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The Bees - Octopus,
This review is from: Octopus (Audio CD)
Recent months have proven slightly dissapointing for second albums. The Rakes, Bloc Party, Maximo Park, Razorlight and The Killers all not hitting the mark, all losing the edge of their debuts. The Bees however, never had that problem. Their 2004 sophomore album Free The Bees was a huge success artistically, transforming the band into 60's revivalists but somehow still managing to sound totally relevant.
Never one to fit into any one musical genre, The Bees have really found their feet with their third offering Octopus. In the solace of their own basement studio in the Isle Of Wight the band have cooked up an album of understated excellence. Mixing up soul, ska and funk to produce an album of shimmering beauty that grows with each listen. There is a new found confidence to each of the ten tracks on display here. The musical genres sit together seamlessly, from the sixties funk (mariachi style) of Got To Let Go to the gorgeous, lilting soul of Listening Man which, in a just world would be a sure fire hit. The folkiness of Love In The Harbour nestles up perfectly with the dub workout of Left Foot Stepdown, whilst the albums only clanger End Of The Street comes complete with comedy sound effects.
What intrigues and fascinates me most about this album is the quality of the production. It actually sounds like it was produced in another era, the vintage sound has to be heard to be believed. The range of styles and influences on display never seem forced or contrived, the band are doing what comes naturally to them and it is a joy to behold. This is the sound of a band feeling totally comfortable in their own skin.