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3.3 out of 5 stars
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 May 2007
This is a tricky one, and all the more reason to attempt to review it. Browsing the existing reviews on this album would indicate to anyone that the listening public are quite divided on the quality of this release. Firstly, I can agree with some sentiments expressed below that initially there seemed to be something missing. I felt somewhat short-changed by Intercept! when I bought it - without knowing why. Looking back now, I can say that 9 and a half of the 11 tracks range from reasonable to very good.

The part of my brain that classifies music into small boxes and stores them between my ears still delivers the remaining 1.5 tracks to the small room marked `crap' at the back of the skull, no matter how many times I play them. The half track in question is To Be Loved, specifically the first 2 minutes 14 seconds of it - (the remaining 2 minutes 10 seconds are excellent). But the main offender that my brain refuses to warm to is `Waiting for You'. I can't stand it - this track has me scrambling for the skip button every time.
Highpoints - as usual there are some breathtaking pieces of music, As seen from Space, Breakfast at 80,000ft. and Exercise 7 are all very worthy Bent tracks. Even the initial dislike of Tired of the Show dissipated as I looked in my rear view mirror and saw my kids in the back seat singing along to this after a few listens- always a sure sign of a good track.
So, does this review make anything clearer? I'm not sure. All I can say is that the fact that one of the tracks is absolutely horrendous and makes it difficult to play the album right through, shouldn't dissuade you from the album as a whole. Can I recommend anything else? If you don't have it already, try Bent's Later mix album on Seamless. If you do, try Revolvo - Killing time between Meals on TummyTouch.
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on 15 December 2015
SLIGHTLY MORE EDGY SIDE OF BENT? This is really the more electric and poppy side of bent I would say. If you have heard the any of their other magical music you can see how this has a slightly different slant but I still like it. To me this is quite experimental and pushing new boundaries for them which shows as are versatile and they open the door to a new wave of electronica / daftronica. As their albums progress they never cease to impress me with re-hased melodies of a by gone era and weird wonderful backdrops to haunting and etherial vocals which you never really hear anywhere else. This album starts off with a more vibrant and electric almost punk feel. which si way different to Everlasting blink which has some really lovely mellow vocal tracks, Ariels is squishy and lovely and very chilled and feel good, where as Programmed to love is classic Bent tunes from the beginnng. You can feel their skills and talents expressed in various forms whilst keeping that signature bent flavour throughout. I can personally recommend Bents 'Art Of Chill' compilation also as it is beautifully thought out and chilled beyond your average typical chilled collection. If you like the funkier side of bent buy their Fabric offering it's disco, daft, funk, oldskool, melodic all wrapped in a mix. Look for works by each of the duo also as they have created some really beautiful stuff.
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on 1 September 2006
There are some fantastic tracks on here. Tired Of The Show and Waiting For You seems to be, as Simon puts it in the promotional text, "something that would work well live" - and particularly Waiting For You is something I really look forward to hearing live, along with To Be Loved! You can also feel the funk of Exercise 7, Stay Out All Night and we already know how to shake our booties to Leavin' Me thanks to their MySpace page.
The lovely chillout that we all love Bent for is of course also present. The short but sweet Wendy Darling and As Seen From Space along with the closing After All The Love is lovely stuff.
I have no complaints, really. I'm serious. Me. No complaints.

Oh, all right then. Tired Of The Show is a bit thin. But that's it. Promise.
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on 21 October 2006
I am a huge fan of Bent, own all of their albums and was eagerly awaiting the release of this album. I've gave it quite a few listens now and i'm afraid to say I feel that this latest collection of songs on 'Intercept' seem to lack something. They all sound very 'samey'. The fantastic sound and polished production is missing and the songs generally feel weak. On all earilier albums I usually find 2 or 3 songs which are really outstanding but in this latest venture, there seem to be none. The standout track on Intercept is no.3 'Stay out all night'. This is very catchy and instantly likeable but there are no other gems. Maybe they just wanted to make a few changes and try new things...

Having said all this, I will still eagerly await the release of their next album. These guys are really talented and have created many awesome songs. For anyone new to Bent, I strongly recommend the first album, 'Programmed To Love' and also 'The Everlasting Blink' which contains possibly their best song ever, 'Beautiful Otherness' featuring Jon Marsh on vocals and lots of lush deep bass! Outstanding!
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on 1 August 2009
Having bought all of the previous Bent recordings I was, for various reasons, a latecomer to Itercept! I bought it despite the one star reviews on these pages. How could Bent only gain one star? Time to make my own judgement.

