2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Probably their best,
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This review is from: J.A.C. (Audio CD)
Rondo Acapricio: with its locked in bassline, this opener features plenty of Tosca's trademark swirls and echoes. There's a sample of a lady at a poetry reading which is faintly amusing but you kind of think they could've come up with something better, and it detracts from the music slightly. 6.5/10
Heidi Bruehl: You've probably heard this song at a high street coffee shop, somewhere. Samia Farah offers some neat guest vocals but this is mostly unremarkable. So far quite an uncertain start to the album.
Superrob: Yay, Earl Zinger. This is not quite as good as 'Wonderful' (and features almost exactly the same beat), but this ought to at least get your head-nodding. Anna Clementi adds some gorgeous harmonies on the chorus. 8/10
John Lee Huber: Starts off with an indie guitar before slotting into a grinding tempo. More strong vocals and some pretty quirky lyrics too that throw phrases like Captain Beefheart. 7.5/10
Pyjama: The first genuine instrumental on the album. Features some excellent walking bass and jazzy cymbals. Sonorous organs and washes dominate, and the tempo is well-controlled throughout. Pretty good. 8/10
The Big Sleep: Wow. If you have good pair of speakers, look out for the bass at the start of this one. More up-front vocals on this one, but though the distorted stuff is cool, they're too up front at times and ruin the chilled aspect. Although the music is pretty good, it drags on for a while and becomes a bit annoying. 5.5/10
Damentag: A definite success that rescues the pace of the album after the drawn out last track. The way the retro synths are used on this one is very reminiscent of Daft Punk, a kind of knowingly geeky space-funk. 7.5
Naschkatze: Eerie, trip-hoppy atmosphere on this one. Lots of backwards guitar and African percussion, and then the modulated organs and synths washing over. Easily the most electronic song on the album so far. 'Shooby-do-wap-bap' vocals make this very difficult to place genrewise. 8.5
Zuri: Possibly the best song on the album and one of the best Tosca instrumentals. Impossibly mediterranean sounding acoustic guitar and one of the best selected vocals ever (even though there's no lyrics). The genre of this song is again difficult to place: there's elements of Balearic, Jazz and Folk all blended together. 9.5
Sala: OK, this is turning into a deep electronic album! Lots of gorgeous loops on this one, though after four minutes it cools down into a super-minimalist drone. Not sure if it's entirely successful but the first half is almost as beautiful as 'Zuri' and remind me a bit of Susumu Yokota's Sakura album - worth checking out. 8.0
Forte: Nearly the shortest song on the album, but also one of the best. The Balearic feel is again to the fore, although Tosca have given it their own spin. 8.5
No More Olives: Deeply contemplative, and again, very reminiscent of Yokota's 'Sakura'. Like on Sala, we have a mysterious melody and african-style percussion, but this is even more minimalist. There's a gorgeous Barry-De-Vorzon-on-the-Warriors-esque synth for most of the song, and more tasteful guitar. 8.0
This is a very strange album. The first half is filled with your typical Tosca vocal tracks, your Earl Zinger guest slot and coffee room music that steers a bit too close to convention for comfort. But following 'The Big Sleep' onwards you have six instrumentals that are individually fascinating and give the album a terrific depth. The feel of the album becomes very mediterranean and ambient, particularly the last four tracks.
What impressed me most is that Tosca seem to have found a way of melding different genres and giving their music are more organic feel. It's probably their best album.