16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a heartbreaking work of staggering genius
can't remember the last time I bought an album, played it all the way through and THEN played it again...this is utterly beautiful and utterly personal- a few tracks in, I felt like I'd inadvertently stumbled across someone's diary; a few more, like someone had removed their skin in my kitchen..
don't let that put you off!The best album I've heard this year,...
Published on 8 Oct 2006 by Miss Nunhead
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Clark
I bought this after watching The Michael Clark Co recently in Manchester. The first part of the show was dancing to 6 tracks from this album. What a revelation, the way Michael interpreted the songs, which made me go and buy it. After playing it a number of times i do find that some of the songs seem similar. But it was worth buying for a number of tracks on it.
Published 1 month ago by Mr. G. Blair
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treasure,
Musically it is minimal, suiting the reflective mood of most tracks. If instrumentation is not neccessary it hasnt been added - a times it reminds me of Simon and Garfunkel or maybe Brian Wilson, partly for the multi-tracked harmonising Green does, but it also has some of that same mood and careful use of dynamics.
As you'd expect with this band (artist?) the lyrics often seem to be games with words, at times slightly disturbing. They get swapped round in a few places to give different meanings, which I like e.g. "If you tell me again I'll touch Mrs Hughes". I'm not actually sure what he's singing about most of the time, which is fine with me.
Rare to buy a record nowadays that is full of interesting ideas and stands up to repeated playing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm just chuffed...,
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revenge of the Defiantly Quiet,
WBBB is most definitely a callback to Green's first three albums (Songs to Remember, Cupid & Psyche 85, Provision) - incorporating the bizarre, lush lyrical dexterity of STR (remember 'Lions After Slumber'?), the cool, calm and collected whispering of Provision, and the dynamic commercial punch Cupid managed to deliver so well. It's a huge melting pot, which may not be immediately likeable musically, but is certainly admirable lyrically upon first glance.
WBBB is perhaps Green's most adventurous album lyrically (see 'Cooking', 'Dr. Abernathy' and 'Mrs. Hughes' especially), yet in terms of what we receive in terms of music, it's yet another area Scritti Politti can have said to have encompassed ~ minimalism. WBBB is a simple, gentle jog, through minor-key chords, slow acoustic strumming, choral arrangements and tunes so simple that, unlike some of SP's most hi-eclectica moments, you'll have no problem humming to yourself days and weeks after hearing them. Green's voice, most admirably, still coos and serenades as cute and as bodiless as ever, with the added bonus that, this time around, it's more audible than ever - cast above his relaxing, downtempo compositions as if he is, somehow, gently floating above his own instruments.
WBBB is a remarkable showcase for both Green's song-penning ability and his musical aptitude (he recorded everything on the album himself in his own house!), yet may be a little lightweight for those who enjoyed SP's last three albums for their uptempo dynamism - this is clearly a step down in tempo, but, for the other lobby in the Scritti Politti debate, a step down in terms of kitsch.
Notably, not only was this album was released on Rough Trade, where SP's first line-up saw their fortunes take flight, but Green also takes it upon himself to thank David Gamson and Fred Maher, the duo who made up SP's lineup during Cupid and Provision. If, by any chance, this happens to be Green's final escapade (and knowing Green, it hopefully won't be), I myself would be extremely happy with the now firm, complete repetoire that WBBB has helped seal. Not one to match up to Cupid or Provision, but a very, very nice collection of songs that all 'serious' followers of Green cannot afford to idly dismiss.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the decade..,
3.0 out of 5 stars Michael Clark,
1.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BUY IT ON VINYL!,
This review is from: WHITE BREAD BLACK BEER [VINYL] (Vinyl)Brand new, first play, greatly disappointed to find that the vinyl is full of loud pops and crackles, much like a lot of modern vinyl. Seems that Rough Trade have had this LP pressed on poor (recycled?) vinyl. A great shame, since the album has been well mastered for vinyl and the dynamics are superb, really highlighting Greens unique voice and the excellent production. Rough Trade should take a lesson from ISO / Columbia, whose recent vinyl press of Bowies The Next Day was superb. As it is, this LP is unlistenable. I'll be going back to the CD.
