler (80's Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Suede, Stereolab, Frank Black, Elastica Star Sailor), the album combines the Indie rock Folk pop sound in a way that will not disappoint. IRL. 2006.
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Suspended By Stars
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