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102 Reviews
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4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant
Overheard my son listening to "two by two" and asked him who it was by. Then looked for more of Animal Kingdom's music on you tube. There's not much on there so bit the bullet and bought the album download.
I have only listened to the album a few times and already have my firm favorites (Tin Man/Signs and Wonders/Two by Two/Bright Lights) and I'd have bought the...
Published on 6 Feb. 2010 by Mr. G. D. Shaw

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Signs
I've been listening to this album on and off for about 6 months now and I'm still somewhat ambivalent about it, so I guess that 3 stars is a fair compromise.

To tell the truth, I usually prefer my guitar bands a bit rockier, though I do like some indie acts. Animal Kingdom have a pretty commercial sound, rather like Coldplay, Thirteen Senses, and Snow Patrol -...
Published on 2 Jan. 2010 by Ben Saunders


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Signs, 2 Jan. 2010
By 
Ben Saunders (Stirling, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've been listening to this album on and off for about 6 months now and I'm still somewhat ambivalent about it, so I guess that 3 stars is a fair compromise.

To tell the truth, I usually prefer my guitar bands a bit rockier, though I do like some indie acts. Animal Kingdom have a pretty commercial sound, rather like Coldplay, Thirteen Senses, and Snow Patrol - if you like any of those bands, then you'll probably enjoy this too. On the bright side, I think they have a bit more invention about them than some major label guitar pop and all of these songs are enjoyable enough, but unfortunately I don't think that any of these songs really stand out and they're all a little bland for my tastes (though my girlfriend likes them a bit more).

Ultimately, there seems little rhyme or reason to who gets the commercial breaks, but Animal Kingdom are probably doomed to fade into relative obscurity like so many worthy bands (Vega 4, Buffseeds, and The Panics to name some that caught my attention) before them, rather than achieve global super-stardom. Nonetheless, this is a debut of some promise and may be worth a listen if you like some of the bands I've mentioned - just don't expect it to change your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BLEH, 17 Dec. 2009
By 
B Keeler "benedict" (South Coast) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite this album being clearly aimed at as wide an audience as possible, by a band I'd never heard of before, it wasn't as terrible as I'd expected. The over-the-top, crisp production says "large label darlings" written all over it, despite it being "plain indie rock". What makes it bearable is the vocals, which are well handled, with the right amount of reverb and at a good pitch when contrasted against the instrumentation. In the end, I wasn't thoroughly impressed but it still isn't bad if you're looking for clean, Radio 1-friendly material...though I personally didn't enjoy it. Upon a few listens I suspect even the vocals have been tampered with too, which is a shame.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Relaxing Album But Little More, 23 Aug. 2009
By 
Mr. T. Brandon "timmy88" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
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At best I would describe Animal Kingdom as a mixture of The Zutons and Simon and Garfunkel, though certainly less than the sum of these parts. The songs on the album are hard to distinguish from one another and seem to fall into one of two categories, either slow and melancholy or slightly more upbeat and Zutonesque. Halfway through the album I got the distinct feeling I had heard all it had to offer.

This si not to say the music is particularly bad in itself, merely unimpressive. The CD could well make a fine accompianiment to a good book or a long drive but the music could never really be the main event. The music does not bring anything new to the table we haven't already heard a hundred times before.

This album is purely unoffensive and I certainly wouldn't turn any of the songs off if they came on the radio, I just can't really see anyone parting with money for an album of noriginal music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not actually all that wonderful..., 28 Sept. 2010
By 
This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
To be honest, it's hard to summon up strong feelings either away about 'Signs and Wonders'. The chorus of 'Tin Man' stuck in my head, but the rest of the album went by in a kind of amorphous blur - with the one or two hummable tunes being spoiled for me, anyway, by the singer's weedy voice. It's not a bad album, just an ordinary one, and not something I'll be rushing to listen to again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Indeed Woeful!, 27 Sept. 2010
By 
J. M. Green "john94682" (Sutton Coldfield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I took this for review under the Vine programme and it's sat with me for quite some time. I had a quick listen when it first arrived in the mail and I could not believe that "modern pop music" had descended to such dire levels. It subsequently got lost amongst my collection and finding it again, I gave it to my young son to listen to by way of gaining a younger person's viewpoint of the content - and it came back to me within 24 hours with the comment of "boring!"
So, I sat down and listened to it one more time to establish whether or not there was anything redeeming within this CD and I have to say, I could find nothing - every track lacking any enthusiasm or energy. So, if it is woeful to listen to, then it must have been woeful to put together in a studio - truly music to make you want to commit hare kiri!
I hate to be so negative but, being an avid listener of music, be it rock, blues, soul, metal, pop, classical I can only discard this and consign it to the bin.
Sorry!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An Unsound Investment, 29 Aug. 2009
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm not a terribly hard creature to please. Honestly.

