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The Optimist

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Mar. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: PIAS.
  • ASIN: B0036BDQEW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,937 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB The Optimist (2010 UK 10-track CD album - Self-produced and more importantly self-funded and self-released The Optimist is the sound of a band taking full control of their present and future circumnavigating their own way.With no four on the floor no cowbell and no monotone sexy talk the creative freedom enjoyed by the band has opened up a new experimental side as shown by the psychedelic-dub- balladry of Stone and the atmospheric cracked beauty of Architect Of Love and the singles Lost A Girl Chaos and soon-to-be-huge We Want To. Its an assured deliciously adventurous next step for New Young Pony Club open your ears and have a listen!)

BBC Review

Before hitting play on The Optimist, there's a fear that it's going to be a less timely rehearsal of New Young Pony Club's 2007 debut. And while the fever of that LP came from its direct rip of the early 80s, its aloof riot-starting propensities and conscious eclecticism became listless by the third playback.

Thankfully, the band have returned with a triumphant LP which ceremoniously leaves the posturing behind, delivering a freer sound built on an exciting mix of crescendo, space and charm rather than quips clothed in layers of smut. Frontwoman Tahita Bulmer's vocals envelope the sound unafraid, cut loose from their quasi-spoken cage of pretence.

It's astonishing to hear the difference between the NYPC of new and old, yet so apparent even from The Optimist's first track, Lost a Girl. It's a glistening pop song full of stops, starts, lurching hooks and slightly dissonant vocals that defiantly possess anything but the faux-nonchalance of the debut. “I’m making you smile, why am I doing that?” she sings, brutally picking apart a relationship dead in the water, with more openness in the one line than at any time in Fantastic Playroom.

The range on this album is colossal, even though its influences are still more or less paraded; take the title-track's whirling, steam-engine keyboard parts, transplanted straight from The Horrors' reinvention of My Bloody Valentine, and the PJ Harvey-recalling sadness on the album's ballad, Stone. But there's far more than mimicry on offer here; colossal key-changes and an audible sense of excitement become the album's revelation.

The Optimist suffers from a slight top-loading, but the expertly self-produced twists and turns within its songs more than compensate. sure-hit-single We Want To's exhilarating harmonies and so-far-away-from-artful chorus are expertly structured, polarising with the way Before the Light pitches a frustrated, drone-like lead vocal against the sugar of Sarah Jones and Lou Hayter's backing.

The contrasts are ecstatic, setting in stone just how remarkable a comeback New Young Pony Club have pulled off. The Optimist is a super-smart pop album at the top of its game. --Natalie Shaw

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Having got bored with Fantastic Playroom rather fast due to it's repetitiveness although keeping Ice Cream and The Get Go on my playlist, I took a chance and bought this on the release date... what a pleasant surprise! As a previous reviewer has said the tracks are significantly different from each other to prevent boredom setting in and the sound is much deeper. Most tracks hold their own, the only dud being 'Stone', other than that a reflective vibe with some uplifting pop moments. It's also a grower - the best albums always are!
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By Beefer28 VINE VOICE on 2 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is a really accomplished follow up to Fantastic Playroom, it's dark, it's more experimental and a lot of the songs have depth and lots of layers to them.

Theres upbeat: 'Dolls' 'Chaos' and 'We Want To' and then mysterious dark and delicious 'Lost a Girl' 'Rapture' 'The Optimist' 'Before the Light' ending with down right gorgeous and heartbreaking 'The Architect of Love'

No its not Fantastic Playroom part 2 - but it's a progression of the NYPC sound and a great one at that.
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Format: Audio CD
Overall this is a fine album. Songs are mature, carefully crafted and reflect a mood which is both sombre and encapsulating. Not an album I'd play all the time, but nonetheless pleasing. Standouts include the title track, 'Before the Light' and the irresitable 'We Want To'.

I really would like to see this band truly succeed because the enjoyment I've got from listening to their music (I like it in other words). However the real test for what comes next is whether they can balance the depth and maturity of this work with the spark and pop ambition of the last. I hope they manage it for however long they may carry the baton for this genre of pop.
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By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 April 2010
Format: Audio CD
New Young Pony Club's 2007 release 'Fantastic Playroom' was a confident debut.
Their new album 'The Optimist' demonstrates considerable development both
in compositional elan and a broader and more varied sonic style.
The sound is bigger, better and brasher in the nicest possible way.

There are ten tracks in the collection, all of them chock-full of the kind of
sunny pop ambience which could set the summer alight if it has the power
to hang on in there until the beach parties are ready to roll.

The spirit of The B52's is alive and well in more than a few of these fine songs.
Tahita Bulmer's deliciously deadpan vocal delivery, the crisp, boisterous beats
and infectious sing-along hooks keep that iconic band's spirit alive.

'We Want To' is a cracking little anthem full of good energy and well-constructed
melodic and harmonic ideas. So too 'Dolls', a scintillating blast of fresh air!
When Ms Bulmer sings "I thought I had a brain/I don't seem to have one" I found it
impossible to agree with her! This is intelligently crafted pop of the very highest pedigree!

Andy Spence (guitar), Len Hayter (keys) and Sara Jones (drums) put flesh on the bones
of these simple but stylishly convincing arrangements with confident aplomb.

Other standout tracks include the deliciously stripped-down 'Oh Cherie' which
bumbles along happily for five or so minutes without need of excessive decoration
to make its mark and final track 'Architect Of Love' which brings the album to a
low-key but memorable close with its tasty reverb-laden guitar arabesques and
economically four-square beat. Ms Bulmer delivers the downbeat melody like a dark angel.

Refreshing, unaffected and packed full of fun, 'The Optimist' is an unpolished
gem more than worthy of both our attention and our applause.

Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the album, and the CD was in perfect condition, but it was a cardbaord case and not a plastic case which I wasn't aware of, and also the cardboard case was a bit tatty, something I hadn't expected.
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Format: MP3 Download
I had heard Ice Cream etc before, but never really got into NYPC before this album - I thought they had a slightly monotonous sound before that bored me a bit. Then I heard 'Dolls' on an internet radio station I listen to sometimes which led me to the rest of the album and wow! I love every song on the album - a rarity! - and have listened to it on repeat for a couple weeks straight now. This album has a slightly darker sound to it than previous work, and there are touches of The Cure, New Order etc in there, there's a definite nod to the darker side of '70s-'80s synthpop, which I happen to love, but may not be everyone's taste. But though it is reminiscent of some of those classic bands, it stands on its own as well without being derivative.
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