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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High expectations satisfied
The Wild Beasts debut Limbo,Panto was my album of last year by a country mile. It was just so refreshingly vibrant and different. As a result I had sky high hopes for this album and could so easily been disapointed. I wasnt.

This second album is just incredible. It takes everything that was good about the first album (the swooping falsetto, the mournful...
Published on 5 Aug 2009 by S. Reid

versus
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh?
I've really tried to like this album. I've given it repeat listens, trying to unearth it's 'amazingness', but i've decided, for me, there is none here.

While musically it's very good, and singing wise it's ok, the major gripe i have, particularly with the more upbeat numbers in the first half of the album, is the lyrics - WHAT IS HE SINGING ABOUT? i was asking...
Published on 8 Dec 2009 by Mr. S. Bennett


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High expectations satisfied, 5 Aug 2009
By 
S. Reid "happy_daze" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
The Wild Beasts debut Limbo,Panto was my album of last year by a country mile. It was just so refreshingly vibrant and different. As a result I had sky high hopes for this album and could so easily been disapointed. I wasnt.

This second album is just incredible. It takes everything that was good about the first album (the swooping falsetto, the mournful baritone, woven guitar textures, intricate arrangements) and overlays them onto a set of songs that are, well, out of this world both lyrically and musically.

More relaxed and considered than the more frenetic pace of parts of Limbo, Panto this album just grows with every listen. Hayden has, if anything, increased his vocal range and Tom sings lead on four tracks. The guitar is part Marr, part The Edge and always melodic and moody as required.

I can tell you now no other album will come anywhere near this in 2009. Peerless as far as I'm concerned.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dancing & Howling, 22 July 2009
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
Two Dancers, follows quickly from Wild Beats' debut last year. The sign of a class act is a band that delivers on promise and believe me the promise of debut Limo Panto has been kept - with ribbons, kisses, bells, whistles and the incredible sound of a band soaring: Two Dancers.

Hayden Thorpe's falsetto is now an instrument of great emotive strength. Lyrically there seems to be a theme of excitement and despair at the possibilities at the heart of the night. How two dancers (the name of 2 tracks as well as the LP) can meet, get togther, and tear each other apart.
Tom Fleming sings 2 or 3 songs (sorry I heard it three times last night and am using my memory) one of which listed a run of provincial British towns and the girls that can be found there. Think the polar opposite to laddism though, this is Queen Is Dead territory, v late adolescence turning into adulthood, beauty and despair and music to match.

Musically Two Dancers confirms Wild Beats as the boldest band in the UK.
You might well hear it on the radio, you might well not, whatever you categorically should hear it asap.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Beasts - A Rush and a Push and the land will be there's, 21 Aug 2009
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
Like others I was pointed towards this album by the ecstatic review in the Sunday Times where Dan Cairns described it as a masterpiece - "A Mephistophelean melodrama, a night on the tiles, a lawless rabble of marauding ne'er-do-wells painting the town red with real blood and Kensington Gore". I went on holidays a few days later and the whole of this album now makes up the bulk of the "25 most played" songs on my I Pod.

Not that I was immediately drawn in by its charms. Indeed I badly misjudged this album for a fair number of listens. It all seemed rather eccentric, fey and ambiguous. A bit too much Anthony Blanche and not enough Charles Ryder. Was this yet another Smiths obsessed band spending far too much time reading Byron and Shelley? Is that the sound of Sparks that echoes through "Woebegone Wanderers" on their previous album which was the first song I ever listened to by the band? Again on the new album "We still got the taste dancing on our tongues" was another culprit that I detested (but now recognise as one the best on the album). The reason was probably Hayden Thorpe's voice and it certainly it will not be to everyone's tastes. The more you listen however to Thorpe's voice you note that it is not that much different from the great Billy McKenzie of the Associates albeit at a higher falsetto level, you can also throw Jeff Buckley into this mix and even Bono circa Achtung Baby ( a compliment as its the one U2 record that should be in every collection) . Listen to his vocal on "This is out lot" an outstanding performance which is simultaneously restrained and wild. Equally throughout his lyrics are infused with intelligence and wit not seen since Morrissey

Thorpe shares vocals with the brilliant Tom Fleming who clearly is more accessible as a singer but sometimes not as interesting as Thorpe. The balance between the two is damn near perfect. Any ways forget the debate about Hayden Thorpe vs. Tom Fleming vocals; both singers contribute to the best British album in ages. Indeed one could argue that the real star is actually Ben Little surely the best new British guitarist since either Johnny Greenwood or Johnny Marr?

