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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical exploration of love, thoughts and feelings
Gene have really done themselves proud with this fantastic record. More polished than 'Olympian' or 'To See The Lights', the album takes the listener on an exhausting and melancholy journey through all the dark edges of human life.
It begins with 'New Amusements', a rocky and sinister romp, almost jubilantly plaintive and demanding in both words and crunching...
Published on 21 April 2003 by Gemma Kopel

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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Good Songs
Fighting Fit is one of my favourite songs of all time, catchy, powerful and dramatic. 'We Should Be Kings' is reasonably good too, but the rest are at best mediocre and forgetable. I believe there is a 'best of' album being released soon (or maybe already released), which conatins these songs, and I would recommend, unless you are a big Gene fan, to buy that rather than...
Published on 17 Oct 2006 by Mr. D. J. Read


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical exploration of love, thoughts and feelings, 21 April 2003
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
Gene have really done themselves proud with this fantastic record. More polished than 'Olympian' or 'To See The Lights', the album takes the listener on an exhausting and melancholy journey through all the dark edges of human life.
It begins with 'New Amusements', a rocky and sinister romp, almost jubilantly plaintive and demanding in both words and crunching chords.
'Fighting Fit' is for me one of the highlights of the album, a fantastically frisky innuendo laden rhapsody about sex, basically, it has a beautiful tune but a very tough heart.
'Where Are They Now' conjures images of autumn and is the first truly melancholy song on the record. I think this song is incredibly insightful, with great lyrics like: 'The sky seems a little lower, but for that a normal day'.
'Speak To Me Someone' takes the emotional appeal to the next level. The slightly REM-ish chord patterns may sound a bit unoriginal at first but once the song kicks in, the product is a stunning vocal performance from Martin Rossiter and a stirring, evocative interpretation of depression.
If all that wasn't enough to start with, 'We Could Be Kings' is my personal favourite. It is a magnificent, anthemic song, a kind of nod to the British stiff-upper-lip attitude: continuing through the hard times and imagining what could be. Each part of the song is brilliant and perfectly conjured, from the superb guitar and rhythm, vocals which speak what everyone is feeling and the haunting melody. With a semantic field of getting in a car and going away somewhere, this song is good driving music!
'Why I Was Born' is a beautiful mellow ballad, seamlessly led in by piano at the end of 'We Could Be Kings'. The emotion on this song is so raw and open, it is literally a song to fall in love to. This also has some amazing guitar solos on it.
'Long Sleeves For The Summer' is a folky, acoustic workout. It seems very summery and light on the surface, but as with most Gene songs, has a dark heart. This song has some great lyrical twists too: 'a breath-grasping hand into the ether/Oh I beg you, take my with her'. It is a song which has been pondered over but seems effortlessly natural.
'Save Me, I'm Yours' tackles the issue of Rossiter's depression and fear of loneliness again. This song is particularly reminiscent of older Gene songs, but with that shiny production edge. It again has a great hooky riff, soaring melody and Rossiter's vocals sound particularly vulnerable and beautiful.
'Voice Of The Father' is a complete sea change from what we have seen so far, it is truly a rock song, which is black to the very heart and has that great crunchy sound to it. But it has a typical Gene twist; a quiet piano noodle in the middle which lulls the listener into a false sense of security before stabbing them right in the heart with another killer chorus.
'The Accidental' is for me, the low point of the album, but is still a decent song. Its slow, dull beating did begin to grate on me, and for some reason Gene employ an awful croaky female singer to rasp a verse of the track, which totally backfires. Still, the song has an interesting lyric about hidden guilt and sleepless nights.
'I Love You, What Are You?' more than compensates for the dodginess of the previous track. This is another walloping great power song, confident in its execution, lyric, melody, musicianship....everything! It has been said that this song tackles the issue of sexuality, and Rossiter's supposed ambiguity. I say, bollocks! He's married! Just sit back and enjoy the magnificent thump of a brilliant song played by men who know their worth.
'Sub Rosa' is the final song on the album, and appears to be a simple lullaby at first. Wrong! It builds up into another huge, dramatic crescendo, with strings and brass piled into it. The main tune from 'New Amusements' is also incorporated into the instrumental. The song finishes cryptically with the line 'Who'll know?', which is a very good question indeed. And then it fades away again, just for a moment, until you hit the repeat button on the stereo and continue to luxuriate in the glory of a heart-breaking, unique and anthemic record, one whic defines emotions perfectly and in time will define your life.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album by one of the most underated bands, 8 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
Gene are one of the most underated bands ever. The excellent melodic tracks of speak to me someone and we should be kings are classics of their time. If you have never bought one of their albums before then there is no better starting point than here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent album from a massively underrated band., 29 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
"Drawn to the Deep End" is an astonishingly accomplished album, once again demonstrating that Gene are one of Britain's finest indie bands. From the more experimental opening track to the hit singles "Fighting Fit" and "We Could be Kings"(the stand-out track in my view) this a record which moves, uplifts and expresses sadness. The opening 5 or 6 tracks are on a level with any other indie band in the country and demonstrates once agin that Gene deserve to be much much bigger. A beautiful and emotional record.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterwork ... review of the 2014 reissue., 5 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. M. A. Reed (Argleton, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawn To The Deep End (Audio CD)
Can it really be 20 years already? 20 years since Gene rose to promenence, with "For The Dead", and 10 since they quietly disappeared, mourned by a handful, and forgotten by many? At one point they could have been kings. Now, overlooked and ignored by Megador Records, the band have quietly faded from view to day jobs and memories. In time, the bands work - an elegant body that combined the majesty of The Smiths with the muscular strength of The Faces and 60's era Mod bands, has aged with dignity and power. Over four albums, and catch all b-sides compilation "To See The Lights", the band explored humanity with increasing effectiveness and skill. By the time they got to the final record, the barely noticed "Libertine" they had become brilliant but niche hasbeens. This reissue series finally gives the band the dignity they deserve, with expanded editions of each record, appended with every b-side, an enormity of radio sessions (almost every single one the band recorded for the BBC,), and several live shows from the period, showcasing embryonic and early versions of many songs from subsequent albums - are a fascinating insight. Each of the editions is packed in a double CD set, with the original album appended by b-sides and extra songs. Disc 2 of each package generally tends to be a live radio session recorded for the BBC and live material.

