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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chromatics - A seductive cocktail of sweet electronic grandeur, 29 Dec 2012
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
Any album which starts with one of the most sumptuous Neil Young covers you are going to hear of "Hey Hey, My My (Into the black)" and finishes nearly 80 minutes later with a 14 minute plus of Brian Eno style ambience in the closing track "No escape" must have something going for it. Indeed it is mighty pleasing to report that Chromatics "Kill for love" on the "Italians Do It Better" label is undoubtedly one of the best things released in 2012 even though its gestation starts as far back as 2007 with the album a full five years in the making. The ambition police perhaps could criticize this band from Portland Oregon for the sheer audacity and scale of this album but within its grooves are shades of the Cocteau Twins, New Order, House Music, Italian Disco and any of the Heinz 57 varieties of electronica you can imagine. The band consists of the shimmering vocals of Ruth Radelet (vocals/synthesizer), Adam Miller (guitar/vocoder), Nat Walker (drums/synthesizer), and resident genius Johnny Jewel (producer, multi-instrumentalist). On one level you could argue that "Kill for love" neatly splits into two parts with the album comprising five big electronic instrumentals with more pop orientated synth music, but that would be too simple. After repeated plays the listener realizes that this smorgasbord of songs do have unifying themes and that despite the presence of a guitar on the cover it's the waves of pulsating musical landscapes and imagery that are the real core of the album.

The Neil Young cover highlighted above shines light onto the wonder of Radelet's vocals with the superb backing of instrumentation of Jewel colouring it in with fitting backdrop. It is arguable that the first six songs on "Kill to love" including the New Order sounding beauty of the title track, the epic "Back from the grave", the icy dance music of "Lady" and especially the near nine minute electronic sweet and sour menace of "These streets will never look the same" amount to the best opening to a rock album since the year dot. It is simply dazzling stuff, truly modern sounds for modern days. These songs set the bar so high that nothing can really touch them although the band try at every possible opportunity. Thus "Running for the sun" starts out with haunting piano coda and moves into a longing vocoder infused ballad that is well worth a download for the uninitiated. The beautiful love song "Bird of Paradise" should melt the coldest of winter hearts while the ghost of Kraftwerk are evoked the excellent instrumental "The River". Listeners would also profit seeking out some of the other instrumentals recorded by this band not least the brilliant backing to Ryan Gosling's neo-noir crime drama film "Drive" namely the menacing threat of "Tick of the clock". The fantastic "Broken Mirrors" on this album reprises some of these soundscapes.

The review site Music OMH has described "Kill for love" has having "a My Bloody Valentine grandeur.... but executed primarily with electronics; guitars present, but phased and treated". There is something in this as it is one of those records whose gravitational is magnetic to the listener and it stands as a piece of work which requires detailed exploration and forensic examination while at the same time it descends down your musical burrow and chivvy's you out like an old stoat (apologies to E. Waugh). It's pleasing at the end of 2012 reviewing season to conclude a varied musical year dominated by veteran performers with a band who have also paid their musical dues in full and delivered in spades. "Kill for love" is a handsome and stylish record full of pristine sounds and intriguing rhythms. Johnny Jewel is a full blown composer scoring movie soundtracks, with a proper understanding of tension versus release and in "Kill for love" he and his band have unleashed a huge polished diamond.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 7 Jun 2012
This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
This is an astonishing record. I had heard good things about this album, but I wasn't expecting something this complex, this subtle. Deeply textured, repeated listens draw out motifs of a yearning, a quiet desperation from its glossy depths. The songs are given time to breathe, but the tunes are sharp and the melodies insanely catchy at times.
Glib descriptions of "Kill For Love" as a synth pop or dark disco record do not even start to do it justice. It sounds a bit like it is from the 1980s but also from the 2080s. Darkly cinematic, these songs are tales of longing, of sadness and occasional warmth. There are definate nods to New Order, Bowie's Warszawa and even Pink Floyd in the mix, but overall Chromatics' sound is all their own. Brilliant.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent rock/chilled album, 28 July 2012
By 
Daneel (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
This is an unusual album, fusing together different styles and sounds in an enchanting, powerful way. The album isn't perfect, certainly some tracks are stronger than others, but given the length of the album, 16 tracks running for an hour and seventeen minutes, I think you more than get your money's worth.

