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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, it's gorgeous.
I am amazed and confounded by some of the poor reviews that this album is receiving from fans. I consider 'Zidane:...' to be a return to form for Mogwai after a few albums that fell slightly short of the high standard set on 'Young Team' and 'Come On Die Young', as well as probably my favourite album of last year. At last Mogwai have produced something of the epic...
Published on 10 Mar 2007 by Paul James

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sombre soundtrack from Mogwai
I haven't seen the film of which this is a soundtrack yet, but you can almost see Zidane moving in slow motion while listening to it. Ever wondered what Mogwai would sound like without the explosions of sound akin to galaxies colliding with one another? Then look no further. This album is almost like a flip-side of Mr. Beast's closing 'We're No Here', that one that was...
Published on 28 Dec 2006 by A. Provan


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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, it's gorgeous., 10 Mar 2007
I am amazed and confounded by some of the poor reviews that this album is receiving from fans. I consider 'Zidane:...' to be a return to form for Mogwai after a few albums that fell slightly short of the high standard set on 'Young Team' and 'Come On Die Young', as well as probably my favourite album of last year. At last Mogwai have produced something of the epic proportions of their early albums.

The possibilities, limitations and conventions of soundtrack writing are very good for Mogwai. The fact that the music was written as a soundtrack means that the album posesses an intense unity and strength in structure which only 'CODY' comes close to matching. There are themes, effects and ideas that appear and reappear throughout the album, giving the sense of one huge work unfurling over the ten tracks.

The album has the feel of a Mogwai track magnified - the first two thirds or so is slow and contemplative, but quietly seething and subtly majestic. Feedback and delay combine with drones to provide backdrops for simple guitar or piano melodies with drums that rumble gently, but threateningly at the same time. These melodic themes are interspersed with improvised sounding passages of quiet noise that assist in the build of tension through the album.

The music becomes more and more aggrevated over the first 40 or so minutes of the album - the dynamic variation, the build and release familiar to Mogwai's music is present but in a more subtle guise than on past releases. There are moments of sublime beauty and of understated (but no less effective for it) tension, and it is all released in the last 20 minutes of 'Black Spider 2', following four or five minutes silence. These final 20 minutes have the feel of an enormous, slow explosion. A drone is built upon with feedback, organ, drums and synth in a painfully gradual manner to a long passage of controlled chaos that burns out just as gradually to be replaced by slow metal guitars that spiral into oblivion.

There are no 'rock-out' moments on this album, but if that's what you're after then you can quite easily listen to anything else that Mogwai have produced. Don't bother buying it if that's all you want. This album is for if you ever want to quietly disappear into your own world and think your thoughts for an hour and a bit. It is beautiful and it is excellent and I consider it one of Mogwai's two greatest albums, alongside 'Come On Die Young'.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 21st century soundtrack!, 2 Nov 2006
Recently purchased this after seeing the film 'Zidane' by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, that this album is soundtracked to. I was blown away by this music watching the film in the cinema and can happily say that this album stands up to repeated listening on its own. Having never heard any Mogwai before, tracks like 'Black Spider', 'Terrific Speech', 'Half Time' & 'I Do Have Weapons' really stick in the mind and are strong enough to take you off to other places away from the context of the film. Have this on continued play since I got it and now plan to check out other Mogwai releases. Great album if you were a fan of the film, great album if you like modern instrumental indie/rock music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars like the player himself...., 17 Sep 2008
By 
godzilla78 (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
...this album is excellent. The more you listen to it, the more you appreciate it. I can understand why some don't really rate this album but just turn it on and get lost in the eerie tranquility. In most places its a rather dark album but can also be uplifting at the same time. My words are meaningless so just have a listen and make up your own mind!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close up and personal, 12 Jun 2009
Like the film this is so close to the subject, so intimate in it's instrumentaion and design.
It is very controlled like Zidane's playing with the odd unexpected violent breakout and change in pace and dynamic. At times it is almost claustrophobic.
This is the mighty Mogs at their most controlled and complex, only occasionally going for sonic goal or polyphonic penalty.
Delivered by the lords on the post rock non dance.
The playing is tight and ensemble and works like a well drilled team with solo sparks.
Enough of the football analogies, a great work of post rock soundtracking
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sombre soundtrack from Mogwai, 28 Dec 2006
By 
A. Provan "Bolt Vanderhuge" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
I haven't seen the film of which this is a soundtrack yet, but you can almost see Zidane moving in slow motion while listening to it. Ever wondered what Mogwai would sound like without the explosions of sound akin to galaxies colliding with one another? Then look no further. This album is almost like a flip-side of Mr. Beast's closing 'We're No Here', that one that was Mogwai wthout the quiet bits.

What you get is the band exploring a more ambient landscape, and in the context of the film this may work, but as a stand-alone album it is too slight, mainly as most of the songs are lacking that vital spark that ignites Mogwai's finest works, and I don't just mean the loud bit. Whereas something like Helicon 2 is wonderful, tuneful and even kind of playful, nothing here does that. For the most part the album doesn't only miss the noise, it also misses good melody, always a Mogwai strong point. Too many of the songs meander pointlessly, the 25 minute hidden track the best example. Again, in the context of the film these songs may work, but here mostly they do not.

That is not to say that the album is dire and devoid of merit. It does have its moments, Black Spider is the closest to classic Mogwai and pretty good, as is Half Time and Wake Up and Go Berserk, but shamefully these moments are few and far between.

This album is not a good introduction to what Mogwai do.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 28 Jun 2014
This review is from: Zidane: a 21st Century Portrait: Original Soundtrack [VINYL] (Vinyl)
brilliant album
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Appreciate it for what it is, not what you want it to be., 28 Dec 2006
By 
Mike (Keighley, W.Yorks) - See all my reviews
If you buy this expecting an archetypal Mogwai album, you might be disappointed. If you buy this expecting an archetypal Mogwai album, you are sorely missing the point. Yes, As a piece of music listened to in isolation, it doesn't hit the usual heights of Mogwai's consistantly outstanding output and none of the tracks are likely to appear on their set list any time soon. However, as a collection of incidental music, it works superbly in complementing the tone and emotion portrayed in the film, and that, surely, is its purpose. Also, if it helps introduce a wider audience to the uplifting and cathartic power of Mogwai's back catalogue, then all the better.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthraling listen, just under the right circumstances..., 9 Jan 2007
By 
J. Hey (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
To say this is a bad album would be fallacious, as in truth it is far from it. Sure, when compared to other Mogwai albums it doesn't really compare, but alternate associations aside "A 21st Century Portriat" can be nothing short of stunning. With deep and mesmerizing tracks throughout, it can capture and submerge the listener into whatever imagery the compositions create. However, i only found this was truely effective when I had time to myself, to generally listen with intent to the moods being created. Upon a listen while out travelling, i found the tracks were a slight bore to listen to, as they were nowhere near having similar effects as to when I had time to myself.

So in sumary, while out on the move, the album will seem a bore, but given the time to concentrate and listen, this album can be deeply absorbing. Perhaps not recommended if you are expecting the usual Mogwai riffage, but brilliant album nonetheless.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 13 Jun 2014
By 
La Mimi (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
I love Zizu, I love football.....but this was simply plain boring. Had to turn it off before it finished. Yawn
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for me - I got it as a present, 29 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I did not listen to this album. I purchased it as a gift and the recipient was impressed. He likes the Mogwai he has bougt before and this seems to be in keeping with his expectations.
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