"Drawn To The Deep End", the bands second album 'proper', was the masterwork : at the time, despite costing 300,000 and selling half a million copies worldwide, the label saw it as a failure. (For heavens sake, those kind of sales were significant at the time, and few bands play the Albert Hall without some promise, or appeal). The first side - made of four beautiful singles that explore loss, love, life, and meaning in a gentle but powerful frame - is one of the most powerful opening salvos of any record ever made. As it stands, the tide turned with the enormous failure that was "Be Here Now", which sank (in one indulgent 70 minute slab) every hope and dream of their peers and killed the band, and many of their contemporaries, overnight. It was no longer enough to sell well. You had to sell ridiculous. It was no longer enough to be a great band. You had to sell great numbers of units in supermarkets. This was the modern world, where selling half a million records was a failure. Which made Gene in last chance saloon, despite having crafted one of the finest records of the decade. Rossiter stepped out into his own with a unique and articulate style, the band themselves, no longer in the shadows of their influences, became masters of light and shade, power and restraint, unafraid of silence. The triple hit of "Where Are They Now?", "Speak To Me Someone" and "We Could Be Kings" was worth more in 12 minutes than the final 12 years of Oasis lifespan. That, and "Speak To Me Someone" is the kind of timeless and powerful song that will, inevitably, be discovered for some rubbish X-Factor muse's Uberballad in a few years time. After this, the record is beefed out on disc 1 with 8 non-album songs. Disc 2 is made of 8 songs live from the band's live peak, one night at the Albert Hall, and 6 BBC Session songs of the era that give a flavour of the material both before, and after, release.
They could have been kings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation, 31 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
This is an excellent album. Rossiter's vocals can be very powerful, but also very delicate and vulnerable, with witty and interesting lyrics that never quite get annoying as Morrissey's can. The rest of the band certainly have an ear for a good melody and Mason's guitar work is very good, but doesn't dominate the songs.
The album opens with the dark 'New Amusements', before going into Gene's particular brand of rock with 'Fighting Fit'. 'Where are they Now?', 'Speak to me Someone', and 'We Could be Kings' explore Rossiter's vulnerable side. 'We Could be Kings' is the epitome of a Gene song - a majestic pop song in several movements and a rollercoaster of emotion.
'Why I was Born' is a plain old fashioned love song - done very well mind you and 'Save me, I'm Yours' has a gorgeous guitar hook. In short, there is not a bad song on this album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 16 Aug 2000
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
Having not been a great fan of Gene, I was startled, no ............blown away, by the sheer quality of this album. Although worth it for 'we could be kings' alone, the record has many other great tunes. If you're not to keen on Gene prepare to have your musical world changed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic perfection, 13 Dec 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
The third album that appears to be the pinnacle of their career. This cd comprises the melodic interlude that could be expected from lesser mortals with the power and ergency of a group you have to respect. As a conceptualised record it works to perfection swinging the listener between the highs and nadirs of their emotions. Truely a classic that will a some point be recognised
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love lost lyrics + sad tender vocals + majestic guitars = brilliance, 22 Sep 2009
This review is from: Drawn to the Deep End (Audio CD)
Released 12 years ago now then 'Drawn To The Deep End' was Gene's 3rd LP (2nd proper) and their first for new label Polydor (i.e. no longer an Indie) and so here goes a track by track retrospective (both 2LP & CD reviewed).

