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Philophobia CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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  • Philophobia
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Total price: £26.95
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 April 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chemikal Underground
  • ASIN: B000023XD5
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Of all Arab Strap's studio albums this is my personal favourite. It is easier listening than the caustic 'week never starts around...' and is to my mind lyrically and musically stronger than elephant shoe.
As ever the lyrics detail Aidan Moffat's relationships, warts and all. (How does he get a girlfriend if they have heard his records?). Musically Philaphobia (I think it means fear of love, but I'm not positive) is more accomplished than, the week never... but is as sparse as ever, with its abrasive Lo-Fi sound.
This album is well worth buying, but for your first Arab Strap purchase you would be wise to buy the excellent live album, Mad For Sadness, which is musically more accomplished than all their studio efforts.
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Format: Audio CD
More tales from the gutter from Falkirk's finest. The title apparently refers to a fear of loving, and if anything the lyrics on their 2nd album released in 1998 were even more obviously shocking than their debut. Certainly opener Packs of Three's first line leaves nothing to the imagination, in a sordid tale of infidelity. Which doesn't exactly differentiate it from the rest of the album.

The album takes in idle afternoons with `singer' Aidan Moffat watching TV (Soaps), drunken tiffs (Here We Go) and more infidelity (New Birds). All of this would be a bit `so what' only for the wonderful music that soundtracks these tales, largely created by Malcolm Middleton's army of guitar and synths.

Here We Go features a gentle guitar part as Moffat sings "how am I supposed to walk you home when you're at least 50 feet ahead, cos you walked off in a huff". It's a visceral, bitingly real love song with the wonderfully resigned chorus detailing a vicious circle: "here we go, same time, same place, I don't like the way you kiss his face, it's not that there's no trust as such, I'd love to make up but I've had too much."

New Birds if anything is rawer. It details a chance meeting with an ex over a vaguely post-rocky backing, when our protagonist becomes tempted "she says she's been going out with him now for about two and a half years, but they don't live together so he'd never find out". He is brought to the point of infidelity at the end of the night: "you can see her breath in the air between your faces as you stand in the leaves and she just asks you straight out if you want to come and stay at her flat." The music dies away leaving merely the bass line... the suspense is awful, like a car crash, but you can't help wanting to know the outcome.
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Format: Audio CD
I think Arab Strap may be an acquired taste - you either like their melodic sound coupled with at times cringingly uncomfortable lyrics, or you find it irritating. They are certainly a very different band and probably the best thing ever to come out of Falkirk (perhaps that's not saying much though!) The title makes me think a bit of a 15 year old 'indie kid' trying to be clever and profound; it feels naive and cumbersome. But this and the two naked portraits suit the album content perfectly. The lyrics throughout the album are at once trivial and meaningful: the after pub argument story in Here We Go is a really good example.
Sometime Arab Strap's albums just sound like moaning, this time however they got it very right.
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By A Customer on 20 Nov. 2000
Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, the best thing Arab Strap have one to date as well as one of the most affecting British records of the decade. Extremely accomplished music together with Aiden's idiosyncratic lyrical style makes this the real sound of British soul music.
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By A Customer on 28 Mar. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I love the mood of this album and it's wit. Just wanted to point out that no-one in any of the reviews comments that they sound exactly like Lou Reed Velvet Underground. So they're not 'new' in that sense. However, they do add their own distinctive flavour to it.
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