Check out the accessible tracks first. "All the Kings men" with its call to "Girls from Roedean, girls from Shipley, girls from Hounslow, girls from Whitby," Check out the wonderful Hooting and Howling watery video on You Tube and some of the nice mixes of the song on the net. And yes sell your worldly processions to get the sultry "We still got the taste dancing on our tongues". Finally Fleming's vocal on the electro sounding Two Dancers 1 is a joy. I could go on.....

I sense that Two Dancers will do for the Wild Beasts what "The Bends" did for Radiohead, it is that good. Limbo Panto like Pablo honey was not quite premier division. Two Dancers is Real Madrid in comparison. It is by any standards a truly audacious sophomore album and signals the arrival of a British band that stand apart from some of the crushingly indifferent indie music circulating at present. A band that truly graces this sceptred isle.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where the wild things are (8.5/10), 26 July 2009
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
On their first album `Limbo Panto' Wild Beasts got painted by some as peddlers of a contrived English eccentricity that was unfashionably arch, all barbershop harmonies and old world camp. While many were turned off by their falsetto front man Hayden Thorpe, whose gymnastic vocals always seemed to be accompanied in print with the disclaimer `deal-breaker', a militant few argued that they were the modern heirs to The Smiths. The similarities are evident, Wild Beasts sing about modern Britain - chip shops and glottal stops - with a elegiac but humourous eye, while their sound is informed by the 1980s `Brit jangle' of Morrissey and co. Very much a love it or hate it proposition, one could have been forgiven for doubting Wild Beasts' chances of longevity in Britain's faddish new music landscape. On `Two Dancers', however, they will surely silence the doubters, having smoothed down some of the rougher edges without sacrificing their oddball spirit. The falsetto is still there; tempered perhaps, but as much by tighter song structures than a reigning-in of their musical personality.

For listeners braced for pantomime histrionics, the album begins in quite low-key fashion. The jangling guitars and synth washes on the gently propulsive `The Fun Powder Plot' and `Hooting and Howling' recall New Order, although the vocals on the latter have the more fragile register of Antony Hegarty. Neither title quite prepares for the lush, elegant and expansive pop within, which in turn belies the wackier lyrics. "This is a booty call ... my boot, my boot your arsehole!` coos Thorpe on the ridiculously monikered opener - a song that is more malice than mockery. Likewise, `Hooting and Howling' seems to bemoan thuggish behaviour with a Morrissey-esque, outsider melancholy. This is not four-square, meat and potatoes rock (i.e., it sounds nothing like Oasis): there is a lot of space in the mix, the music awakens gracefully and evolves in a watercolour blur that also recalls Cocteau Twins.

`All The King's Men' picks things up considerably and is both one of the albums catchiest songs and the most obvious distillation of the Beasts sound: marching rhthms, arch lyrics, modern British reference points. Deeper-voiced Bassist Tom Fleming takes the lead, with a tongue-in-cheek roll call to "Girls from Shipley ... girls from Hounslow ... girls who need me ... girls who feed me", that is both funny and sinister. Equally brilliant is the lush, epic pop of `We Still Got The Taste Dancing On Our Tongues', an elegy to youth and adventure that can stay in the head for days and has more than just a hint of early U2 in its choppy, shimmering guitars.

The two-part title track, fronted again by Tom Fleming, is more mournful and thus less immediate, but still instrumentally rich, with Thorpe underlining Fleming's vocals with little falsetto flutters on the world-weary reprise. The propulsive Peter Hook bass of `This is Our Lot' doesn't really stop the feeling of the album's slow descent into more sombre, achingly nostalgic moods on the second part of the album. This sense is only offset by the more redemptive - in atmosphere at least - `The Empty Nest': a sashaying, dovetailing journey home that again encapsulates Wild Beasts yearning, romantic charm.

Overall, `Two Dancers' is a satisfying, beguiling record that takes a number of listens to fully bed in. The sensual, appropriately dreamy `When I'm Sleepy' and the twilight ghostliness of `Underbelly' provide impressionistic interludes to counterpoint the more epic tracks elsewhere. Surely one of the year's best albums by a British band, `Two Dancers' has the blend of invention and pop sensibility that seems to have been largely lacking on this side of the Atlantic in recent years. The revolution starts here. First published at The Line of Best Fit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bang on, 6 Sep 2009
By 
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
The other reviews deal with this album in a fine and verbose manner.
I'd just like to throw my virtual name into the hat saying that this album would absolutely not be a waste of your hard earned cash.
Excellent album, doing things entirely familiar but wonderfully different. Rewards good headphones.
Kendal should no longer be known purely for its mint cakes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richer Than Kendal Mint Cake, 16 Dec 2009
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
Just when you thought indie music had nowhere to go along comes an avant garde band from Kendal to kick new life into the genre. The music is imaginative with some excellent guitar work, especially on We Still Got the Taste Dancing on Our Tongues, which along with All the King's Men and Hooting & Howling mark the stand out tracks on the album, or at least the ones that are the most obvious singles. The catchiest ones if you like. But the lesser known tracks such as The Fun Powder Plot, This Is Our Lot and Empty Nest are also worth visiting again and again for their musical complexity and imagination.

