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3.9 out of 5 stars
8
Puppet Loosely Strung
Format: MP3 Download|Change
Price:£7.99


on 26 March 2014
Electro-swing, dub, techno... how on Earth do you classify The Correspondents?
Here is the their long awaited debut album from DJ Chuckles and frontman Mr Bruce, who resembles a 1920s version of The Joker and can spit out lyrics like machine gun fire. The album is a strong, but flawed debut.
The highlights are:
"Fear And Delight" the album kicks into life. Stunning song, ever shifting and ultra dynamic, very exciting stuff. "Give You Better" suffers from an uninspiring start but when the chorus comes around it kicks into gear with giddy childlike fervour. "Devil's Lighthouse", like "Give You Better", it has a slow start but lighting the fuse with great synth blasts with the occasional burst of Mr Bruce's splenetic delivery. A shifting song with plenty to enjoy. "The Last Time" is REALLY good! A very interesting piece of music with a sample that I love but can't place what it is. This has a joyous euphoria and puts a smile on my face. A highlight of the album. Title track "Puppet Loosely Strung" exudes class, authority and style, using it's slower tempo to great effect.
The middling tracks are:
"Well Measured Vice" and "Back Again" are both solid. "Alarm Call" is interesting but the lyrics are a bit uninspiring. "Some Nights" is a stylish but low key end to the album.
The weaker elements are:
The opener "What Did I Do?" is an annoyingly slow opener. "Kind Of Love" is kind of bland. "In The Meantime" is a throwaway that could have been left off the album.

I must say that the long wait for this album has meant that it struggles to cope with the expectation from the bands phenomenal earlier work such as "Washington Square" and "What's Happened To Soho?"
I dont think as much of the duo's personality comes across as their earlier stuff, the "personality" of Mr Bruce isn't quite as full on as it used to be.
I'm inclined to say the album would be better shorter with a few of the songs trimmed, thus making the album a hell of a record to spin to get everyone dancing! A few songs could be a bit faster, parts of the album feel a little laid back, not enough of the album is as exhilerating as you think it might ought to be.
There is some great stuff however and if you like The Correspondents then it is worth hearing their debut, it just does not feel as exciting and vital as you might have been expecting.
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on 22 June 2016
Awesome album, I happened upon the band waiting for another band to come on at a festival, so glad I found them. They only played 3 songs and I bought the album from that. I'm not disappointed, I love them and now have all their songs. Came on here to see if their new album is out yet, so thought I'd give a review.
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on 9 July 2014
Not entirely what I expected. I absolutely love their older stuff. But this album is a slight departure from that and what is delivered is sometimes a bit flat. But there are some good tracks on the album!
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on 2 April 2014
I love the Correspondents, but this album is a major disappointment. Its funny because I always thought they had the most talent and the most to say musically of all of the Chap hop acts, but whereas "Cant Stop Shan't Stop" from Mr B. is an unexpected triumph , this is 80% filler.
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on 15 October 2014
worth a listen

support the band by buying the cd,they are just 2 guys starting out with this their first album.

crazy stuff,they are amazing live too !
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on 31 March 2014
Consistent and original and more poppy then previous offerings (although there is still a fair amount of jazzy swing noise in there)
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on 19 March 2014
...I really wanted to love the album.

From their origins, to the What's Happened to Soho EP I was hooked.

Fantastic live, and superb to listen to at home...until this unfortunately rather meagre offering.

I wonder if perhaps they burnt out live and just couldn't put the same passion into the CD.

All the songs have some promise, but most fail to deliver with rather dragged out, repetitive beats and the lack of passion which they have shown in all their releases to date.

Don't get me wrong, they're good, but they're already starting to sound like they've run out of steam. Well Measured Vice is a perfect example of a song which on its own might be good, were it not for that it just sounds far too much like a remash of their previous material.

I wonder if the production/mastering is what's lacking, it just needs something 'extra', to not sound quite as monotone. I'd love to see a remix of the album!

Anyhow, I'll quit with the ranting. Buy the album, it's worth a shot and I'll keep on listening, but don't judge the band by this album alone, not yet at least!
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on 8 April 2014
I felt a little deflated after listening to this album the first time. Having been one of the many thousands that heard them unintentionally because they were going to be at one of the many festivals they've played over the last few years and had a blooming brilliant time, I had different expectations.

Expectations be damned.

What you have here is less than the slick stylish sliding into shot sipping from a 'Tom Collins' with storytelling that makes you want to be their friend. This isn't life-style porn. This isn't thirty to thirty-five minutes of escapism drunk in a field.

What you have here is a quirky and - dare I say it - slightly hipster puppet show. A puppet show by two talented London based guys. It's actually quite good! It isn't brilliant though, they've backed themselves into a corner by only being a duo and sonically seem to have made choices that have further limited them. For instance they seem to have decided to limit their drum tone to a VERY midi-sounding kit. Midi for my (and strangely, presumably, their) generation is not cool. They've also limited their core tone to a very midi sounding Rhodes keyboard. Another bizarre choice. Finally, what's with the cavernous reverb? Wierd. Don't like it. Why stick in string passages and horns when you go and drown it all in reverb...!? There's no immediacy when you feel like you're dancing alone in a huge concert hall! The mix sounds a little. Off. When you listen to something and repeatedly think 'I'd have done that differently' it can be a bit. Off.

But actually, this is really good - it sounds like it needs a little less over-thinking and an injection of new inspiration. It does occasionally sound a bit tired - a bit exhausted actually occasionally. There are some rather touching moments of introspection but of course when our hero is exposed as a mere mortal, he's no longer untouchable! I can see why this has drawn negative criticism but actually I still stand by my statement, this IS good. Just make it sound a bit better coming out the speakers and cut the filler.
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