UPDATE: Amazon replaced my copy. Full marks to Amazon for an easy and efficient returns process. Unfortunately the replacement copy is worse than the original. Noisy vinyl, loud cracks and pops through it, looks like a scuffed second hand record even though it's fresh out of the sealed sleeve. Avoid the vinyl version.
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply Superb.............,
This CD is breathtaking, songs you just cant get out of your head and makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck
Green Garsides finest by far, go and get it at a bargain price you wont be dissapointed
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...what an amazing find,
5.0 out of 5 stars Like they'd never been away...,
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserved Mercury nominee,
This review is from: White Bread Black Beer (Audio CD)Released on Nonesuch in the US and Rough Trade in the UK, 'White Bread, Black Beer' is the follow up to 1999's 'Anomie & Bonhomie.' Green Gartside returns after the hit and miss predecessor, which itself had been an 11 year wait follow-up to 1988's patchy `Provision.' Back on Rough Trade for the first time since debut `Songs to Remember', the artist who spent years perfecting `Cupid & Psyche 85' now opts for home-recording (something he shares with peers such as Mark Eitzel, David Sylvian & Paul Westerberg).
Relocated from Wales to East London and recently married, Green appears to be in a good place and has even returned to playing live as `Double G and the Treacherous 3' for the first time since a panic attack in 1980.The 14 songs here are the most diverse of Green's career, there was a sense with some Scritti-material, notably on `Provision', that he was writing the same song over and over - a bit like Scott Walker did on `Climate of Hunter.' A creative ennui suggested, though the hip-hop inflected `Anomie...' isn't as bad as I first thought. The home recorded nature of the work offers the contemporary electronic production style of the Neptunes & Timbaland, but without the grief. Clearly Green was in the mood to make a record and spurred on by his return to Rough Trade and collaboration with Kylie, he's as great as ever.
The single and opening track `The Boom Boom Bap' sounds like the perfect pop song and deserves to be a hit - then again, so did `Tinseltown to the Boogiedown' and `First Goodbye.' It's not alone - I think `Petrococadollar', `Snow in Sun', `Locked', & `Dr Abernathy' could all be hits...if that kind of thing matters. `The Boom Boom Bap' is at once an ode to old school hip hop (a verse devoted to titles from Run DMC's debut) and a declaration of love for his wife. "I love you still, I always will..." is much more certain than the titles of 1981's The "Sweetest Girl", where certainty itself was put into doubt. `Petrococadollar' might have a title not far from early track `opec-immac', but is a gorgeous electro-soul track that demands attention - Scritti have just signed to Nonesuch in the U.S. and I can see this song being a hit there.
"No Fine Lines" feels like one of Scritti's gorgeous soulful moments crossed with Eric Satie and Boards of Canada, which contrasts against the folky R'N'B of "The Road to No Regret", which taps into Green's early influence of folk music. There's a hint of acoustic folk in the intro and outro of `Dr Abernathy', though the main song in the centre veers off into 1960s psychedelia, recalling The Beatles `Dr Robert', The Pretty Things' `SF Sorrow' & The Zombies. It's up there with similarly sixties inflected work by The Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dukes of Stratosphear. "Cooking" is another rockier track not that far from the last album; while `Snow in Sun' sounds like a contemporary take on Brian Wilson - is a `Smile' for the zeroes in the making? (God only knows we need it...)
There are a few patchy tracks here, notably `After Six', which makes OMD's `Sailing on the Seven Seas' sound like a good idea, but I think Green has sacrificed perfection for a kind of DIY/sketched version of his songs. The live version of 'After Six' is much better than the one here by the way. I'm looking forward to their upcoming tour and rumours that Green is already planning the next record - it would be nice to see him become a bit more prolific! One of the highlights of the year and proof that pop is far from dead...My only gripe? - that the fantastic b-side 'Hands Up' was left off. This is one I'm backing with earth pounds to bag the Mercury Prize - Green's best album since 'Cupid & Psyche 85' at the very least...
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