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4.6 out of 5 stars20
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 November 2006
This first album from the LBs-longawaited and anticipated-does not disappoint.Kate Jackson,stylish recipient of a coveted Sexiest Woman Award at the NME Shockwaves Awards in February this year,is a star in the making. She preens,sings intelligently,soaringly and with sweet irony on every track listed on this album.

The opener has Kate singing a la Dietrich,fronting a bouncy beat,neurotic jangly guitars and an irresistable chorus featuring three tragic female icons' names shouted/sung loudly and obsessively.These catch the listeners'ears straight away. We feel for Kate in this song,which rattles along at a fast pace,but never really finds a satisfactory conclusion.

A beseeching Kate in the final bars of this song makes it sophisticated art-pop at its best.

There are twelve songs on this album,of which "Once And Never Again" and "Madame Ray"(about Man Ray's muse and lover,Lee Miller)are my favourite tracks.The first-mentioned song starts with Kate giving her worldly advice to a young girl.."Nineteen,you're only nineteen for God's sake-you don't need a boyfriend",and ending "Oh how I'd love to feel a girl your age-your age....once and never again," suprising the listener with this

twist in the last line.We smile at the words.I found myself whistling this irresistably catchy one at odd moments throughout the day.

"I know all about fear and desire",sings Kate knowingly in the aforementioned "Lust In The Movies."

"Only Lovers Left Alive"is delicious to listen to,and will make you smile,like sweet Turkish delight.Listen up!

Shades of The Pipettes in "Giddy Stratospheres"question and answer section,an indie Phil Spectorish touch which works surprisingly well.

The whole album has sensuous,urgent and painful overtones to its songs.

Referring again to "Madame Ray",I believe this is the most emotive song on the album.The last track"A Knife For The Girls",with its last two lines,"My baby doll........don't go to London" contain acidic bitterness to end this remarkable debut album from The Long Blondes.

A must-buy.
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on 2 August 2007
They sound a lot like a female version of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions - a Smiths influenced 80s band who used lots of pop cultural name drops in their lyrics.

It's very immediate and jangly poppy which makes me doubt I'll be listening to them for years to come, but for now they're one of my favourites.

The stand out track is "Once and Never Again," which is a plea to a 19 year girl not to waste her time getting a boyfriend (there's a lesbian subtext but I think you're reaching if you believe it).

If lyrics are important to you, then I fully recommend this band. Strangely most of the lyrics were written by a man, which makes them even more impressive than they already are, as they're very female centric.

If you enjoyed this then you should get Lloyd Cole and the Commotions excellent album "Rattlesnakes" as a male companion piece to the Long Blondes. And then turn it into a trilogy by buying Matthew Sweet's "Girlfriend" album.

NOTE 15/7/08: I've had this album for about a year now, and I'm still listening to it about once or twice a month. It has held up well over time. I'm no closer to getting bored of it than I was the day I first heard it.

NOTE 24/11/11: I'm still listening to it their full discography. A great band who sound as good today as they did all those years ago.
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on 20 September 2009
First discovered this band during the summer of 2006 in Rome via the video of 'Giddy Stratospheres' (regularly shown on some dedicated indie music video tv station there) but was never impressed enough to really investigate them any further. Eventually though purchased the 7" vinyl single and then began to really like what I heard (plus also it had a really fine flip in 'Never To Be Repeated' which is not on this album) and so let's go driving. The album opens with a squeal of feedback & sets off in fairly frantic style with 'Lust In The Movies'. The pace continues via 'Once & Never Again' (3rd single lifted). Clever lyrics. In fact the album is seemingly one long advice lesson (warnings) to other females that vocalist Kate Jackson dishes out. Excepting though 2 of the 12 numbers then it is guitarist Dorian Cox who provides the words, but they are as if from a female point of view? How can this possibly work - but it does! Top songs continue to relentlessly roll out like 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and the already mentioned the fantastic 'Giddy Stratospheres' (probably the best track here & 4th single lifted). There's a change of pace with 6th 'Heaven Help The New Girl' being a ballad ("so go, just go, because you'll never be nineteen again). Fave lyric is "well, that's what happens when you listen to saint scott walker on headphones on the bus - what about us?" from 'You Could Have Both'. 9th track 'Swallow Tattoo' seems similar to what we've already heard but with that extra emotion it pulls at the heart strings. There are many subtle references to previous time zones (60s especially) & the front cover which is a painting by Kate of Faye Dunaway from the film Bonnie & Clyde already sort of captures this feeling quite well, plus they remind of Eleanor Rigby & the more obvious Blondie. Final track 'A Knife For The Girls' will kill any reservations that you have. The quintet puts everything into this album & it's obvious there's plenty of energy. There are some fine structured guitar licks by Dorian subtly placed beneath & within the frantic rhythm section but it all fits together well. Made #44 in UK charts but surely deserved better. A fine journey of energetic melodic female tinged indie guitar punk pop. What is important here is that the more you listen the more you realize the brilliance & you'll be screaming for a return ticket.
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on 30 April 2007
I disagree with those reviews that describe The Long Blondes as unoriginal. I'm a fan of Indie music in general, but there are an awful lot of similar-sounding bands around at the moment and Someone To Drive You Home really stands out for me.