In short, I think those who hanker after old school Bent should be happier with Intercept! than their previous release, Ariels. Not that there was anything wrong with the latter. On first hearing I could understand the reservations expressed in the reviews I had read. However, I have now listened to Intercept! several times and am now completely addicted, as I have been with all of their albums. Yes, a couple of the tracks have testing vocals, but the musical strength of those songs carry them. Overall there are some gems on Intercept! and Bent have progressed, certainly nor regressed, while maintaining their unique appeal.

One star reviews for Intercept! are to be ignored as they may act as a distraction to what is a fine purchase.
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on 20 March 2007
I was hugely excited when I found out that Bent had released a new album. I have enjoyed them since Programmed To Love, and I thought Ariels was one of the very best albums in 2004 - a truly awesome collection of songs. In fact Exercise 4 is an unbelievably good track.

So I rushed out to buy Intercept!, full of anticipation. ...and finished listening to it in a very disappointed state.

Most of the tracks are fine, but lack the sparkle of the best Bent material. Stay Out All Night is good, but that is the only track on the album that I would go out of my way to listen to.

However, three of the tracks (To Be Loved, Tired Of The Show and Waiting For You) have the WORST singer I can possibly imagine. The vocals on these tracks are ear-splittingly, embarrassingly hideous. A strained out-of-tune wailing is the most accurate description I can think of. These three tracks, which strive for some sort of 'rock' aesthetic, blight the whole album and drop it from a mediocre 3-stars to a "will I ever listen to it again?" 1-star. Such a shame because Bent had been so good previously at picking brilliant vocalists for their songs.

If you have been a fan of Bent's first three albums, approach this one with caution. You will probably want to buy it anyway, but don't have high expectations.

Here's hoping that album #5 is a return to form...
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on 15 May 2007
Now Im not one for long dissitations to describe the ins and outs of how I feel on a simple piece of work, but it seems everyone (and thankfully myself included) miss the greatness that we have to come to associate with the great band that is Bent. Whether like me youre a fan of the trippy dreamy instrumentals that fill your day with positivity no matter how down you feel (my particular favourites are "A New Wig For Me" and "Excercise 1" which both unsurprisingly enough are from their best album by far where I believe no one has had a better introduction to the music industry in "Programmed To Love"), or whether your taste is more in tune with the more melodramatic soothing voices that eminate from such masterpieces as "Irritating Noises" or "Private Road" they simply have faded away here. The best track this album offers is the Plaisir-esque "As Seen from Space" and that only lasts 2 and a half minutes. I strongly believe that someone should start a petition of some sort to help get the best band this planet has to offer back on track!
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on 6 November 2006
Oh dear indeed. Just like other premier ambient groove outfits who bombed; Masssive Attack with 100th Window, and Groove Armada with Love Box, our beloved Bent has fallen victim to the industry bad advice of a change in direction. Gone are Programmed to Love's careful layers of sounds, samples and surreptitious rhythms. Gone are the inspirational anthems and soothing lounge grooves of Everlasting Blink. And gone are the breathy female vocals so delightfully complementary in timbre from Ariels. In Coming Back Bent, don't let it be So Long Without you Sunday Boys, Always stay on that Private Road and more than anything Sing Me.
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on 20 February 2007
This album is seriously fun. I was a little scared when I heard they had produced something people could dance to more, but the first day of listening to this was just about the most natural wave your hands in the air whilst grooving between the living room and the kitchen fun I've had all year. Okay it's only February, but seriously - bravo.
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on 2 October 2008
I find myself agreeing with a previous reviewer - this is a difficult album to get to grips with.

What I like about Bent's previous work is the sweeping soundscapes they bring to their music, and there are still elements of that here. Indeed there are some genuinely stunning pieces of music here ("As Seen From Space" and "Stay Out All Night" to name but two).

However, interspersed with this are a some tracks in a completely different style ("Waiting For You", for example), and while in themselves those tracks aren't bad tracks ("Waiting for you" is reminiscent of Daft Punk), their positioning in amongst the sweeping soundscapes make them grate. After my first listen I didn't go near the album for months as all I could remember was how badly these types of music seemed to fit together.

And this is my difficulty with this album - to listen to it effectively you need to separate out the tracks into two separate playlists - the more usual (for Bent) epic melodic tracks, and the high energy male vocal tracks. That to my ears makes more sense and is more listenable.

Bands do change, and I'm all for that. However an album needs to work as one whole entity, playable from start to finish, to be truly great. Good though Intercept's component parts are, I'm not sure this one does.
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