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Places Like This Limited Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 Aug. 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: V2 Cooperative Music
  • ASIN: B000SQLCJO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,419 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Aug. 2007
Format: Audio CD
Warning: Architecture in Helsinki are no longer twee. Whether this upsets you will depend on whether you like twee pop or not.

Admittedly, there are some twee moments in "Places Like This," and the whole album is colourful, sunny and catchy. But the Aussie band is rocking a more funky, rock'n'roll sound in their third album -- while it's not as winning or cohesive as their previous work, it is still entertainingly crazy and colourful electro-island-funk-rock.

It opens with what sounds like firecrackers exploding (or a keyboard dying a violent death), and segues quickly into a funky-electronic rocker ("So imagine the change/we spoke, it filled the air/so with the north-reflected southern light..."). But things really get going in the colourful calypso-pop of "Heart It Races," with its nonsensical lyrics about knotted laces and winter tans.

The songs that follow are a bit less funky -- electro/horn/dancepop, rollicking guitar melodies, strange ambient raps, and a bubbling song called "Underwater." Things get a little unhinged by the plodding, thumping "Lazy (Lazy)," but the band pulls things back together with sunny island pop of "Nothing's Wrong" and colourful rock of "The Same Old Innocence."

I can only assume that the new more electro-rocky sound is what prompted two members of the band to depart last year. While the first two albums Architecture in Helsinki made were just fun, frolicksome sunny pop, "Places Like This" explores a whole different kind of music than before -- sunny indie-rockers are woven in as well. It has some slack moments, but the overall confection is more fun than not.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9bdabde0) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c1ce4f8) out of 5 stars Heart it races 15 Aug. 2007
By EA Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Warning: Architecture in Helsinki are no longer twee. Whether this upsets you will depend on whether you like twee pop or not.

Admittedly, there are some twee moments in "Places Like This," and the whole album is colourful, sunny and catchy. But the Aussie band is rocking a more funky, rock'n'roll sound in their third album -- while it's not as winning or cohesive as their previous work, it is still entertainingly crazy and colourful electro-island-funk-rock.

It opens with what sounds like firecrackers exploding (or a keyboard dying a violent death), and segues quickly into a funky-electronic rocker ("So imagine the change/we spoke, it filled the air/so with the north-reflected southern light..."). But things really get going in the colourful calypso-pop of "Heart It Races," with its nonsensical lyrics about knotted laces and winter tans.

The songs that follow are a bit less funky -- electro/horn/dancepop, rollicking guitar melodies, strange ambient raps, and a bubbling song called "Underwater." Things get a little unhinged by the plodding, thumping "Lazy (Lazy)," but the band pulls things back together with sunny island pop of "Nothing's Wrong" and colourful rock of "The Same Old Innocence."

I can only assume that the new more electro-rocky sound is what prompted two members of the band to depart last year. While the first two albums Architecture in Helsinki made were just fun, frolicksome sunny pop, "Places Like This" explores a whole different kind of music than before -- sunny indie-rockers are woven in as well. It has some slack moments, but the overall confection is more fun than not.

It relies pretty heavily on some solid drums, colourful analog beats and glockenspiel, which can ring out in retro splendour, ripples, bubbles, dancey beats, or even blossom into a haze of psychedelic charm. There are also undercurrents of graceful guitar, and choruses of all sorts of brass just under the surface -- not to mention those great calypso drums in the second song.

I don't entirely understand what these guys are singing -- just as well, since most of what they sing is kinda nonsensical ("It's wicked where you tread/Shot an arrow in your head/Since the apple wasn't there"). But the vocals never get boring -- falsetto wails, deep croons, melodramatic pronouncements, and indie-girl/boy duets.