Kate Jackson's voice is very striking and lends an even darker tone to the wonderfully barbed lyrics. The songs very much from a female perspective, which may not appeal to everyone, but for me it's a refreshing change from the abundance of male-fronted Indie bands around right now.
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on 14 January 2007
"Edie Sedgwick! Anna Karenina! Arlene Dahl!" If that's not a great chorus, then I don't know what is. STDYH is full of lovely little quips, kitchen-sink drama, all seen from behind the desk on the shop floor. Wonder where people are going when they pass you on the street? Kate Jackson does too. Comparisons to Pulp and Arctic Monkeys are inevitable, but, to be honest, The Long Blondes owe more to late night DIY clubbing and their bizarre range of influences (they don't like The Beatles! Or Dylan!) than anything else. `Cause of that, they've written the pop album of 2006. It's infectious, it's dancey, its a riot. All the singles are there, either re-mixed, produced or otherwise. It doesn't quite have the grubby feel of the demos, but they're far too pretty to stay that dirty. It lifts them above the chasing pack; less of a shambles, more of a discotheque. Fantastic.
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on 28 October 2007
I agree this band are very original within their own right. OK there's nothing new under the sun as they say, but this album has been written from a unique concept of feminine strengths and weaknesses.. shone brightly by Jackson's wistful attitude.. this coupled with some gritty guitar work and head swinging melodies makes this album worth picking up.
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VINE VOICEon 26 November 2006
Edie Sedgwick!Anna Karenina!Arlene Dahl! I just want to be a sweetheart!

The second you hear the first chorus of opener "Lust In The Movies", you can tell that The Long Blondes are a band that miss the 60's and want to bring a little bit of glamour and fashion back into the indie genre of music. And the first chorus is one of the best chorus' I've heard all year.

I'll be blunt with you, I couldn't stand the Long Blondes before I heard this album. I'd heard a demo of the song "Once and Never Again" and it annoyed me a lot. I also didn't like the general persona of the band, but I think in truth, they're in it for the music. Another good thing is that the album version of "Once And Never Again" is a lot more impressive, less annoying, less tedious, and overall an exciting track.

But those aren't the only positives you can take out of this album. The main thing that stands out is the charisma of Kate Jackson, she knows that she's got something special and she reaches the notes that some would deem to be impossible (see: Seperated by Motorways). She should have topped the NME cool list.

Every song is about love, relationships, idolism,and fun, the word that sums the album up into a nutshell. Fun.

"Lust In The Movies" is the perfect opener. Energetic, ecsatic, exhilirating, over the top, stunning, every positive adjective that you could think of.

"Giddy Statospheres" shows the band taking a more 80's synth route, this 5 minute wonder grabs the listener by the throat and screams potential at them. The Long Blondes could be around for a long time. Whether you like it or not. "You Could Have Both" is a gripping affair, with a chorus on one single note somehow becoming so similar to the most infectious pop that is around today. Jackson wisely sings "I don't kid myself about happy endings, I'm too old for that now".

"Someone To Drive You Home". It's a personal album. It's a gospel. It's a manifesto for youngsters. It's one of the best albums of the year.
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on 30 August 2007
a sparkling jewel in a music sceen full of drabness, manifactured bands,
and quasi dirty hippy music
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on 6 February 2007
This is definately an album that will appeal to anyone who likes their Indie with a Girly twist. The song all have strong tunes and the lyrics, vignettes of everyday life, are sweet and sometimes laugh out loud funny (in a good way). All I would say on the downside is its not all that original, think Echobelly / Lush / Sleeper, all that said it is one of my favourites of 2006.
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on 1 November 2006
Right, first off, let me just say that my first encounter with Long Blondes came last year when I saw them supporting another slightly successful Sheffield act who will remain nameless. I was blown away... and not in a good way.

They didn't seem to have any stage presence, their songs weren't particularly impressive and they didn't even seem to have the ability to play their instruments. Nevertheless, NME and a number of other publications hyped them to the (seven) hills.

Why?

Well, it's now evident. The album is simply fantastic. There may have been some grit and rawness lost in the pro-production, but it matters not. Imagine if Pulp were transported to the noughties and Jarvis Cocker was a woman. That's what you get here. It's perfect indie-pop and Kate Jackson is an icon in waiting. Spot on lyrics and excellent production throughout.

Track picks - Separated by Motorways, Swallow Tattoo, Giddy Stratospheres and Madame Ray.

Oh and they've apparently improved live too!
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