Animal Kingdom are : Messrs Sauberlich (singing, piano and guitar),
Crombie (bass), Yardley (guitar) and Lea (drums).
'Signs and Wonders' is their debut album and although I worked
quite hard to like something about the project I was unable to
discover any redeeming feature in its twelve constituent parts.

From the first few bars of opening track 'Good Morning Mr. Magpie'
I took an instant dislike to what I was hearing. It was an almost
physical revulsion. That doesn't happen to me very often !

Lazy ! Just plain lazy ! There is absolutely no excuse for a badly
tuned guitar (unless you're Lou Reed, in which case you would be
forgiven - after all he has made a lifetime's worth of great art
out of his obvious technical limitations).

Then we come to Mr Sauberlich's voice. Hmmm. This is where the
nausea really kicked in. It is a truly horrible instrument.
Insubstantial, whiny, hollow and irritating in the extreme.
Listen to (actually don't listen to !) the execrable 'Silence Summons You'
if you really need to be convinced.

The lyrics to 'Mephistopheles' beggar belief !
The bid for some kind of credible gravitas
falls flat on its face in the mud.

....and as for 'Yes Sir, Yes Sir'....no, no, no I really must stop now!

These four young gentlemen should consider going back to their day jobs.
I cannot see that there will be any real place in the world for their music.

Easily one of the worst recordings I have heard so-far this year.

At Your Own Risk.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant, 6 Feb. 2010
By 
Mr. G. D. Shaw "Glenn" (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Overheard my son listening to "two by two" and asked him who it was by. Then looked for more of Animal Kingdom's music on you tube. There's not much on there so bit the bullet and bought the album download.
I have only listened to the album a few times and already have my firm favorites (Tin Man/Signs and Wonders/Two by Two/Bright Lights) and I'd have bought the album for these alone.
I'm no music critic but I know what I like and THIS IS IT! The tracks are SO catchy and the guitar rythems grab and hold you.
I can't remember the last time I heard an album and pretty much liked it straight away (probably Arctic Monkeys' "Whatever people...").
Animal Kingdom deserve to be massive!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds good!, 23 Aug. 2009
By 
Andy O'Boogie (Widnes, Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I would love to hear this lot live. After a couple or three beers, late in the evening, I bet they sound great. Probably better than they do on album. Not that there is anything wrong with the album but it is notoriously difficult to create any atmosphere on a studio album. This band I feel would have the necessary atmosphere when live.

I have to say I have never heard of Animal Kingdom, I don't know a thing about them. I was sent this cd by Amazon Vine to review. I put the album on and expected the usual 2 or 3 good tracks at the beginning and then filler from then onwards. I kept waiting for the poor tracks to start, it never happened. This is a good, very competent album. I have to say there was nothing that made me go WOW either! But it's a good album. Very laid back, pleasant, good late night listening. They seem particularly good on the very slow numbers. My favourites were the slow ones, Silence Summons You, Mephistopheles (closest to a wow!) and the last track Chalk Stars. I am sure the rest would sound so much better live.

The lead singer has a very high voice, some may find that irritating after a while, like Jon Anderson of Yes did me. Or Chris de Burgh (somebody who struggled to recreate on album what he did brilliantly on stage). The drumming is used very effectively, particularly on tracks like Yes Sir Yes Sir and Home. I presume the song writing is done by the band, again very competent. The keyboards, bass and guitar all gel together very well to create a very nice sound.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Guitar Based Indie Pop, 26 Nov. 2009
By 
P. Sharpe - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Not to be confused with this years highly praised Animal Collective, Animal KINGDOM are a more straight forward guitar based indie band.

You can hear alot of subtle influences in their music, they remain fairly unique though, but never match the sum of their parts.

You'll hear guitar lines that echo "I Might Be Wrong" by Radiohead or "Ohio" by CSNY, occasional lyrics that sound like parts from "Love Spreads" by the Stone Roses. The vocals are like a Neil Young, without the country or the snarl, like Mercury Rev, but without the magic, like the Kooks in that words are pronounced unusually. Male vocals higher in pitch that add (to an extent) a more dreamy quality rather than driving the songs along.

Most songs are electric, the guitar riffs and sound is generally more treble based and therefore creates a slightly colder atmosphere.

With more listens you do get to appreciate the band more. Opener "Good Morning" is a very good 60s guitar pop song. Walls of Jericho talks of "A Hard Rain Falling" and adds pseudo biblical imagery. "Chalk Stars" is a lovely, dreamy closer.

Their best track though is where they are more acoustic. This suits the singers vocal style much better. This one, track 4 "Silence Summons You" is the pick of the bunch. Maybe a sign of better things to come!

Decent, worth a try.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating listen, 28 Feb. 2010
By 
Tealady2000 (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Signs And Wonders (Audio CD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Animal Kingdom show real signs of promise but my overwhelming feeling on listening to the album was that I had heard it all before. Perhaps I have just been on this planet too long! Like many other reviewers I felt that they had not quite found their own voice - but if they do, they could be massive.
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