'New Amusements' from a gentle guitar belching start we are suddenly thrust into an adrenaline driven power piece with Martin Rossiter pleading "I can bring you solace...on the bureau in my office I dream of you". (9)

'Fighting Fit' a blaze of illustrious guitars by Steve Mason. (9)

'Where Are They Now?' again great intelligent guitar work plus Martin's distinctive voice "You see I cannot stand alone I'm incapable of breathing incapable of love" workmanlike bass from Miles and drums from James! A truly marvellous melodic thrash! (9)

'Speak To Me Someone' pop art drama - strings & mellotron "Now you can tell me will I ever dream again". (9)

'We Could Be Kings' more drama via a slightly more gentle ballad - stirring lyrics "When I'm hungry and I'm cold will you feed me from your palm and shelter me from harm...can you love me?" A beautiful piece of mandolin doodling is inserted. (9)

'Why I Was Born' could have been another single - a very pretty emotive ballad - more stirring lyrics "I really do want to show you I now know why I was born....My vision is clear but there's something in here screaming don't let me go!" A fine hammond organ sound with guitar crying out in apparent sympathy with the bittersweet lyrics. (10)

'Long Sleeves For Summer' opens side C of the 2LP - an acoustic guitar strum sheen. (8)

'Save Me, I'm Yours' the finery keeps blazing "Don't turn the light off and leave me...this bed feels cold and empty"! Truly beautiful guitar sounds (acoustic & electric) & lead vocal "But this room is like a gaol...in the arms of love all fail". Brilliance! Martin's great vocal shines via the backing. (10)

'Voice Of The Father' back to a heavy fuzz guitar attack but always a melody. A quiet classical piano section before final explosion! (8)

'The Accidental' gentle cracking atmospherics...a Kate Bush style lisp vocal via a certain Betsi Miller (Kate under a pseudonym?) adds interest "The blade flashed by". (8)

'I Love You, What Are You?' unsettling changes but majestic moments "Life goes on & so must you". Interesting drumming section. (8)

'Sub Rosa' pretty vocal over simple guitar before launching into full throttled heavy Gene machine. (8)

Four singles from it were 'Fighting Fit' Oct'96 #22 UK 50, 'We Could Be Kings' Jan'97 #31 UK 50, 'Where Are They Now?' May 97 #32 UK 50, & 'Speak To Me Someone' Aug'97 #30 UK 50.

A hard act to classify - love lost lyrics - sad tender strong vocals - majestic guitars - Gene! Surprisingly this excellent effort only made #8 in the UK album charts - at the time marking the beginning of a downward trend in Indie guitar based music popularity!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Always bitter, rarely sweet, 4 Mar 2014
This review is from: Drawn To The Deep End (Audio CD)
What came next for Gene, after quite a long gestation, was Drawn To The Deep End, for my money their most cohesive album. Polydor, determined to transform Gene's status as indie darlings, beloved of an enlightened minority, into mainstream success, beloved by everybody, meant that copious amounts of money and studio time were thrown at the traditionally "difficult" third album. And it wasn't all that easy - Gene's cavalier attitude to killer material, scooped up for To See The Lights, had left them a little short on songs, and the temptation to make the most of previously unavailable studio time was understandably hard to resist. Hence album opener New Amusements, which was unlike anything the band had previously released. Fighting Fit also stands out, albeit for sounding like a needy grasp for a hit single. Rossiter's lyrics - always bitter, rarely sweet - reached new heights on DTTDE though. Witness Where Are They Now? and Speak To Me, Someone if you need proof. And then there's the deceptively simple beauty of Long Sleeves For The Summer. Bonus material here includes a swathe of B-sides (covers of REM [Nightswimming], The Jam [Wasteland] and The Small Faces [Autumn Stone] were again indicative of the shortage of original material), the excellent Royal Albert Hall live set and a couple of radio sessions. To my mind, these extras would be worth buying on their own.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars genius, 6 Feb 2010
By 
John Macleod "Big J" (Aberdeen) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Drawn to Deep End (Audio CD)
This was a breakup album for me - wish they'd kept it going. Found them by accident and they lost me the same way.
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