Play Dead CD
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ASTRID Play Dead (2001 UK 14-track CD album booklet picture sleeve)
Play Dead is Astrid's second album and--rather like their first--casts them as toddler-like pretenders to Teenage Fanclub's golden throne. Indicatively, several abundantly hummable songs--the albums's title track and the single "Tick Tock" for example--champion traditional pop values to excellent effect. But, oh, for a little more individuality. The nagging suspicion that Astrid are playing their cards too far away from their chest becomes apparent on "It Never Happened", which recalls Dodgy circa 1993, and "Wrong For You" which is Shack's "Cornish Town" with extra clotted-cream and an all too similar Simon and Garfunkel vocal coda. The albums' standout track, the playful "Horror Movies", couldn't be any more like the Fountains of Wayne if it was written and performed by the Fountains of Wayne. Hang on, that's a real compliment. --Kevin Maidment
Top Customer Reviews
Enter astrid: undaunted soldiers in indie rock's finest regiment. Armed with bite-size nuggets of melody and harmony, this fearsome foursome fight in the name of good ol'-fashioned guitar pop. And *Play Dead*, their latest battle-cry, is one that should leave technophiles shaking in their Swear Shoes.
While slower songs have been the bulk of astrid's b-sides over the course of their young career, here they become one of the album's strongest points. The achingly beautiful "Alas" invokes sleepy smiles, while the tender vocals on "Taken for Granted" are sweet and peaceful. But, as they are known to do, astrid rock through a number of tracks. "It Never Happened" and "Just One Name" have bodies bopping and shaggy heads bobbing. "Crying Boy", one of the most dancable indie tracks of the year, delights with it's infectious beat and energetic horns. Not to say that astrid have lost their sense of fun amidst all this heartbreak and sincerity. "Horror Movies" and "What You're Thinking" prove that, when it comes to the line, meaning still loses to melody. And that's the way it should be.
So, it's mostly been done before, but the album rests on the quality of the songs. None are bad, though a few are forgettable. Overall, one of the better British pop albums of recent years, though not a classic.
"Tick Tock" on it's own I couldn't quite get my head around after the perfection of the "Modes of Transport" EP. But, in the context of the album it makes perfect sense! The album is a complete guitar pop masterpiece. Astrid make me want to be in a band myself (if only I was talented) - their excellent harmonies and guitar based melody is consistent throughout.
Furthermore, this album has every emotion and keeps it mixed enough in style to keep you interested throughout - without detracting from their catchy sound too much. Basically, it's an album of excellent songs, and I would encourage all people who listen to the likes of Fountains Of Wayne, Elliott Smith, Matthew Jay and the Wannasdies to check it out.
Highlights are too many to list really, but Modes Of Transport, Play Dead and It Never Happened name a few! Fat Girl also needs to heard to be believed! Check this album out, and see them live - NOW!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow! The first Astrid album was good....but this album is incredible. (Not to be confused with the solo singer). Read morePublished on 28 July 2001 by Amazon Customer
I bought this album because i was going with friends to see them play live and believe me it was well worth it. All the songs on this album are amazing. Read morePublished on 23 April 2001
Brilliant!This album has a song for EVERYBODY!From delicate,beautiful songs such as 'alas', to the jiggy 'Fat Girl'with plenty of room left for a good old sing song in the cheesy... Read morePublished on 14 April 2001 by email@example.com