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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Haines on unrivalled form!!!!!!!
Right from the headrush of the guitar-driven opener 'Discomania', Luke Haines's latest statement of intent once again underlines why there's a damn good argument that he's currently the best British songwriter in the UK. On paper 'Christie Malry...' is something of a departure for Haines - a soundtrack for Paul Tickel's movie, based on BS Johnston's angry, experimental...
Published on 25 Jun 2001

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tantalizing taste/preview of tender pop contempt
Now that Morrissey, Brett Anderson, and Jarvis Cocker are either semi-retired, on sabbatical, or in decline (depending on who you ask), one shining, incisive star stands to save British pop from its latter-day meandering vagueness. That savior's name is Luke Haines.
With an already extremely large and almost as extremely distinguished body of work behind him-...
Published on 23 Jun 2001


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tantalizing taste/preview of tender pop contempt, 23 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Now that Morrissey, Brett Anderson, and Jarvis Cocker are either semi-retired, on sabbatical, or in decline (depending on who you ask), one shining, incisive star stands to save British pop from its latter-day meandering vagueness. That savior's name is Luke Haines.
With an already extremely large and almost as extremely distinguished body of work behind him- including four albums as ringleader of The Auteurs, two as headmaster of Black Box Recorder, and one as Baader Meinhof- Mr. Haines now releases his first self-confessed "solo" record, the soundtrack to Paul Tickell's film of B.S. Jones's cult novel, Christie Malry's Own Double Entry. Let's point out right up front that half of the album is instrumental "score" intended to be accompanied visually by the film; though the pretty but sinister melodies are identifiably Haines's, these pieces lack the full stamp of Haines, as much of the thrust and bite of his work comes with his incomparably clever, literate, sad and funny lyrics and vocal melodies.
Which leaves us with a total of six pop songs of the sort we've come to expect from Haines: "Discomania," a rocker (containing the rather memorable lyric "Kim Wilde is Sex") that wouldn't have been out of place on The Auteurs's 1999 album How I Learned to Love the Bootboys. A different version of "Discomania" will appear on Haines's solo album proper, The Oliver Twist Manifesto, to be released on 2 July. The most musically audacious and experimental track on the album, "In the Bleak Midwinter" uses a choral arrangement as musical accompaniment for Haines's counter-melody (which contains the snidely crooned, ironic lyric "art will save the world"); the two elements add up to a gorgeous, original, and slightly disturbing ballad. It's followed immediately by another ballad, "How to Hate the Working Classes," a treatise on the embittering aftermath of political disaffection and lost love. "Discomaniax" is an alternately churning and orchestral, fatalistic update of T. Rex's "Children of the Revolution." "England, Scotland and Wales," a midtempo number with a very Black Box Recorder arrangement, finds Haines at war with Winston Churchill and George Orwell. The only thing that comes close to a disappointment is a cover of Nick Lowe's "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass;" it may be perfectly fitting for the film (which I've not yet seen), but the doomy repetitiveness is far too reminiscent of run of the mill industrial music and seems doubly pedestrian coming from Haines.
