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Pram Town

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Jan. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Track and Field
  • ASIN: B001L5J5MM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,507 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
Hefner were always a band who split opinion. Some found Darren Hayman's songwriting moving and realistic, and enjoyed the vibrant guitar-bursts and lust-laden laments; whilst detractors saw Hefner as overly twee, and criticised Hayman's admittedly limited voice. Probably the simplest and most useful thing I can say of 'Pram Town' is that if you liked Hefner, you're likely to enjoy 'Pram Town', and if you didn't; then the same things that disinclined you to Hefner, will likely irk you about this record. That isn't to say, however, that Darren Hayman hasn't moved on since his most famous project broke up a decade ago. Just as 'The Fidelity Wars' told deeply-personal stories of lust, frustration and youthful abandon; 'Pram Town' is older, wiser, and perhaps even a little better. The Secondary Modern, Hayman's backing band, are genuinely virtuoso and have a wonderful knack of finding catchy, fitting melodies for Hayman's tales of likeable local bands, the frustrations of the Essex New Town of Harlow (the 'setting' for the album), and his casting of a wistful eye onto relationships in an adult world - such as in the perceptive 'Fire Stairs', and the album's undoubted highlight, the bittersweet masterpiece 'Never Want To Be That Way Again', where Hayman laments a seemingly perfect relationship gone wrong, amidst the beautifully bittersweet jangling guitars of The Secondary Modern.

There are a few flaws in 'Pram Town', though they detract relatively little from the overall quality of this excellent album. Hayman's lyrics, whilst largely smart and feeling, do contain a few cringeworthy duds which take the sheen off a few songs. There are also a couple of tracks which feel like little more than padding, namely 'Civic Pride' and 'No Middle Name'.
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Format: Audio CD
I have a long-standing personal tenet that good concept albums are good despite the fact they are concept albums. This has held up well for me over the years but Pram Town is that rarest of beasts: a concept album the concept of which actually adds to, rather than detracting from, the music and the overall experience. This is partly because the concept is so simple and emotionally powerful - two convergent narratives of disappointed optimism; one about a relationship, the other about town planning. It is a good test that you can actually understand and follow the concept from the music alone (more or less). This would mean nothing of course if the songs were rubbish. But this is Darren Hayman so the songs are excellent from start to finish. They range from the funny and touching ("Room to Grow", "Amy and Rachel"), through wildly infectious ("Compilation Cassette", "Our Favourite Motorway") to sad and moving ("Out of my League", "Leaves on the Line"). What they have in common is a sure melodic touch and an impressive lyrical subtlety and coherence.

In short if the Mercury Music Prize 2009 judges were true to their artistic pretensions Pram Town would have been a shoe-in.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
What a brilliant laid back album. "Compilation cassette" is a sublime summer pop track. Acutely observed and brilliantly quirky
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Format: Audio CD
Darren Hayman & The Secondary Modern - Pram Town (Track & Field)
Ever since Hefner bit the dust, Darren Hayman has been, from all possible angles, cataloguing the woes of a disintegrating Britain. Now it's the turn of New Town hell, in particular Harlow. He's not a fan. I've been there, and there's no reason why he should be. Xeroxed red brick town centres and the specific kinds of urban decay that only New Town's can truly master, all come under Hayman's critical eye, and apart from a hidden soft spot for cycle paths, not much impresses. Unlike Pram Town itself, with its eclectic instrumentation - old Moogs, toy joannas, etc. - and thoroughly appealing lo-fi aesthetics, it'll put a smile on your face. Unless you live in Harlow. 8/10.
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