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Paradise Limited Edition
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1. Two Cousins
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5. Hackney Marsh
7. You, Earth Or Ash
8. Gold Mountain
9. The Dog
10. Horses Jumping
1. Half Drunk
3. Two Cousins (Acoustic)
4. Never Look Back (Acoustic)
5. Two Cousins (Malcolm Middleton & Aidan Moffat 1999 Version)
Paradise is the second album from Sheffield-based folk duo, Slow Club. The album includes the singles "Two Cousins" and "Where I'm Walking".
Being a product of the age it was written, Slow Club's 2009 debut, Yeah So, dealt with the all too familiar space between adolescence and the oncoming storm of adulthood. A boy-girl duo who played a flower-adorned chair live, they were the polar opposite of what was coming out of post-Arctic Monkeys Sheffield. Slow Club were fun, cute, whimsical and all manner of other words just shy of 'twee' - and they hate being called twee.
Paradise, however, is where the duo grows up. Two years on, it stumbles out of a trivial, self-indulgent teenage malaise (where sexual adventure was priority for most) and carries itself with a sense of perspective that only adulthood can give - a darker, more thoughtful view of the world. For instance, on the poignant You, Earth or Ash, a song about Rebecca Taylor's granddad, her melancholic vocals (beautiful, as always) evoke an awareness of mortality for those around her; singing "and I know, soon you'll go," her voice seemingly breaks under the weight of premature grief. Whereas even love-wise (an inspiration every band draws from) Slow Club's lyrical output is glossed with a more mature and detached sense of sauce, with Taylor crooning on Where I'm Waking: "I can see you looking at me / You got the brains I've got the body".
It's the latter, along with songs such as If We're Still Alive and The Dog, that provides Paradise's most frantic and poppy moments, with producer Luke Smith (of the defunct Clor, and producer of Foals' last LP) firming up the band's penchant for ramshackle drums, rattling guitars and startlingly impressive two-part harmonies; a thrown-together machine that if, not held together properly, would easily fall apart. Of course, that's not to say that, musically, this record couldn't have been made by anyone else - it's not sonically unique. Yet there's a charm here. A personality and identity that, whilst subdued compared to their live shows, bleeds through the cracks to make this album not only a snapshot of burgeoning adulthood, but also of Slow Club's singularly impressive songwriting ability.
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18 October 2011
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Apologies for the lack of cerebral input but I like this a lot. In fact I think it is the best album that I have bought this year. OK, I have not bought many but I would if 1. I had the money 2. I had interesting friends and not just 6 music to rely on for recommendations and 3. a life. Seriously though - very raw and authentic. A welcome departure from all the wishy washy trite music that is around at the moment that is attempting to be raw and authentic. If you like percussion, the odd melody and something a touch different buy this.
29 October 2011
Format: Audio CD
I'm a 37 yr old northerner who enjoys Guns n Roses, Stone Roses, Faith No More etc. I did not intend to fall in love with Charles & Rebecca. Yeah, their 1st album is lovely, the b sides are sassy & their live show is energetic. But this record takes any preconceptions, screws them tidyly into a neat little ball, takes them into next doors porch, sets fire to em & shoves em through the letterbox. I'm not kidding when I say this is the record of the last 10 years. And its your record now. 'Two cousins' sucks you in with its poppy funky gospel rockiness. Yeah, i like this says mr mondeo thinking he's cool. 'If we're still alive' pushes him into the central reservation with its spikyness thank christ. 'Never look back' is easily the biggest anthem since Live Forever. If Noel had wrote it we'd be lining up to shake his hand. 'Where we're waking' is their current live opener 'I can see you looking at me, you got the brains, i got the body' Rebecca tells us, accurately. So far, so great. 'Hackney Marshes' & 'Beginners' are possible album highlights (aren't they all ?) 'You, Earth or Ash' takes us into 'Sorry about the Doom' Territory but pushes us over no mans land with '& i know, soon you'll go, and all will pass..' Rebecca's vocals are outstanding throughout but she seems to find something extra for this song about her grandpa. You almost feel 'Gold Mountain' might be a fitting emotional end to the album. Whoa!! Hold those horses. 'The dog' reminds us of 'Giving up on Love' in a really good way. Proper last song 'Horses Jumping' is a fitting 5 minutes of loveliness where Charles takes us on a ride along heartbreak street with 'now we talk coz its new again, and thats worth waiting for' before reminding us that 'good love is hard to forget'. Utter magic that most bands cannot achieve in a lifetime but Charles & Rebecca rattle off ever few minutes. The not so secret track 'Paradise' reminds us of simple human desires 'i wanna live in paradise, i wanna see if i can do through your eyes'. The whole album is pure emotion, heartache & eventual joy. You'd have to be dead on the inside not to enjoy it.
21 September 2011
Format: Audio CD
At first, I was worried about Slow Club's departure from their folk-duo roots towards a set up involving a full band. Having seen this reconfigured version of Slow Club live, I was less than excited about the prospect of a new album. And then BOOM. It's actually really good. Yes, it's very different from their first album, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If you've heard "Summer Shakedown", or "Thighs" (which was the B-side to their single "Trophy Room"), you've some idea of what to expect. Instrumentally, it's not dissimilar to Crystal Stilts, at least in as much as the reverb-soaked guitars provide perfect counterpoint to the vocal. The song "Gold Mountain" is a favourite of mine, and is a nice callback to their earlier work. If you liked "Yeah So", buy this. If you just thought it was okay, listen to "Thighs" and then still probably buy this. Basically just buy this album now...
13 September 2011
Format: MP3 Download
Slow Club decided to take a more serious approach with their music on this second album, and there are some stand out tracks - their single Two Cousins as well as Hackney Marsh and Never Look Back, yet I feel this album on the whole fails to deliver. The main thing that attracted me to them in the first place were their catchy melodies, but I don't feel so hooked immediately. Moreover, if they're going to play down this side of their music, they need to deliver. I didn't feel the lyrics were that inspired; and after several listens I feel the same. If you are already a fan of Slow Club or similar bands, I would recommend this album. But only just.
2 July 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I bought this album after seeing The Slow Club live and was not disappointed. The album was not only good on first listen but has also stood the test of repeated playing whilst driving the car. It feels as though a number of the tracks were recorded as a jam session, this is not a criticism as it sounds as if the band were enjoying the recording of the tracks. I would highly recommend this album.
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