Christie Malry's Own Double Entry offers only a tantalizing, far too brief taste of the tender contempt sure to be in full bloom on Haines's upcoming "official" album, The Oliver Twist Manifesto. Still, though you're paying full price for what amounts to an EP's worth of Haines, every completist will have to have it, and in this writer's experience, to be fan of this vital pop genius is synonymous with completism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars La Haines on unrivalled form!!!!!!!, 25 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Right from the headrush of the guitar-driven opener 'Discomania', Luke Haines's latest statement of intent once again underlines why there's a damn good argument that he's currently the best British songwriter in the UK. On paper 'Christie Malry...' is something of a departure for Haines - a soundtrack for Paul Tickel's movie, based on BS Johnston's angry, experimental novel from 1973. But in reality it's the perfect union of attitudes and ideas, Haines's complete mastery of guitar pop, electronica and even a surprisingly successful venture into techno, effectively orchestrating Johnson's bitter recriminations about modern Britain to the point that their visions blur into one, accusatory portrait of modern life. For long-time Haines' fans particular excitement will come from, amongst others, 'How to Hate the Working Classes' and 'England, Scotland and Wales', the latter seeing Haines threaten to write the UK nothing less than a national anthem that brutally captures the fractured reality of a supposedly united state. Soundtrack aficionados will find much to excite them amongst the multi-layered instrumental pieces that swirl between ethereal choirs and brooding electronica, often reminiscent of artists such as Philip Glass and Michael Brook. Add to this a dramatic reworking of Nick Lowe's pop classic 'I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass', here brooding and ominous, and it's difficult to think what's lacking. Angry, beautiful and witty, 'Christie Malry...' is a tour de force for Haines, his head still full of intent, his vision very much assured, his delivery still scathing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars State Of The Nation., 20 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Luke Haines has always been above his peers in the way he uses Britain as his muse. Indeed here he goes so far as to propose a new national anthem.
This soundtrack to the film based on the novel of the same name is compelling. The sound is similar to The Auteurs' last album "How I learned to love the bootboys" but more melodically assured. The songwriting varies from Sakamoto like instrumentals to the final track, a hypnotic, mantra like techno pastiche. In between are sumptuous slices of the writers wit and imagination.
Now we can only hope that the film gets a UK release so we can appreciate these sounds in context.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great soundtrack to the neglected British film., 9 Oct 2005
Luke Haines was really the obvious choice to create the soundtrack to this film... a visually lavish and surprisingly avant-garde adaptation of B.S. Johnson's experimental novel of the same name, about a meek and mild-mannered file clerk's gradual descent into accountancy, terrorism and all out social contempt. Haines' past work, both with The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder, had flirted with issues like depression, murder, angst and the class struggle, whilst his one-off 1997 album, under the name Baader Meinhof, would offer listeners a taste of his first experiments with electronic music, and his growing obsession with counter-culture terrorist organisations of the 1970's.
Haines - always one of the most imaginative and intelligent songwriters to emerge from the early 90's indie-scene - attacks the whole Malry concept with relish; alluding back to certain themes and motifs from the Baader Meinhof album, as well as records like How I Learned To Love The Bootboys and his eventual solo-debut proper, the great Oliver Twist Manifesto. As with the majority of Haines's career, the music and overall lyrical subject matter skirts fairly close to the territory of bad-taste humour, but is anchored by his intelligence as a songwriter and his knack for creating gorgeous pop melodies. The music freely mixes between electronic samples that bring to mind people like Aphex Twin and Autechre, with more organic instrumentation, like toy-pianos, drums, strings and guitars. Sometimes the guitars have been treated or are layered with distortion, which gives some of the guitar work that same fuzzy 'glam-rock' style familiar from Baader Meinhof and certain parts of Now I'm A Cowboy, whilst at other times we have a more recognisable acoustic strum merging with the electronic blips and bleeps.
Many of the songs will already be familiar to the majority of Haines' devotees, with tracks like the central refrain, Discomania (a theme repeated throughout the album and the film) also featuring on The Oliver Twist Manifesto, whilst the song How To Hate The Working Classes recently featured on the excellent Luke Haines Is Dead box-set. Added to those tracks there's also a hauntingly minimal interpretation of In The Bleak Midwinter- which is certainly one of Haines' most snipping and sinsister ballads - Celestial Discomania, which takes the template established by the more up-tempt Discomania, only to strip away the clutter to create a refrain that is more haunting and ambiguous. Meanwhile, The abovementioned How To Hate The Working Classes is a slow-tempo track that continues the bleak social observations of songs like The Upper Classes from Now I'm A Cowboy, or Bugger Bognor from the Das Capital compilation.
