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3.9 out of 5 stars22
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 15 January 2007
I'I've waited almost four years for this album, with increasing desperation. Dropped by BMG and finally picked out of label-less limbo by Sanctuary, it was looking increasingly bleak for Reading's finest. They were also rocked by the departure of one of the nation's coolest bassists, Didz Hammond. With this aurora of looming disaster, I suppose I should be thankful that the creators of my favourite (`See This Through And Leave') and sixth-favourite (`Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose') albums of all time actually got round to releasing `Make This Your Own' at all.

The album has been preceded by two fine singles; `Damage', a gig and download only promo, and `Homo Sapiens'. These two open the album, and they are straight-out rockers, with a slight more FM-friendly sound than efforts such as `Panzer Attack', `A.I.M' and `Been Training Dogs'. They are in fact similar to the singles pairing off the last album, `Blind Pilots' and `Promises, Promises'. They open the album well enough, but really can't compare to previous openers.

Next up is `Head', a recent live favourite. It opens with brooding menace, and continues with a repeated refrain of `You want to leave, but you can't forget about it' above a glorious synth-riff. This is The Coopers of old, twisting simple melodies into electronic balls of sonic force.

`Connect', which follows, carries on in the same vein. Upon my first listens to the album, I think this is a standout. It rollicks along on a baseline oddly similar to Donna Summer's `I Feel Loved'... and then breaks down into a cracking harmonised chorus. One problem I have with this, and `Head' is that they seem weedily produced. One criticism of previous efforts is that they are over-produced, but these just lack the mid-range and low thump that TCTC used to feature as de rigueur.

`Waiting Game', the third single to be lifted and a narrow Top-40 miss in its first week, is a strange beast. To my ears it sounds like Placebo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they shouldn't have to revert to such indie-lite tracks like this, especially with the terribly clichéd guitar solo at the end. Yet despite this, I can't help liking it, in that really catchy, soaring way!!

The next track, `Once More With Feeling' opens with standard practice Coopers bleeps and swipes, and proceeds into a metallic drone. Unfortunately, for all its great sonics, the track just doesn't go anywhere. The problems continue with the next track `What Have You Gone And Done?', again with the vocals sounding like Placebo. The lyrics to this are boring, the music flat, and without this track the album would be so much stronger.

`Take Comfort' is rubbish. It starts with off-kilter drums and acoustic strumming and it doesn't get any better from then. It sounds like the Coral, and again this would be fine if it was from them. But it isn't. It just isn't the Coopers.

Thankfully, `All I See Is You' is them in their full aural assault mode. Again starting slow, with scratchy static noise and bass fades. It builds slowly with a real haunting piano riff, and then in a crescendo of heavy guitar descends into noisy heaven complete with Gautrey trademark wail. Along with `Connect' this is a standout, and would have sat brilliantly on either of the previous efforts.

`Isn't It Strange' starts with a similar burbling synth to `Head', and again is a builder. It also has one of the best vocals on the record, with a strong backing riff.

`House of Cards' opens with church bells ringing in the background, and more vocal harmonising. It is a strong closer, but compared to `Written Apology' it just doesn't compare.

My overall thoughts on this album are mixed. It contains two of TCTC's weakest ever efforts in `What Have You Gone And Done?' and `Take Comfort', yet tracks like `Homo Sapiens', `Head', `Connect' and `All I See Is You' show that beneath the poppy mainstream sheen, the old experimental noisy beast still lurks. It is reckoned that the band wanted to set out to make a more mainstream album, and in that respect they have succeeded.

What irks me the most however, is that for a band renowned for pushing sonic boundaries, they pull back from the brink and step into a comfort zone. I have always felt TCTC are at their best when you are at your most uncomfortable, tracks like `Panzer Attack', `The Lake' and `A.I.M.'. This is a comfortable album, which is strange given the circumstances it was conceived under.

Yet after all this, I still can't help liking this album. For a start, they're still here, live and kicking. It is also an optimistic album; in places it's almost a love album. Its lurch into the mainstream may also buy them security to put another album out. Hopefully, they can make a return to pushing the envelope, and making music that challenges the listener.

