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The Black & White Album

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4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000VCUX5Y
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Hives - Black And White Labum - Cd

BBC Review

Dressed in their trademark monochrome suits, The Hives have always fronted an image of distinction that some might say has overshadowed their musical worth. The Black And White Album shows off the Swedish quintet revelling in the chance to have fun with their guitars again, experimenting with other producers for the first time, and pulling together a collection of tracks, which easily makes for their strongest record yet.

All the showmanship is there on the immediate, aural explosion of "Tick Tick Boom", which goes back to the fun stuff of "Hate To Say I Told You So", when Hives were our new favourite band. The midas talents of guest hip hop producer Pharrell are all over the "T.H.E. H.I.V.E.S".

A genius slice of future funk that Prince would be proud of, with the band spelling out their name in an almost Hot Chip dead-pan patter. Falsetto frontman, Howlin' Pele has got balls as he sings: 'You're looking at black and white/ Seeing our name in lights! We rule the world, this is our world'.

"Giddy Up!" is part of the speedier second half of the record dominated by tracks produced by Dennis Herring, and takes the listener to a cheeky moment when only sex can do the talking, with the lines: 'Our only way to reconcile/ Is to get back in the saddle for a little ride/ Giddy up now!' Pete's irrisistable repetition gets lodged in your head, along with the kids toy sound effects. It's then back to the speedy, energetic rock charged stuff of, "You Got It All! Wrong", about the inevitable dumping of a lover: 'We had a laugh, but it turned into a cough/We got along/but I wanna get off'.

The record also weaves pockets of otherworldly instrumentals in a playful faux-menacing soundtrack on "A Stroll Through Hive Manor Corridors" via old fairgrounds and a deserted house of horrors with the spooked synths of "Puppet On A String". What these interludes add to the mixture beats me, but it's put the band out there; they've opened the realms of experimentation.

This album is full to the brim of enjoyable poke and laugh-at-yourself tracks that will get you singing along and are deftly executed, but when the music stops they are just not memorable enough. Guitarist Nicholaus Arson said: 'If The Beatles could make a White Album and Metallica could make a Black Album, there was only one band who could make a record twice as good as those two combined'.

I guess we're still waiting then...? --Sonja D'Cruze

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Ill keep this short and sweet.
Many people say The Hives are a one trick pony.
And they might be right.
But its one hell of a rocking pony.
A pony dressed in a black saddle and a white tie, with a haircut all the ponies in Shoreditch will be copying by the end of the month.
The best track are the first track 'Tick Tick Boom' and the eighth track 'T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S.' (which was produced rather well by that nice young man Pharrell)
If you like rocking out and shouting lyrics at the top of your voice then buy it.
If not spend your money on Orson's new effort. Im sure its just lovely.
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Format: Audio CD
Firstly, i saw the hives at the eurockeennes de belfort festival during the summer and they were awesome, the energy and entertainment value are second to none and the drummer was first-class, however i was left slightly disapointed by the new material, it felt somehow sub-standard. A surprise it was then when i got this album and gave it a run through, it is much better than i had expected and there are a number of top class efforts with 'tick tick boom' and 'hey little world' being instant hives classics. Conversely there are a few dodgy tracks knockin about here which is a slight shame. Overall a pretty good album, definitely a must buy for any hives fan, but there is a general feel that this band are capable of more.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a bit of a difficult album to review - and I had to think long and hard about whether or not it was worthy of 3 or 4 stars.

The problem is this - when its good, its bloody good. Possibly some of the best material they've produced. There's absolute belters like "Tick, Tick, Boom" and the marvellous "Try It Again". Pure, unadulterated Hive-tastic feel good rock out tunes. "You Got it All Wrong" again - classic shout along, quirky Hives.

The formula isn't in need of fixing - and they're certainly not pushing any boundaries - and they don't need to.

Where it falls down and drops that star is on tracks like "It Won't Be Long", "T-H-E-H-I-V-E-S" & the awful "Giddy Up". They're almost there in parts - but its clear that Pharell has had a (bad) influence here. The Hives are NOT hip-hop. To me these tracks fall flat and The Pharell connection fails. They're probably great if you're into hip-hop or whatever but I'm not and neither are they. They contain nothing that makes the Hives stand out.

Thankfully we're back to normal service by "Square One Here We Come" and the sublime "You Dress Up For Armageddon." The less said about "Puppet on a String" the better and "Bigger Hole to Fill" rounds it off nicely.

The quality of the good tracks push this firmly into 4 territory - but its a pity about Pharell's meddling. I'm not normally used to skipping tracks on a Hives album so fingers crossed on a different producer that will leave them alone to do their own very special thing next time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ready, steady, go. Great songs, fast and furious. I love this cd, new direction in the sound but maintaining the spirit of the original Hives. Tyrannosaurus Hives and Black and White album would be, from my point of view, the best cd's at this moment. Their image and the concept of the album is excellent.
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Following The Hives previous album, there was some scepticism as to whether they could develop their sound in a way other bands of recent times have been accused of failing to do so. While maybe not developing their original sound, they have made an album which is more varied than 'Tyrannosaurus Hives" in the types on songs on offer. Retaining their best elements in some songs and offering something completely different in others. It is hard to imagine the near 3 minute instrumental of 'Stroll through Hives Manor' appearing on past Hives' albums.

Tracks such as the first single 'Tick Tick Boom' and 'Hey Little World' are familiar; but that is not a criticism, as they are characteristically energetic and will surely not disappoint fans of the band. Yet the Hives can not be accused of being afraid to explore their musical boundaries with 'T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S' providing a funky Prince meets the Bee Gees sound (Coincidentally it was recorded in the same studios which Stayin' Alive was). Meanwhile, I imagine 'Puppet on a String' would feature if, by some strange reason, The Hives' collaborated with Disney to make the soundtrack for a sequel to `Fantasia'. Trust me on that one.

It is a testament to the Hives' experimentation that the only inferior track of the album, 'Return the Favour', is one of the more atypical sounding songs for the band. The lack of fear to try something new alongside the often winning formula of the past has paid off. It is an album that will likely raise a smile to both fans of the Hives with its quirkiness, whilst possibly finding the band new fans with the more pop orientated sound that is present. This is a genuinely fun album in a time when seriousness seems to be the trend.
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This music is for annoying your parents with and for making an idiot of yourself with a set of headphones when out in public.
So keep playing it and wonder at the luck of fans in colder northern european countries who get to see this lot more often than we in the yeekay do. A fine rocking noise.
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