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20 Mothers

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00004S53O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,085,003 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
Julian Cope is one of those whispered-about individuals who seems to beknown more for his drug-addled paganistic personality than any of themusic he's made over the years. To be fair, you can't really blame thegeneral public: his seminal first band, The Teardrop Explodes, weredaringly hypnotic compared to Blondie or Talking Heads. As for his solocareer, it has been far too erratic (in terms of quality as well as style,let's be honest) to make an impression on anyone outside of hisdevotees.
"20 Mothers", however, is an album which actually lives up to the Copemyth and shows that all he really represents is good, simple songwriting.Consciously harking back to his career-defining 1991 album "PeggySuicide", the album is divided into 'phases' and comes with a booklet ofarguments as opposed to lyrics. Its longer running time and looser feelmay make the album less focused than "Peggy Suicide", but it isnonetheless a solid collection.
In keeping with his environmentalist, spiritual ethos (the title andpackaging celebrate community and family), Cope's songs are more folky androots-based than anything he has done before. He is still not afraid totake a few left turns along the way, as with the synth-pop of "Just LikePooh Bear" or the heavy psych-blues of "Don't Take Roots", but most of thetime the sound combines reflective pop music with hypnotic psychedelia.
So we get Grateful Dead-meet-the-Beatles on "Adam & Eve Hit The Road",swirly Krautrock on "Greedhead Detector" and the hook-filled classic "Try,Try, Try". There are less immediate moments than on his previous albums,but repeated listening does pay off as the individual strengths of eachsong come to the fore. The songwriting is surprisingly solid in fact, withonly "By The Light Of The Silbury Moon" not really clicking.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just re-discovered Julian Cope after hearing him interviewed on R6 about his new novel. Already owned Floored Genius but decided to buy this and Saint Julian. I'm very impressed with 20 Mothers - yes, it's sprawling but that's a good thing!
Worth buying for the first track alone which Syd Barrett would've been proud of.
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Format: Audio CD
'20 Mothers' is most definitely my most played Julian Cope album. While it is not perfect it has a real charm about it and is forever changing musical styles, lyrical moods and theme all of which make it an engaging, if often odd and unfathomable, listen.

Lone single, 'Try Try Try' is just about the catchiest pop song Cope has produced since his Teardrop Explodes days and I often find myself unable to stop singing the chorus once I've played this. Don't let that fool you, however, as 'Try' is by far and away the most commercial track here. This said, the song itself is not the happiest of ditties reportedly about Cope's strained relationship with his mother. There are a number of personal /community related songs on 20 Mothers and the gentle, 'I'm Your Daddy' is a short delight as are the two excellent tracks that end the album, the anthemic 'Road Of Dreams' and moody, brooding and thought provoking, 'When I Walk Through The Land Of Fear'.

Other more 'druidy' songs are also a delight. Take 'Stone Circles And You' for example or opener 'The Wheelbarrow Man' both are bright, cheery almost 'light relief' songs and I also love the wistful 'I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud'. 'Senile Get' is catchy but controversial and 'Don't Take Roots' more a repetitive chant than a whole song. There's an element of an artist 'doodling' here sometimes though as with the disappointing, loud, whispered, shouted and muttered, 'By The Light Of The Silbury Moon' and the similarly rocky 'Greedhead Detector' but overall Cope keeps his focus well throughout and the album works all the better for it as an album listen.

To my mind, in spite of its occasionally sloppy moments, '20 Mothers' is essential Julian Cope and I would not want to be without it. Hopefully, if you can learn to live with its lyrical and musical twists and turns you will feel the same way about it as well one day.
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Format: Audio CD
Now... really... do.

Buy it, play it, play it again, rejoice that you own it.

One of the Archdrude's greatest works. Whichever period of his discography caught your attention and brought you here, if you are reading reviews, you simply need to hear this.
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