The lyrics are ploughing the same social commentary furrow as the early Arctic Monkeys but with makes them stand out is the way they are delivered by lead singer Hayden Thorpe. His soaring falsetto is a thing of beauty and makes a nice change from the laddish sneer of Alex Turner. Secondary singer Tom Fleming also provides vocals on a few tracks (most notably All The King's Men) and his rich grounded baritone makes a nice contrast to Hayden's vocal flights.

The way the music is arranged in each song perfectly complements Hayden's amazing voice - never overwhelming it (could that be possible?)

The album concentrates on young trouble makers trapped in the smothering desperation of small town life, the joyless mating game, the bragging male who views women as birthing machines and dads without their kids. That doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs (and there isn't much if any humour in the songs I'll admit) but Hayden's and Tom's ghostly voices makes them unforgettable and haunting.

Equally elegant (the voice, the music) and ugly (the subject matter of their lyrics) as the say in Hooting and Howling just about sums this album up perfectly.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply genius, 16 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. A. P. Russell (Epsom, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
I purchased this album after reading a (very good) review in the Times, the critic stated that it makes you wonder why anybody else would even bother going into a recording studio! With the bar set well and truly high I was sold and made probably the best decision in ages. this album is truly great, we all know there is a lot of rubbish around and the word 'original' barely exists in the music world anymore - or at least I thought until I heard this.

Every song on this album just grows and grows, it's superbly mixed with loads of wonderful layers of sound that keep on exposing themselves every time I listen.

One of the best albums I've heard in a very, very long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous, darling, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
This is the album that should have won the Mercury Prize. Not just swooping falsettos, manly baritones and frankly bonkers lyrics, but the Wild Beasts also have a knack for fantastically catchy tunes that stick in your brain for days, or even months.
If lyrics such as 'my darling, my dumpling, my plump heart's a thumping' make you giggle like an idiot and admire the sheer nerve that could create such fabulous absurdity, and you like brilliant song writing, then Two Dancers is for you. Readers without a sense of humour and a love for the different need not apply...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding...my record of 2009, 5 April 2010
By 
Ian Shine (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
This is the record from 2009 that I find myself coming back to most often now that 2010 is upon us. After a fairly unremarkable debut album, Two Dancers, Wild Beasts' second record, surprised a lot of people.
Hayden Thorpe's vocals are what hit you first of all, lilting from bassy depths to trembling highs. It draws immediate comparisons with Morrissey, but this is far from knock off Smiths, a la Martin Rossiter's Gene in the 1990s.
Musically the album is intelligent and subtle too, and with more and more listens more and more elements of this are revealed.
It's bass driven grooves are woven with licking rhythm guitar and driving drums. The songs don't just happen, they develop and evolve over three to four minutes into emotionally ridden concertos. It is an album that draws comparisons with Jeff Buckley's "Grace" in this respect, and I am sure will be looked on with similar regards in ten years' time.
The central tracks - "Two Dancers (i)" and "Two Dancers (ii)" - transpose the album from its more up tempo first half into the slower more melancholic latter half, and, after repeated listens, stand out as the album's high point, although this is a high point among an album of peaks.
Unmissable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music to weave dreams by., 23 Mar 2010
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Two Dancers (Audio CD)
Wow! This is just amazing. The first time I listened I listened to this album I thought it was rubbish. The second time I reckoned it was just plain weird. The third and many, many subsequent listening I got it, I get it, I love it.

I am sure Wild Beasts get loads of press about the vocals, all male ranging from lighter than air falsetto to a throaty growl. This was the part of the offering that tripped me up, I struggled to get my head round the bizarre range but once I got it I realised what a perfect compliment the vocals make to the music.

The music elevates the album to a whole other level. It is just amazing, the guitars are floaty and ethereal without going all Enya and turning to mush. It's kind of hard to describe but from the first listen you can kind of guess where the tune is going and anticipate the drum sequences. This may make it sound derivative and boring but trust me, its not. This is a sign of music making par excellence.

I just love this album, there are no weak tracks, everything is strong and holds together well.

I recommend this album to anyone looking for something a bit different but utterly accessible.

A thoroughly well deserved five stars.
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Two Dancers
Two Dancers by Wild Beasts (Audio CD - 2009)
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