- Audio CD (27 Sept. 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: WARNER BROS
- ASIN: B003ZZAXK4
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,422 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Fenech-Soler are a 4-piece from Kings Cliffe formed in 2008. They create club and festival anthems with an experimental edge.
Fenech-Soler's self produced debut album takes the band's radio-friendly nous to unexpected places. "Battlefields" begins the album with a blast, launching with a heavenly chorus of voices, before shooting into stratospheres of glistening synths and dirty brass. "Lies" rises slowly from the deep, a tale of lust and paranoia that becomes a glittery explosion of foot-stomping melancholy. "Golden Sun" plays with rhythms that summon up the sultriness of desert heat; "The Great Unknown" takes a distant echo of French house in new, dizzying directions. And "Stop And Stare" is their club and festival anthem ready and waiting, full of twitchy, urgent riffs, and hands-in-the-air vitality.
While imagination in art is essential for standing out in any marketplace, for better or worse, pleasure can still be derived from the derivative, enjoyment extracted from the expected. Fenech-Soler’s unique selling point seems to be that they, quite brazenly, make no effort to establish one whatsoever, this album comprised of pinched synths and nicked riffs from a slew of similarly styled bands before them. By ensuring déjà-vu strikes with disturbing regularity, their eponymous debut achieves a level of addictiveness – from track to track, what band is this four-piece going to ape next?
If you find that some of this familiarity stems from the vocals, it could be because singer Ben Duffy performed on Groove Armada’s excellent single of earlier this year, Paper Romance. The music is a hodge-podge of elements heard previously in the work of Klaxons, Friendly Fires (their album covers are similar, too), Cut Copy and many more. It’s as original as a tabloid kiss-and-tell story, and variety across these ten tracks consists of slightly different pitches of bleep bubbling under rudimentary percussion and lyrics that take a dose of MGMT cod-mysticism, swig a bottle of cough medicine and spew the resulting stew over the biggest disco ball this side of a Michael Bay wrap party. It’s not that the words that cluster in easy choruses are clichéd; more that they offer nothing of insight, nothing of soul, and subsequently don’t elevate the perfunctory sounds around them.
But assessed as what it ultimately is, a collection that shamelessly bites its peers with no discernable regard for kudos, chasing commercial victories over any back-slappings in the press, one has to respect this album’s focus and determination. Not once does its consistency drop, any track quite capable of being sliced from its long-player position and rocketed into the top 40. Stop and Stare, Lies, Golden Sun, Contender and Demons are tailor-made for modern radio, shiny of surface and hollow of heart, aural Easter eggs to be gorged upon without fear of calorie overload. Bop along in the car, pick up the record from the supermarket, job’s a good ‘un.
If the band can live with their (surely) calculated first crack at album writing, then so should any critics with knives sharpened. As while Fenech-Soler are clearly content to tick established boxes in their pursuit of an audience, their execution is so flawlessly studied that any singular traits would surely spoil the results.--Mike Diver
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Top customer reviews
'The Great Unknown' and 'Stone Bridge' do slow the pace for a short moment and 'Demons' has its quieter moments but this band are all about HUGE choruses and BIG sounds and you get the feeling that they just can't help themselves...
They remind me a bit of a modern take on american duo. 'The System' ('You Are In My System', Don't Disturb This Groove') as most of their songs are full of 'electronic trickery', bleeps and other synthetic noises. Vocally too there's a bit of Mic Murphy ('The System') in there as well as a hint of John Rocca ('Freeez') - the beginning of 'LA Love' sounding rather like Freeez', 'I.O.U'.
All in all, this is not a bad album - its just a bit too much of a 'one trick pony' for my taste. If, however, you like happy-go-lucky, upbeat, modern dance music then this is well worth checking out.
Seven out of 10.
Skip forward 3 months and I arrive home to find the self titled album on the doormat... Slap it in the car stereo and take a drive... the album doesn't disappoint at all! The guys seem to have dropped a lot of their harder electro riffs of old, but added layers of silky smooth vocals and a great range of percussion sounds in the new tracks. The use of Battlefields as an opener is perfect, its good to see LA love on there also.
Of the New tracks the immediate stand out is the fantastic Golden Sun, which has to be the next single. Also worthy contenders are Stonebridge and Contender.
in closing, I feel this band are standing on the edge of greatness, and if they keep their heads in the indie media spotlight its bound to come.. Radio 1 is giving them a lot of love and now i encourage others to support them.
Fans of Klaxons, Friendly Fires, even Daft Punk + Justice... you'll find something to love on this album.
anything else from Northamptonshire has ever done before!)
This fine quartet play scintillating electronica with
good humour and buckets full of unbridled enthusiasm.
The band boasts a pair of Duffys, Ben (who sings) and
Ross (who plays guitar); Daniel Soler, who plays bass and
Andrew Lindsay, who manages the drums and judging by their
forthcoming tour schedule they would appear to be working
hard and doing rather well for themselves. They deserve to.
They also dress agreeably and have very serious haircuts!
Their debut album is chock-full of good tunes and addictive
beats. Sparkly synths and jangly guitars abound. That their
heart has been touched by the spirit of the eighties is
immediately evident but rather than drag them down into a
mire of metronomic, nostalgic navel-gazing it serves as
a launching pad for some truly splendid cutting edge pop.
There are ten tracks in the collection and the energy hardly
lets up for a moment. Two more measured and reflective songs
('Stonebridge' and 'Walk Alone') deliver a little respite
(both are fine inventions) but truth-be-told what we're really
here for is the party! 'Demons', for example, has got one of
those perfectly formed and uber-catchy choruses which it is
virtually impossible to sit still to. Opening track 'Battlefields'
also has an irrisistibly ribald rhythm enlivened by Mr Duffy's
light and limber falsetto and a silly synth giving it large like
an angry elephant with a sore foot!
Some of the finest musical moments, however, are to be found in
'The Great Unknown' (Hall and Oates might well have been smiling
in the wings!) It is a song so sure of itself and brimming over with
palpable joy that it had Mrs Wolf reeling round the cave in wild
abandon as though she were at least twenty years younger! (A truly
wonderful sight; I wish you could have been there to share the moment!)
An album to light up the night sky with fireworks and shooting stars.
secondly, this album captures perfectly their amazing live set.if you havent seen them play live, you really need to. i have reccomended them to so many people and have not yet been told they were dissapointed by what they saw. and i have personally seen them 3 or 4 times now and they are absolutely electric live.
getting on the subject of the album, there isnt a single weak track on here.echoed by the fact that they have some fantastic songs that didnt even make it onto the album. i could say for fans of: but they are so individual and this is what makes them arguably the best emerging band of the last few years.cant wait to see them headlining at one of the big summer festivals soon.well done lads.
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