Worth the wait? Just. They remain my favourite band, and I shall champion their cause as I have for almost six years now. If it were any other band, I'd give it three stars. But they aren't, so it's four.
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on 13 February 2007
Firstly, I got into the coopers the minute they came out, why? Back then I was an angry young man who needed music to get drunk and break stuff to. They provided me with the ammo. This has since changed, although I still think STTAL is one of my favourite albums of all time, I have moved on from that phase. Regarding a few of the review on this page (and the offical forum) I think a few of the Team Cooper fans hold themselves in very high regard bordering on pretentious, some even cross the line and are pure snobbish.

If you were to hold this album up to the other two It's obviously not going to be the same, things change etc. But it's not a bad album it just lacks the innovation the others had in abundance, but to be fair these boys had to make a go at breaking the big time I can't see any record company holding onto a flailing band.

Unfortunately their choice to go commercial failed to attract their target audience and also alienated a lot of interested ears/fans. If you were to hold this album up stuff from other bands out there then It would compete with any of them as far as melodies and accessability goes, but there just wasn't enough PR or push from the record company which suggests to me that the Cooper Temple Clause could be soon going unvoluntarily indie, which is a shame.

I recommend this album because I have held it up against the efforts from other bands and not the bands past offerings. Surely the Cooper Temple Clause can get away with 'Waiting Game' if the Kaiser Cheifs can get away with a song, so clichéd in 'Ruby' it's embarrassing, and still be called great.

Unfortunately for too many fan's it just wasn't the time or the place, and a band that once let them arrogantly point fun at commerical loving funsters for their lack of innovation (whilst all the time craving success for the Coopers), has now gone and set fire to their very pedistal.
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on 11 April 2007
Oh, dear.

On first hearing "Damage" sometime last year, I remember that horrible cold feeling that I got when I realised that the band I knew so well and loved dearly were changing. For the worse, in my humble opinion. I'm one of those die-hard Coopers fans, maybe I'm pretentious, maybe I don't like my favourite band becoming more mainstream, I'm still going to try and keep this review a useful guide to people wanting this album, rather than a rant!

Okay - if you've never heard any Cooper Temple Clause before, you'll probably think this album's great. Buy it, you'll love it. Especially if you also like Placebo.

If you're an existing Coopers fan, buy it anyway - but don't expect the hard, driving, gritty rock infused with industrial techno and electronica that we've been savouring these last few years. The "okay" tracks on this album have all the ingredients of a classic Coopers number - they've just somehow been put together wrongly. Too over-produced, too clean. "Damage" and "Homo Sapiens" were UTTERLY SPECTACULAR live, but on this recording they are weak, flaccid, and easy to ignore.

And don't get me started on the whiny emo rubbish that is "Waiting Game". Dan Fisher has the most irritating nasal voice - Ben's predatory growl is sorely missed on this track, as it is on many others. He sounds different, it could just be the production again. Also, the overall balance is different - the vocals used to be thoroughly integrated with all the other instruments, now they sit right on top and it's too "poppy" for my tastes.

The best tracks on this album in my opinion are "Head" (at least a decent balance between their old style and their new style, and some nice twinkly guitar over a heavy, electronic dirge which works well) and "Once More With Feeling" - definitely more like the Coopers as we once knew them. "All I See Is You" is also more like the old style, but it's fairly average by their standards.

Boys, you could have been so much more. This album could alienate a lot of die-hard fans - it's already being referred to as the "sell-out album". I hope this offering brings you the fame and fortune you crave, but don't expect us to love you for it.
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on 31 January 2007
As a die-hard I was more than eager to overlook shortcomings in this album. My delight that Didz' departure didn't break them up would carry me through. NME gave it 4, Q didn't like it either, but then they gave See This Through... a 2/5. I din't care, I bought it on two formats anyway.

