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3.7 out of 5 stars17
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 25 May 2007
I can not properly express the way i feel about Groove Armada, and in particular this album, i can not think of another artist/artists that have progresseed this much throughout there albums, i have every album they have released so far and each one could be mistaken as coming from a different artist.

On Soundboy Rock, there are a couple of tracks that stay true to Armadas chill out laid back roots such as tracks heard on the classc Verigo but mjority of the album is very electro(ish) its hard to explain really what the style the album is, the title track is almots completly Dub style but with a nice modern edge, on the first listen it was my standout track.

Somehow though i think nearly every track has been my standout track at some point, which is something i have never experienced from any album!

the intro is sublime, but i cant explain why?? its just sets the album up perfectly and is the perfect length.

Get down the first single is ok but in my opinion the poorest track on the album, i think i would prefer just an instrumental version because the vocals annoy me. from here on though there is not a single second of the album that i would skip.

Most tracks are upbeat but the arrangment of the album is perfect with laid back tracks such as Paris and From the rooftops slotted in just to calm the album down just when needed. From the rooftops is such a beautiful track, it is instantly relaxing with it lazy piano and bass and featuring a simply georgeous slight vocal.

I do not want to say too much about each track but this album is amazing, i can not pick a standout track anymore, excluding the first single Get Down, they are all standout tracks in their own right.

I can not wait to see which style the boys are going to take their next album into.

In my opinion the best album of 2007 by a long long way, The Armada never fail to deliver, BUY IY NOW!!!
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on 11 May 2007
To all purists, yes, I would agree that this is certainly not classic GA, however for me this is sheer "progressiveness" pleasure. Just love it, the mix of chilled funk jazz style with break-beat and pure unadalturated disco is just heaven - no, I am not a muso-journo (as you can probably tell) but, this is a great mix of styles that GA can pull off and, are renowned for - remember, they are an eclectic bunch, as are their listeners ... enjoy
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on 30 May 2007
There's a big move to 80's-retro, clicky and 'Commodore 64 game soundtrack'-style sounds in a growing wave in the wide and wonderful world of Dance Music.

Much of this kind of music doesn't do anything for me at all. It's often barely tuneful, sometimes grating, and smacks of a sound that is going to date very quickly, once folk realise that isn't nothing short of annoying to listen to. It appears that underproduction is the new overproduction.

This album goes down that sonic avenue. But this album is different - it's a pleasure to listen to! They do allow big multitimbral sounds as well as minute '8-bit' waveforms. It is reminiscent of some of the better production values of the Nu Wave and Electric era in the early 80's, and a reason to reminiscence on quality music from my youth.

Some tracks stand out in both tunefulness and sound. Tracks 4, 6, 12, 15, 16 particularly so. That, for me, is alot of outstanding tracks on one album.

As the first reviewer here has said, it _is_ a grower. Listen to it once or twice, drop it for a week or two, and when you're in a good mood, pull it out again, pump up the volume - put the needle on the record

when the drum beats go like this.....
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on 11 May 2007
At first I found the tracks too different from each other but on second listening there is a link that I enjoyed. I loved "whats your version"? and "paris". I think that "Song for Mutya" supposedly the next single will be a great summer hit. Although very different from their other albums it shows how much they have "grown" in the 3 years since Lovebox. They are a great band who play their music "live", no mean feat for a Dance Act - I have been to many of their gigs and they are always excellent. If you haven't been to one then try and go while they are on their current tour.
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Even though this album is called "Soundboy Rock", Groove Armada have left behind the rockier more guitar-heavy sound of previous album "Lovebox" and replaced it with a more Ibiza- and beachy-friendly mix of arrangements.

As well as being less rocky than "Lovebox" it's not as laidback as their classic album "Vertigo" (famous for "At The River"), so what you end up with is an inbetween-y album, not quite distinctive enough in too many places.

The first single "Get Down" is not representative of the album, as "Get Down" and "Out Of Control" (featuring ex-Sugababe Mutya) are by far the toughest tracks here. Some of the others border on lounge music, and there's plenty of atmospheric house. "Lightsonic" shows that they can do electro. Other highlights are "Love Sweet Sound" and the ballad (no really) "What's Your Version?". It's certainly varied enough to keep you listening.

The 'special edition' has two extra tracks "Feel The Same" and "Hands Up", bringing it to a generous total of 17 tracks. The two bonus tracks are pretty good but not essential listening.

