- Audio CD (19 Nov. 2007)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Domino Records
- ASIN: B000UX4H3S
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,640 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Tiger, My Friend CD
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Psapp - Tiger My Friend
The first 'proper' album from one of the most interesting experimental acoustic electronica duos of the last few years has been pulled from the Domino archives and given a new lease of life. Tiger My Friend, originally released in January 2005, combines odd, sometimes uncomfortable fractured rhythms spliced together with the even more curious sounds of children's toy instruments. 'Toytronica' as it has been dubbed is the sound of Psapp who skillfully draw upon toy guitars/flutes/xylophones, kitchen implements and a whole host of miscellaneous objects to produce their unique if somewhat skewed sound.
Duo Carim Clasmann and Galia Durant waste no time contemplating whether what they are doing makes musical sense - more often than not it doesn't - but somehow the incongruous fragments come together in a harmonious whole. "Rear Moth" with its interspersed stuffed-toy squeaks is, to the uninitiated ear, a little surprising. Any sense of normality is displaced by the Psapp trademark twisted shifting rhythms shuffling along with a mischievous air, om-like vocal padding and country-fair inspired strings in tow. The track has a certain Sufjan Stevens melodic charm.
The disjointed samba leanings of "About Fun" with its sampled kitten-sounding squeals and improvisatory piano riff is odd but strangely pleasing. One of the more explicitly jazztronica tracks on the album, it anticipates the swung textures of tracks like "Needle And Thread" on subsequent album The Only Thing I Ever Wanted.
Perhaps the most memorable track is the brilliantly inventive "King Kong" with its jungle trekking rhythms, an approach echoed on the equally beguiling "Chapter". But Tiger, My Fiend is not all Matthew Herbert experimentation; nestled beside the more absurd tracks are those with a quieter more slinky lounge-jazz feel; "The Counter" with its beautifully absorbing piano melody and glockenspiel silver trail is a breath of fresh air from the tick-tock workings of the rest of the album.
Steeped in a gentle undulating pensiveness, Tiger My Friend has a bleary-eyed dazed quality but is thankfully uncontrived. The unfussy quirky instrumentation and simple cylindrical melodic fragments create an intensity bubbling just below the surface. Every tiny fragment is carefully placed creating uniquely woven canvases. A highly skillful album but not one for the masses. --Gemma Padley
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Top customer reviews
This is music to wake up your muse and scream at her; "this is what it's all about!"
Envy at the creative instrumentation and sampling. Dream about the husky singer giving you dirty phone calls at 12:00am and watch your best mate's jaw drop at the most imaginative album to come out in years.
It has squeaky toys, kittens and mutilated guitar samples (to name a few) that make up the pallet of this smooth jazzy piece. It leaves you on a high when you are feeling low. It's a must buy!
I'm off to throw my Korg Triton out the window, milk my cat and buy a toy piano.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The really smart idea of removing the title sequence - and thus the song - made it only more enjoyable to hear at the end!
I started buying the show on DVD, and I think it's in season three that they first used the whole song as the music for the main menu of the DVDs. Being able at last to hear the song in its entirety, I finally decided to get myself one whole CD by the band, hoping that it would be up to the huge expectations created by "Cosy in the rocket".
So I listened to those painfully short and randomly chosen exerpts we are given to make up our minds... And, strangely enough, I felt that the spirit of "Cosy..." was most present on TIGER, MY FRIEND, even though I understand "Cosy..." was composed specifically for GREY'S, which started to air only two years later (I wish I knew more about the genesis of the song and how the producers came to choose it).
What I can say is that everything that makes Psapp's music charming, wonderfully strange, smart, unexpected etc. is all there, on this album. Every song is a little world of its own, tells you a story. I keep marvelling on Durant's and Clasmann's chemistry. I'm just so thankful to them for creating a musical universe that makes me feel dreamy, on an unknown planet and at home all at the same time.
If "Cosy in the rocket" did it for you, you can safely buy TIGER..., as it is of the same fabulous extraction!
"Tiger My Friend" is built upon soft, whimsical vocals, intricate but unassuming arrangements, light percussion, catchy melodies, and some blip electro which is way more accessible than your usual blip electro. The variety makes it a winner across a broad spectrum of music listeners. I've played Psapp tracks for indie fans and folkrock fans and electronica fans (and, of course, Grey's Anatomy fans) and they've been a hit everywhere. This is kinda the Princess Bride of albums. Nobody hates it, and for some people it quickly becomes just about their favorite thing out there. Psapp has carved out a very distinctive niche in the music scene--something that's not easy to do these days--and you should give this record a whirl.
Album highlights: Rear Moth, Calm Down, Velvet Pony, About Fun, and the title track.
Psapp doesn't really break new ground here (although the addition of the cat's squeaks on the track 'About Fun' are worthy of special mention), but fans of the other groups mentioned should be pleased, and "Tiger, My Friend" is a very agreeable album with lots to like. But maybe you should consider it a three-star review if you haven't heard the other groups mentioned...