The strongest tracks are at the beginning of the album. Into the Black seemed straightforward enough the first time I listened to it, but over time, I've grown to love it. The track's simplicity belies its quality.

Kill for Love, Back from the Grave, The Page, and Lady are all superb. The next few tracks are mostly instrumental, and while good, don't match up to the first third of the album. Then the final third, starting with Birds of Paradise, raise the level again, while not quite reaching the same heights as the first third.

Overall, this album is a work of art that I'll appreciate for a long time to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chromatics - Johnny Jewel's polished diamond, 25 Mar 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Kill For Love [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Any album which starts with one of the most sumptuous Neil Young covers you are going to hear of "Hey Hey, My My (Into the black)" and finishes nearly 80 minutes later with a 14 minute plus of Brian Eno style ambience in the closing track "No escape" must have something going for it. Indeed it is mighty pleasing to report that Chromatics "Kill for love" on the "Italians Do It Better" label is undoubtedly one of the best things released in 2012 even though its gestation starts as far back as 2007 with the album a full five years in the making. The ambition police perhaps could criticize this band from Portland Oregon for the sheer audacity and scale of this album but within its grooves are shades of the Cocteau Twins, New Order, House Music, Italian Disco and any of the Heinz 57 varieties of electronica you can imagine. The band consists of the shimmering vocals of Ruth Radelet (vocals/synthesizer), Adam Miller (guitar/vocoder), Nat Walker (drums/synthesizer), and resident genius Johnny Jewel (producer, multi-instrumentalist). On one level you could argue that "Kill for love" neatly splits into two parts with the album comprising five big electronic instrumentals with more pop orientated synth music, but that would be too simple. After repeated plays the listener realizes that this smorgasbord of songs do have unifying themes and that despite the presence of a guitar on the cover it's the waves of pulsating musical landscapes and imagery that are the real core of the album.

The Neil Young cover highlighted above shines light onto the wonder of Radelet's vocals with the superb backing of instrumentation of Jewel colouring it in with fitting backdrop. It is arguable that the first six songs on "Kill to love" including the New Order sounding beauty of the title track, the epic "Back from the grave", the icy dance music of "Lady" and especially the near nine minute electronic sweet and sour menace of "These streets will never look the same" amount to the best opening to a rock album since the year dot. It is simply dazzling stuff, truly modern sounds for modern days. These songs set the bar so high that nothing can really touch them although the band try at every possible opportunity. Thus "Running for the sun" starts out with haunting piano coda and moves into a longing vocoder infused ballad that is well worth a download for the uninitiated. The beautiful love song "Bird of Paradise" should melt the coldest of winter hearts while the ghost of Kraftwerk are evoked the excellent instrumental "The River". Listeners would also profit seeking out some of the other instrumentals recorded by this band not least the brilliant backing to Ryan Gosling's neo-noir crime drama film "Drive" namely the menacing threat of "Tick of the clock". The fantastic "Broken Mirrors" on this album reprises some of these soundscapes.

