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Out of Touch in the Wild

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jan. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Memphis Industries
  • ASIN: B009ETKFN0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,101 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

BBC Review

Dutch Uncles are one of a raft of British smart-pop bands that have emerged in recent years (Everything Everything, Field Music, Alt-J, Egyptian Hip Hop). The band are now onto their third album of tricksy, elegant and unpredictable songs; an album whose curious, single-word titled songs (Pondage, Bellio, Godboy, Flexxin) provide an early indication of the distinct character to be found within.

Out of Touch in the Wild sees them in fine fettle. Despite the album’s loose theme of “addiction and friendship”, the overall impression remains of a bunch of clever chaps who are able to avoid over-intellectualisation and weave bags of charm and fun into their complex pop songs.

So while you have the non-standard time signatures (Bellio, Threads) and traditional instrumentation (piano, strings) usually indicative of a more cerebral kind of music-making, you also get handclaps (Fester), synths that sparkle (Bellio) or evoke a cheesy 80s sound (Nometo), and the cheery percussion found on Threads and Phaedra.

This approach is best exemplified by Godboy: a track that has a bit of everything that makes Dutch Uncles special, from the quasi-classical violins lending drama to the urgency of the quiet/loud segments, to the counterpoint “ooh – oh” vocals. It’s a detailed and busy blend, but one that entertains at the same time as occasionally confounding.

Duncan Wallis’ vocal might not be to all tastes. A smooth, high-ish instrument, it can lack expressiveness beyond the occasional soulful edge (Flexxin) or angelic choirboy impression (Zug Zwang). It is, perhaps, this element that prevents the band ever quite engaging the emotions in the same way that they so deftly engage the mind and dancefloor-bound feet.

At their best, though, on the aforementioned Godboy or the brilliantly insidious and slinky Nometo, this is a collection that demonstrates how pop music can evolve – indeed, how it is evolving. Where once the choice had to be made between disposable pop fun and beard-stroking academic ‘real’ music, bands such as Dutch Uncles are, happily for all, rendering such a choice unnecessary, permitting us to both have our pop music cake and (oh so intellectually) eat it.

--Jude Clarke

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a mixture! The album starts out almost funky (including even some slap bass) and then brings in lots of beautifully arranged strings and piano and even some Steve Reich type guitar licks - eat your heart out Pat Methany! Vocally very varied as well. Some similarity to Field Music maybe and perhaps to Low but they really do create their own unique sound - quite an achievement in this day and age. This is fighting with Everything Everything's brilliant Arc for space on my CD player as I write and I can assure you that is high praise indeed! Loses a star only because, being an old fashioned CD fan, the print design is very poor with all the text in white out of very busy background, so accordingly barely legible including the lyrics and even the track listing on the back cover - so you might as well buy it on MP3. But please do buy it if you like clever melodic indie.
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By DUfan on 16 Jan. 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Purveyors of prog pop, what a wonderful thing.

Beautiful album from start to finish. Proving Manchester isn't just producing Neanderthal-like trash, from the likes of Liam's Gallagher and Frey.

Buy it, listen to it, love it.

And check out the video for Flexxin, the best dance moves you will ever witness.
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Format: Audio CD
Another great album by Manchester's Dutch Uncles. Hopefully with the semi-acceptance into the mainstream of Alt-J, these guy's will start to enjoy some much deserved success. Buy it and help thoughtful, intelligent, beautifully written, arranged and produced guitar pop of the highest quality get noticed by the masses, if they can tear themselves away from the X Factor dross and Rihanna's chest that is. Actually, second thoughts, let's keep this lot to ourselves :) they're too good!!!! Seriously, excellent album, great band, buy it NOW!!!!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Great album. Quite short but very memorable. Like a cross between Sparks and Hot Chip with a large dose of Field Music thrown in. The songs are very enjoyable and they do like to play with the rhythm, building layers of syncopated sound. Some of the timings seems to repeat across the album, just with different instruments.
Very cool.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listened to the tracks early in the year and it was only when I listened to them a second and third time I realised how good this album is.

They are supporting Everything Everything later this year and their music is not a million miles away, so if you like 'Arc' you'll probably like this
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Format: Audio CD
Interesting to read another reviewer mention the 70's glam rock band Sparks.That was my thought when I first heard the vocals and the jaunty synths. There's all sorts going on here for me,bits of Steely Dan,Stornaway,the New Romantics. Nothing wrong with plundering your musical heritage though. I've heard the band compared to Alt-J and Everything Everything? I must admit, when I first heard Alt-J they had a much bigger impact than this band. I think that's down to stronger songwriting craftsmanship and arrangements. No individual tracks here jump out for me and as a whole,it all sounds a bit much of a muchness. I keep playing it and hoping it will be an album which grows on me but so far it's not happening.Perhaps Dutch Uncles need to re-visit Sparks' 1974 album Kimono my House and hone their songwriting skills to that standard.
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Format: Audio CD
If you've ever wondered (and I'm sure you have) what Radiohead would sound like had they been pumped full of Prozac, then buy this LP. Dutch Uncles don't actually sound like the Oxford gloomsters but they match them note for note for creativity, ability and the dazzling array of influences on display. Of course, the dirty secret is, they're pretty damn proggy too (but I think it's just about okay to like a bit of prog these days.....) Duncan Wallis has an extraordinary voice; a swooping, swooning choirboy whose crystal clear diction relishes every syllable and is supported by brilliantly precise arrangements and some of the best string arrangements currently to be heard. Please pass over the Emperor's new clothes acts such as Alt-J and embrace the Uncles.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a very underrated album. It's quite 'poppy' in places but don't let that put you off. There are touches of Alt-j and 2 Door Cinema Club but it's a very good album indeed.
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