This is a decent comeback album for Groove Armada (who have said in reviews that when they released their "Best Of" album they expected that the band would then split up), but it won't blow you away.
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on 17 July 2007
From someone who dislikes much of the UK music scene and who's staple diet tends to be based around fairly loud American rock bands (Breaking Benjamin, Mute Math, Chevelle, et al), there are two bands that for me stand out as truly brilliant masters of their art on 'this side of the pond', Faithless being one and Groove Armada the other.
From start to finish it's a winner all the way. Personal highlight is 'Lightsonic' - a true headphones classic. Amazing album. The array of sounds and textures are quite mind bending and the sonic quality is also pretty incredible.... spend your money on some real quality!
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on 16 October 2014
This was an album that recently I heard for the first time in a number of years. Regrettably I still think this is a poor album, especially when considering what G*A showed that they were capable of with both Vertigo and Lovebox.

This is too much of a leap into different territory, and frankly sounds quite an absurd offering nearly 10 years on. The only tracks that I would recommend are Lightsonic and From The Rooftops. Too many songs have very immature lyrics like "don't panic Mutya" or "I'll be the boy on the back of the bus" that even a greenhorn debutant group should be ashamed of.

Other tracks like The Girls Say, Get Down and Drop That Thing are just too much of a throwback to the 80s and sound like they are trying too hard to achieve something that just doesn't sound accomplished enough for a group of their experience. Dare I say it smacks of G*A suffering from a 'mid life crisis' with it's "down with the kids" attitude? Or that it tries to ingratiate itself with a new younger audience at the detriment of it's loyal fan base?

The album is a little too 'over-produced' in places. Clearly some thought had though gone into the production values, but unfortunately not into the integrity of the music. The whole things just sounds phoney and disingenuous.

To me it is a sound of a group that went backwards at this stage of their career and became too dance-y and clubby just for the sake of a "what did they do next?" 'career move'. To sum it up, this was probably the most disappointing album I ever purchased, and it put me off purchasing any further offerings from them. A great shame really.
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on 15 May 2007
I've been a sporadic lover of the "Armada" tending to gravitate toward the mighty Faithless and Groove Armada's poppier twin Basement Jaxx, (my own opinion natch..), I have to admit my interest was fired up again because of two things, watching the live gig on DVD (in a very smokey Amsterdam coffee shop, go figure), plus finding out that the equally smokey Mutya Buena was to collaborate. Well,I have to report Groove Armada are back with an outing of gargantuan proportions, the Yello tinged "Hasta Luego" opener to the Bambataa beats of "Save Our Soul", Ibiza tinged grooves of "The Things We Could Share" and the AWESOME "Feel The Same", (available on the *bonus tracks release)vie with the laid back feel of title track "Soundboy Rock" , (surely a nod to let the fans know that the 'Groove is still a toking ensemble?). Theres also Orb-like atmospherics "Whats Your Version/s", including great dance structures "Get Down", "Lightsonic", "All The Girls Say" and "Drop That Thing ". Which brings me to "Song For Mutya/Out Of Control" which seems to draw mainly on the sounds of the 80's, Human League/A. F. O. S. (ask your Dad..),Depeche Mode and maybe even a wee bit Big Audio Dynamite? All in a noughties style this will grow to be THE summer 2007 sing along hook, fantastic! Add in a handful of Groove Armada ecleticity and your there. (*Get the bonus tracks versh 'k?)
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on 15 October 2008
I used to be into my G*A back when the Vertigo album came out, but then moved on to the Goodbye Country.
Vertigo is a classic album in my mind now, goodbye Country only an average album so went off G*A.
But, when I got the Soundboy Rock album, it re-kindled my love of the groove (even though they have totally moved on from the other albums).
If you like one song off this album, but are not sure about the album, buy it. You won't be disappointed!
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on 17 July 2007
Absolute amazing album!
My album of the year so far!
What's so extraordinary about this album is the huge range of genres put onto one disc.
Being a dance fan, i've followed both Andy Cato and Tom Findlay as they pursued individual projects.
Andy set up his packupanddance label and released a mix for the sessions series (which was excellent), whilst Tom released an album under he's Sugardaddy concept (which again, was excellent).
I've got to say, their time apart to pursue their own sounds has meant that once they got back together for Groove Armada, it really is an explosive return. There are many album highlights, of which define a different sound that may only appeal to certain fans, but if you have an open ear, this album will not disappoint.

A must buy!!!
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