The review site Music OMH has described "Kill for love" has having "a My Bloody Valentine grandeur.... but executed primarily with electronics; guitars present, but phased and treated". There is something in this as it is one of those records whose gravitational is magnetic to the listener and it stands as a piece of work which requires detailed exploration and forensic examination while at the same time it descends down your musical burrow and chivvy's you out like an old stoat (apologies to E. Waugh). It's pleasing at the end of 2012 reviewing season to conclude a varied musical year dominated by veteran performers with a band who have also paid their musical dues in full and delivered in spades. "Kill for love" is a handsome and stylish record full of pristine sounds and intriguing rhythms. Johnny Jewel is a full blown composer scoring movie soundtracks, with a proper understanding of tension versus release and in "Kill for love" he and his band have unleashed a huge polished diamond.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great album but the cd I was sent was not new, 17 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
Favourite songs: Into the Black, Lady, A Matter of Time, Broken Mirrors

Unfortunately the product arrived in a used condition so I had to return it (because of this I have deducted one star). The cd case - which is card not plastic - had scuff marks all over (front and back) and the edges were worn down in some areas. Even the cd had scuff marks!

If this album comes out soon in a plastic case I will be interested in buying it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Album, 9 April 2014
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This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
I came across this band from the film, Drive. I think a lot of their new fans have discovered them the same way. I've have all their albums and this is probably the best. Great 80's electronic pop with an incredible soundscape, atmosphere and vibe to it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
This CD seems to go on forever. But I'm not complaining. On the contrary you sort of wish this CD doesn't end. In fact I have played it on shuffle/loop a few times. Some classic film music here, though the music will transport you to an alternative reality. Certainly has become one of my favourite CD's, and it looks to remain there for some time. Brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars kill for love, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
seductive , moody , strung out grooves in a style that mostly avoids the usual cliches .Only a couple of tracks that makes use of the auto tune sound on the vocals spoil the individuality
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kill For Love, 3 July 2012
By 
Kenneth (nottingham, england) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
Post Punk Italo House is a term i've heard banded about by critics in reference to Chromatics on more than one occasion and i'm unusally happy to go along with the cogniscenti this time round, as i think it's a rather apt descripter. Arpeggiated synths, clean/brittle guitars, tonnes of reverb and the delightful vocals of Ruth Radelet are all blended together for 90 minutes on their fourth album Kill For Love. This is all nice and well i here you say, "but does it sound good?" my answer would be find a stream and give it a listen, but to give you my humble opinion "yes it certainly does".

With such a colossal playing time you might assume that the record might succumb to the perils of being overly ambitious or aimlessly sporadic, however it's actually incredibly consistent alternating between glacial soundscapes and dazzlingly impressive yet sublimely restrained pop songs. I had thought about mentioning individual tracks but there's just too many to sithe through on Kill for Love for it not to feel arbitrary, i will confirm that the cover of Neil Young's "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" is a brilliantly understated rendition though (not unlike Saint Ettienne's now classic cover of Youngs "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" ).

Even though this album feels far too expansive for this to come across as anybodies solo project, Johnny Jewel is reportedly the groups creative Nucleus so it's only right that i mention his name here. He's said to have drawn on a wide variety of different musicial influences for the conception of Kill For love ranging from the seductive Pop of Madonna to the challenging electronic compositions of Stockhausen, i'm not entirely sure if this immediately comes over through the way the album actual sounds (sonically speaking) but the ostenible dichotomy of brooding yet melodic pop songs and lengthly ambient experiments is consumately reconciled here.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bright like neon love, 12 Dec 2012
By 
Colin Mccartney (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kill For Love (Audio CD)
I clocked this CD in Piccadilly Records' 2012 end-of-year chart and decided to check it out.

Chromatics achieve what the likes of Cut /// Copy, LCD Soundsystem and the Beauty Room have narrowly tried and failed to achieve. What IS that then? I guess it's a sound that draws on its (retro) electronic music influences without tracing over them; without trying too hard.

Imagine a collaboration between Tangerine Dream, Boards of Canada, Giorgio Moroder and Kanye West and you're just about there. But really this record is something else. "Kill for Love" has been on almost constant rotation since I got it about a week ago.

There are many albums which sound good, beyond reproach on first listen. Not that many albums compel you to listen repeatedly, but "Kill for Love" is one such album.

Chromatics are my new favourite group.
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