It's a real grower. It seems kinda confused on first listen, I loved their balls-out debut, and their Nine Inch Nailsy follow up, but this had songs that sound like Ian Broudie, Tears For Fears, Gorillaz (not kidding); I didn't know how to feel. That passed quick enough! It's great. They have three different vocalists and obviously more imputs, it sounds like a compilation kinda... To me, Ben's voice was their most distinctive feature and I was annoyed when I heard Waiting Game. It works, though. Highlight? "Head" is a chooooooooooooon!!!! Listen 3 times and try to walk away giving it 4/10.
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on 14 September 2007
The now defunct Cooper Temple Clause released this just three months before they split, and in listening to Make This Your Own, it is clear why the band did break up. Creatively, the Coopers were pulling in different directions - evidenced here by the strange contrast in musical styles from one song to the next. Following-up their critically-acclaimed second album Kick Up The Fire And Let The Flames Break Loose was never going to be easy, but it appears as though some members of the band had become frustrated by lack of commercial success. For, on Make This Your Own, the band attempt a more radio-friendly sound in songs such as "Waiting Game" and "Damage". In doing this however, they lose what it was that made them great in the first place: originality. The aforementioned "Waiting Game" is a good song, don't get me wrong, but it could quite as easily have been made by Snow Patrol. The reason why I still rate this as an album is because, well, I like Snow Patrol. But nice little three-and-a-half-minute radio-friendly songs is not what people buy a Coopers album for. They buy it to be blown away by huge walls of sound and electro-guitar music. Luckily for them, this can also be found on the album. "All I See Is You" is the Coopers at their very best. "Head" and "Homo Sapiens" are also great tracks. It's just a shame that the Coopers decided against filling the album with more tracks like these, because the potential was there to out-do their previous albums. Make This Your Own, paradoxically, finds the Coopers at the top of their game, whilst struggling to decide in which direction they should be headed. In the end, as it turned out, this was their downfall.
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on 11 January 2007
The NME have given this album 4/10. There must have been something dodgy with their copy as this is one of the strongest albums you will hear all year. It's easily as good as Bloc Party's second offering which will probably get a 9 rating in the aformentioned music rag. But anyhow, the standard here is equal to the first two albums from the Coopers. Head and Connect are two incredible electric based songs which would sound fantastic in a club whilst Homosapiens is TCTC at their most fearsome. The tender moments on this album are beautiful,. Waiting Game has not got the airplay it deserves. Had it been written by Snow Patrol it probably would have gone top 5. Take Comfort is The Cooper Temple Clause as you have never heard them before, acoustic and almost folk in style it features some of the album's most affecting lyrics which across the LP are of a very high standard.

I can't recommend this album highly enough. The range of styles and approaches to songwriting on Make This Your Own are vast and varied meaning there is something here for every taste whilst still managing to sound cohesive.

Make This Your Own right now.
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on 29 May 2007
Whilst this album is clearly differant to all of TCTC's previous efforts. It certainly wasn't what I expected as a third album. When I first listened to it, it was clear that the angst, heavy distrorted guitars and waves of feedback I anticipated from them were missing from the album. I didn't like it because it wasn't what i expected.

However after coming back to it after a while I love it. It has some great songs some great harmonys and the polished producing makes them feel a lot more rounded and less like a bunch of students making a noise in their garage. The shouting/singing has been replaced with singing which makes a refreshing change.

As a TCTC album its a disapointment compared to their previous work, but don't let this put you off it, as it is still a good album. Buy it if you've never heard TCTC before as still beats a lot of other albums out at the moment. If you liked TCTC buy it, but prepared for a surprise.
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on 16 July 2007
Been a Coopers fan ever since they came on the scene, there was just something about this band that other bands could not compete with. See This Through And Leave was totally different from anything else i had heard at the time and the second album in my opinion is their finest hour!

Anyway to the point, this album is solid, but it does lack something.....Didz perhaps?! "Head" in my opinion is a typical Coopers tune that could fit on either of the last two records and "Waiting Game" is instantly radio friendly (which is strange for the Coopers, perhaps too friendly from what we expect). It really is different from the previous albums, but after a few listens i respected the change in sound. I think anyone new to the Coopers would like this album, but if you decide to go backwards in collecting their music, put on your seatbelts people cos the road ahead is bloody crazy!!
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on 11 May 2007
Was this album to catapult them into the mainstream? Or to kill them off?

After Didx's departure this was always going to be the "difficult" 3rd album, which in the end proved to be their demise.

Saw them in April just before the dark announcment on Radio 1's Zane Lowe show and they were as loud and crass as they usually are, but there was a happy team Cooper that night, which included Dan's mother whom I briefly met and chatted to.

Thank you for the music and RIP in boys was nice knowing you and being a fond bi-annual stalker to your many shows in various locations.

Let's hope team Cooper can be reserrected or atleast re-incarnmated to a different form as it would be a travisty to waste such great talent.

Yours, in mourning.
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on 27 January 2007
The Cooper Temple Clause have been around for a while now, and with each album they bring out, they progress in a slightly different direction, and Make This Your Own is no different from the formula. Featuring a blend of soaring vocals, rocking guitars, and new to the mixture this time around a more synthesised/dance sound, as well as a vaguely country-esque song (Take Comfort), the CTC have shown yet again they rock heavily.
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