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COMING OUT OF THE SHADOWS,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Private Press (Audio CD)
It's been six years since Shadow released the ground breaking 'Endtroducting', and six years is a long time to wait for a fully fledged follow up. But was it worth the wait?
When I first listend to it fully, I was a little disappointed. But the more I listend the more it grew. There really is only two points where the record falls down. First being 'Monosylabik', a track created round a 2 bar loop. There is no denying the talent and how pain staking it must have been. But the track is too long and the texture of it bland. The second falling down point is 'Mashin' On The Motorway' A full rap vocal track about a road rage driver creating havoc on the road. The track is delievered with humour and is far too throw away.
The rest of the record shows a man who has not lost his spark. Do not expect to hear 'Endtroducing part 2'. Shadows went out of his way too make sure that the listener can only make limited comparisons. There are elements of electronica,80's synth and 80's hip-hop and all sit comfortably together.
The First major player is 'fixed Income' a big live sounding beat track with lovely guitar and piano sections layered over the top. 'Walkie Talkie' is a simple breakbeat track which transends into an industrial sounding horn. But the first epic is just around the corner.
'Giving Up The Ghost' has all the qualities that I love about Shadows instrumental music. Etheral sounding with a lovely beat and drving bass. It's a slow burner which gradually exposes it's full potential. A real jem on the record. '6 Day War' sees Shadow using a mostly full vocal sample from a 70's psychedelic rock track based around the Israel attack on Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq in 1967, called, yep, 'The 6 Day War'. I wasn't too sure of it at first but proved to be a real grower with a clever use of a marching band type beat to coinside with the lyrical content.
'Monogrel..../Meets His Maker' is effectively two parts of the same track. It has a beautiful ambience to it. With some lovely layers of guitar and pianos and typically Shadow driven beat.
The real stand outs are left to the end. 'Blood On The Motorway' for me is the track of the record. Dealing with the transition from life to death in the second phase. A slow build up with no beat. Just chimes and pianos with a spoken word sample. By the next phase of the track the beat comes in and a Stevie Winwood sound alike comes in with the vocal. All well constructed, brillantly paced a true classic Shadow epic.
Which leads into my second favourite track. The single 'You Can't Go Home Again'. A stright beat driven track with the live sounding beat and precussion. One that'll have your head bobbing without even you noticing. Nice scratchy guitars and driving bass which lead up to an intoxicating driven finish.
This album is not 'Endtroducing' and it doesn't try to be. The flow isn't as well constructed as 'Endtroducing' but when the music on this is good, it's exceptional. A worthy sucessor, kicks all wanna be's to the kerb and show's how it should be done.
Highlight tracks :
Giving Up The Ghost.
6 Day War.
Mongrel....Meets His Maker.
Blood On The Motorway
You Can't Go Home Again.