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Foburg CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

Price: £27.95
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by EliteDigital UK.
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£27.95 Only 1 left in stock. Dispatched from and sold by EliteDigital UK.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Sept. 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Beneath Music
  • ASIN: B000HDRA5S
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,071 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ophelia Crescent Is Burning
  2. Widening The Gravel Road
  3. Foburg (They Bought)
  4. North Esk
  5. Epiphany Season
  6. Black Confetti
  7. Fur Jacket On A Hot Night
  8. The Adoptees
  9. Rat Poison Rendezvous
  10. The Centre, Revisited
  11. Big Wax Hand
  12. The Sacrament Of Killing
  13. The Intake Room
  14. Asunderland

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Cathal Coughlan's new record is derived from a song-cycle that was performed as part of the Cork City of Culture festivities in 2005. Over 14 songs Coughlan follows the exploits of Flannery, an ex-inmate of a regressive mental institution which appears, in his mind, to have been transformed into a 21st century shopping mall. Down on his luck, he falls under the influence of the recently arrived immigrant Cousin Gregory, who lures him into his criminal activities, but before long the authorities catch them and they are brought to book, in a style far exceeding the 'cruel and unusual'.

A host of targets fall under Coughlan's satiric glare, from the vacuousness of the 'new Ireland' to the harmful effects of consumerism on how we think of sex and love. So far, so good, but what takes `Foburg' into the realms of the extraordinary is the music. 'Ophelia Crescent is Burning' is a stately and moving opener, with an incredible chorus that unfurls over Audrey Riley's deft but heartbreaking cello. Even better is 'Epiphany Season', a song hooked together with delicate accordion and Coughlan's unparalleled voice. 'Big Wax Hand' is a cracking tune, punchy and immediate, while the finale 'Asunderland' takes a dozen different leaps in direction, though always tightly controlled by Coughlan's masterly attention to structure. You can hear the influence of Scott Walker, Kurt Weill, Astor Piazzolla, Bela Bartok and Richard Thompson here, but, to be honest, comparisons are futile because Coughlan is unique, without antecedents in Irish music and few descendents in the contemporary scene. It's hard to believe, but after twenty years in the business, Coughlan has just made the album of his career and sounds as fresh and forthright as ever. This record places him beside Dylan, Cohen, Cave and Young as one of the world's greatest songwriters.
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Format: Audio CD
The incomparable Mr Coughlan, it was once noticed, sells so few records he probably doesn't even qualify as a cult figure. This is outrageous, certainly, but Morrissey-style status was never likely for someone who has dedicated their musical career to steadily and remorselessly stripping away people's illusions and delusions, rather than soppily romanticising them as Morrissey does. In any case, CC continues to refine his singular musical path regardless as to whether he sells a million copies or none at all; 'Black River Falls' and 'The Sky's Awful Blue' were nocturnal masterpieces, while 'Foburg' is a sideways step.
More intricately constructed and also more theatrical than his previous solo stuff, it's the theatricality that makes it a slight step down from its predecessors - like those more outre Tom Waits albums ('The Black Rider', 'Mule Variations', etc.) it's sometimes difficult to emotionally engage with something that keeps the listener at arms' length while it slips in and out of various masks. Based on something Coughaln did for Cork's City Of Culture bid, 'Foburg''s storyline is convoluted but seems to involve a hellish vision of rural Ireland becoming an equally hellish plastic consumer "paradise", though it's unclear if the protagonist's later involvement in shady activities and eventual gruesome demise actually occurs or whether it's merely a hallucination brought on by huffing one time too many on petrol fumes (a practice it seems he's keen on: 'Ophelia's Crescent Is Burning', the opener, has him in a similarly altered state, burning down his home and killing his family.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
First of all, completely ignore the first offputting review on this page. To describe this album as poor is simply ridiculous.This is far superior to his patchy first Grand Necropolitan album.

Essentially a concept album with a story to tell - it immediatley takes you to a very dark place - kicking off with a song about the main character, a petrol-fume addicted man that burns his family to death, and fittingly, this general note of loss and depravity continues throughout the album. Now a word of reassurance - in anyone elses hands this would have been just plain depressing. In Coughlans hands, amid his assured,frankly peerless vocabulary and deeply sardonic sense of humour, it becomes irresistably compelling. This in itself deserves your attention. What really makes this album work so well, however, is in the way his vision is communicated through extraodinarily affecting melodies and moods. These really are strong, powerful songs - 'Epiphany Season', 'The Sacrament of Killing' and 'Big Wax Hand', for example, are all stunning - and 'Rat Poison Rendezvous' cheers me up every time.

You can't dance to it, or get stoned to it, or even put it on as background music. There are no rousing anthemic choruses, no blazingly sonic intros, nothing to bang your head to, and no virtuoso soloing on any instrument. However, what you do get is another unique trip through the mind of one of our most brilliant songwriters that will - if you possess an ounce of intellectual and emotional sensitivity - make the hairs on your neck stand on end. A real labour of love that is genuinely subversive, relentlessly uncompromising, and utterly unique. Coughlans finest work by far. Never has the utter hopelessness of psychic dystopia sounded so good.
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