England Scotland and Wales is another sniping critique on the current state of the country, which compliments How To Hate... perfectly, and acts as yet another contender for Haines's greatest song ever. There's also some instrumental mood-pieces thrown in which help tie together the more traditional songs, and then of course, there's that unbelievable threatening cover of Nick Lowe's I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass, which is reminiscent of the re-mix of There's Gonn'a Be An Accident from Luke Haines is Dead... in the respect that both songs mix minimal electronic music alongside more traditional instruments to create a minimal, claustrophobic piece that almost suffocates us with it's intensity. The music is often as dark as the lyrics and really works well when coupled with the evocative imagery of the film (it really is one of the most underrated and best British films of the decade so far... it's just a shame that the current DVD release is such poor quality).
Some will no doubt feel a knee-jerk reaction to some of the lyrical sentiments (home terrorism and bombs on busses aren't necessarily in-vogue given recent events), though there's no denying Haines' natural talent and ability to craft perfect pop songs from even the most unpleasant of subjects (...those with a further interest in the work of Luke Haines should progress straight on to After Murder Park, which features delightful indie-pop like Unsolved Child Murder and Light Aircraft on Fire).
The Christie Malry Soundtrack is another great release from Haines, and is an album that can be appreciated even if you're unfamiliar with the film itself. Those familiar with Haines previous (and indeed, subsequent) work will know what to expect from the music collected on this album, with the songs generally continuing his favourite themes - terrorism, class-war and all out social-disgust - but with the snipping lyrics set against some gorgeous melodies and an overall instrumental bed made up of chiming bells, grinding electronics, epic strings and a hint of guitars.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tantalizing preview from evil pop genius, 21 Jun 2001
By A Customer
Now that Morrissey, Brett Anderson, and Jarvis Cocker are either semi-retired, on sabbatical, or in decline (depending on who you ask), one shining star stands to save British pop from the dull vagueness of latter-day Radiohead, Coldplay and Badly Drawn Boy. That savior's name is Luke Haines.
With an already extremely large and almost as extremely distinguished body of work behind him- including four albums as ringleader of The Auteurs, two as headmaster of Black Box Recorder, and one as Baader Meinhof- Mr. Haines now releases his first self-confessed "solo" record, the soundtrack to Paul Tickell's film of B.S. Jones's cult novel, Christie Malry's Own Double Entry. Let's point out right up front that half of the album is instrumental "score" intended to be accompanied visually by the film; though the pretty but sinister melodies are identifiably Haines's, these pieces lack the full stamp of Haines, as much of the thrust and bite of his work comes with his incomparably clever, literate, sad and funny lyrics and vocal melodies.
Which leaves us with a total of six pop songs of the sort we've come to expect from Haines: "Discomania," a rocker (containing the rather memorable lyric "Kim Wilde is Sex") that wouldn't have been out of place on The Auteurs's 1999 album How I Learned to Love the Bootboys. A different version of "Discomania" will appear on Haines's solo album proper, The Oliver Twist Manifesto, to be released on 2 July. The most musically audacious and experimental track on the album, "In the Bleak Midwinter" uses a choral arrangement as musical accompaniment for Haines's counter-melody (which contains the snidely crooned, ironic lyric "art will save the world"); the two elements add up to a gorgeous, original, and slightly disturbing ballad. It's followed immediately by another ballad, "How to Hate the Working Classes," a treatise on the embittering aftermath of political disaffection and lost love. "Discomaniax" is an alternately churning and orchestral, fatalistic update of T. Rex's "Children of the Revolution." "England, Scotland and Wales," a midtempo number with a very Black Box Recorder arrangement, finds Haines at war with Winston Churchill and George Orwell. The only thing that comes close to a disappointment is a cover of Nick Lowe's "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass;" it may be perfectly fitting for the film (which I've not yet seen), but the doomy repetitiveness is far too reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails and seems doubly pedestrian coming from Haines.
Christie Malry's Own Double Entry offers only a tantalizing, far too brief taste of the tender contempt sure to be in full bloom on Haines's upcoming "official" album, The Oliver Twist Manifesto. Still, though you're paying full price for what amounts to an EP's worth of Haines, every completist will have to have it, and in this writer's experience, to be fan of this vital pop genius is synonymous with completism.
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