Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Witty and Entertaining Follow-Up, 3 Dec 2006
This review is from: You Could Have It So Much Better (Audio CD)
I'm somewhat disadvantaged in assessing this collection because I've never heard the first album - but believe me, it's on my Christmas List! In my experience, second albums released hastily on the back of a successful debut are nothing to write home about. And Mercury prize winners are another cause for suspicion in my book. However, this one is a big exception. It's imaginitive, interesting and (after quite a few listens) entertaining. But you've got to play it a lot of times and give it a chance! With the first hearing, I didn't think I'd enjoy it. And I was right - I didn't - apart from a couple of the more conventional-sounding tracks such as Eleanor and Walk Away. But that's not the time to write a review, which I suspect is the problem with most of the negative reviews here. Giving an album one star because it's not how you would like it to be misses the whole point of objective appraisal. Would you say Beethoven was rubbish because it's not like Coldplay? To my mind this is an excellent album. The dry wit of the lyrics in particular reveals itself gradually the more times you listen. I wouldn't normally resort to filling my review by quoting lyrics but I can't resist including the phrases "I've watched you clean the filth off your phone dial" and "As you walk away, Radio 4 is static". The melodies are unusual but they grow on you and are all the more satisfying for that. It may sound unlikely but at times the sound of the band approaches that of Captain Beefheart's early 70's Magic Band, with a driving bass, thumping drums and a relentless Telecaster rhythm, particularly on "I'm Your Villain". I've not heard another band get near that sound before (and if you like it, get yourself a copy of the astonishing Trout Mask Replica). An original and clever album. Not dramatic enough for five stars but - buy it, give it time and it will reward you.
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Location: Sussex, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 387,541