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The Golden Age

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, 19 Oct 2001
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Amazon's Bobby Conn Store



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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct. 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B000007TT3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD |  Vinyl |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 229,787 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Product description

Amazon.co.uk

Obsessed with the sounds of the decadent end-days of 70s radio, Bobby Conn creates his own schizoid musical world on The Golden Age, a pick and mix of the styles that dominated the period, with the occasional Prince-style falsetto thrown in for good measure. As a result, at times this sounds like a dirtier, more ambitious version of Beck's Midnite Vultures. But while Bobby clearly shares Beck's enthusiasm for bizarre musical hybrids, the Jim O'Rourke produced The Golden Age is a far more diverse and slightly deranged album. There's the funked-up synth disco of "No Revolution" and the high-pitched soul refrain of "Winners", but there's also the Burt Bacharach intro on "The Best Years of Our Lives" and hyper glam-rock of "Pumper", all tied together by Monica BouBou's brilliant violin melodies. At the same time, the knowing lyrics will often have you hitting the rewind button. Bobby Conn's outlook on life has caused offence, and The Golden Age should be no exception. "Angels", for example, is the story of hapless teenage sexploits at a drug-addled pool party; when Bobby starts singing "angels are breakin' my balls again, balls again" like his swimwear's too tight, most would agree it's more than just amusing or offensive--it's inspired. -Caroline Butler

BBC Review

This is an interesting one. The words 'pastiche', 'satire' and 'spoof' spring to mind when listening to The Golden Age, but somehow they don't convey the overall air of menace that hangs over this music. Bobby Conn is clearly a very clever and talented man and this album, like the two that preceded it, plunders heavily (if not exclusively) from 1970's glam, though there are elements of disco and even prog rock; the closest comparison is perhaps David Bowie's glam fuelled genre hopping. Take a look at Bobby's eyes in the photo on the back of the jewel case and you'll get an idea of where he's coming from!

Stand-out tracks are the multi-faceted "You've Come a Long Way" and the folky "Whores" (parental approval required on this one!). There are places on this record where the chord progressions are not quite right, such as on "You've Come a Long Way", and you can't help but feel that Bobby is letting us know that things are not quite as they seem. It's all superbly arranged and played (by a crack team of US post rockers), but it is difficult to get away from the feeling that you are being toyed with; that all of the 1970's references are purely part of some disturbing world that Bobby's conjured up (and one which I certainly wouldn't want to live in!). Lush strings, songs split into sections, high-pitched vocal gymnastics, strong guitar and a nicely crisp production make for a top notch, entertaining listen. The real problem is that Bobby is in a world of his own, and it is hard to know just where that world is and what life on it is like, although my feeling is that it would be more than a little sinister there. A bit like Margate on a Saturday night in 1973 in fact, so maybe Bobby has hit the mark!

Get this album but make sure your 36" loons, your platform wedges and your fairisle tank top are dusted off and your afro is trimmed and burning... --Martin Dench

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on 6 April 2006
Format: Audio CD
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Format: Audio CD
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on 12 November 2003
Format: Audio CD
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on 10 November 2001
Format: Audio CD
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on 1 November 2001
Format: Audio CD
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