"Places Like This" has some bruised spots, where new explorations didn't really pay off. But the overall album is a fun, rollicking vacation in the sun -- very charming, and very different.
HASH(0x9c2197bc) out of 5 stars Architecture in Helsinki 13 Jan. 2009
By David A. Hose - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I saw this band perform on IFC after the Henry Rollins Show a few weeks ago and I really liked their unique sound. Honestly, I bought this album because it was the cheapest of the bunch and I had only heard 2 songs so I didn't know what to expect. I was actually pretty impressed. The band is like the B-52's meet They Might Be Giants, it's good fun music. I recommend this band to anyone who likes light-hearted indie rock
HASH(0x9be3a99c) out of 5 stars Still listen to it today 2 April 2014
By Ray Lancione - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I've had this album forever, but I still listen to it. I love Architecture in Helsinki . I'll listen to almost anything they throw at me. I have to admit, at first a lot of these songs didn't really capture me, but I've listened to them further and I really like them now. I would have to say that it's not everyone's cup of tea.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ca54e58) out of 5 stars Fresh and Exciting! 27 Aug. 2007
By Cale E. Reneau - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Call me crazy, but I was never that big of a fan of Architecture in Helsinki. I'm a pretty big fan of indie pop and all, but the group's approach to the genre was always very freeform and schizophrenic. In other words, their albums could always go in any direction at any time. While that can often lead to pleasant surprises, Architecture in Helsinki just never really pulled it off, in my opinion. Add in the fact that their music lacked structure and oftentimes seemed improvised (even if it wasn't), and I just couldn't help but be disappointed. Still, any self-respecting indie pop fan can find a gem or two hidden amongst the confusion. For me, "Imaginary Ordinary" and "The Owls Go" stood out as really solid tracks. More importantly, they gave me enough of a reason to check out "Places Like This," and much to my surprise, I'm thoroughly impressed with what I've heard.

The group takes a huge step forward in their sound on "Places Like This," no doubt in adjustment to the loss of two members. The sound is clear, it's more rock and less pop. That's not such a bad thing, however, as Architecture in Helsinki's crazy approach to making music is actually more suited to rock music than twee any day! The result is something that feels fresh and unexplored. Of course, the band still has a very improvisational sound. Lyrics are carelessly flung at the microphone and out of your speakers, layers upon layers of scattered guitars and keyboards rarely bond into a cohesive sound, but it all feels raw and exciting!

"Red Turned White" starts the album off with exactly that! Cameron Bird doesn't hesitate at delivering the vocals, clearly saying "I just don't give a f***" without ever actually saying it. "Debbie" and "Hold Music" take this and run with it, the latter being very reminiscent of Fred Schneider and the B-52s. It's actually pretty stifling to hear Architecture in Helsinki playing stuff that is this harsh, this in-your-face, and if you don't like it right off the bat, you may not like it at all.

Still, there are hints of the group's sugary sweet past here and there. "Heart it Races" is absolutely brilliant pop music, and one of my favorite songs of 2007! It's one of the few times on the album that Cameron tones his vocals down to blend with Jamie's, and the end result is something that's entirely endearing. If you don't smile from hearing "I bought it in a can and stirred it with my finger singing 'Boom-da-da-da-da-da-da-boom-da-da-da-da'" I'm not sure what to think of you. "Underwater" brings things to a much-needed halt midway through the album, and as its title suggests, the song has a very aquatic sound to it that really is better heard than explained.

"Places Like This" is one of those albums that needed to happen, even if it meant disappointing a few fans. Architechture in Helsinki has always been a talented group of individuals, but their music had progressed little over the course of their first two releases. "Places Like This" shows not only a gigantic step forward with their sound, but a band willing to go out on a limb and take a chance with their music rather than simply retread old paths. It is sure to alienate some of their more dedicated fans, but to those patient enough to give it a scrutinizing listen, you'll find that this band is just as carefree and insane as they've always been. "Places Like This" is more focused than "Fingers Crossed" and "In Case We Die," and in the end it winds up being a much better, more fulfilling experience.

Recommended for fans of Architecture in Helsinki and anyone willing to give schizophrenic, improvisational-esque rock music a chance.

Key Tracks:
1. "Heart It Races"
2. "Hold Music"
3. "Feather in a Baseball Cap"
4. "Debbie"
5. "Nothing's Wrong"

7 out of 10 Stars
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c19bcd8) out of 5 stars all-over-the-place(s like this) Erratic is the word 12 Jan. 2013
By Justin Pruitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I had heard of this band before but never took too much interest... I recently bought a CD lot on Ebay and this CD was on there... The potential is there, but I was very put off buy the blatant mess these guys are making... changing things up every 20 seconds, using all kinds of instruments (ALL OF THEM)! changing melodies, vocals, everything! The songs aren't memorable at all and end up being much more annoying than pleasurable. I came on here to see how liked this album was by their fans and apparently most people agree that this album is erratic when compared to the bands previous releases. So I will definitely give them a chance and check out those albums because, as I said, the potential is very evident!
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