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The Triffids Present... The Black Swan CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 April 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B00109TC7M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,445 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Triffids were criminally overlooked in their day, so the Domino re-issues, with their additional material, bring them to the attention of a whole new audience. It's also a chance for die-hard fans to update from vinyl. 'The Black Swan' was intended, in the late, great David McComb's eyes, to be a 'sprawling, messy masterpiece', and it is most certainly an eclectic mix, a rich variety, the next stage in McComb's musical development after the epic 'Calenture'. Writing this review on the anniversary of David McComb's birthday is a further reminder of the talent (dare I say genius) that was lost with his untimely death.
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Format: Audio CD
When "The Black Swan" came out in 1989, those who had been singing the Triffids' praises for over 5 years began frothing at the mouth in excitement. The ambition of this Australian band seemed to have increased by a huge amount, whilst not losing the unique Australian-ness of their strange sound. That it was to be their final album took everyone by surprise - but at least they went with a bang, rather than an embarassing decline into blandness... or worse.
With the cool gaze of hindsight, The Black Swan looks a crazy mix, but one that works superbly. Opener "Too Hot To Move..." finds them firmly in sun-parched Aussie territory again, and could be an out-take from their much-loved "Born Sandy Devotional" LP. After that, though, things veer off into truly uncharted territory with the Pet Shop Boys influence of "Falling Over You". "Goodbye Little Boy" is pure, chunky, melodic pop, and was (unbelievably) a flop single.
It's toward the middle of this album that the magic truly begins to work, though. "Butterflies into Worms" is sparse and sad, "The Clown Prince" successfully pulls in a wobble-o-phonic opera singer and a lush string section as it tells the story of an entertainer who rises above the dive bar in which he works. "Good fortune Rose" sees them back in pure pop territory, pre-dating the Lightning Seeds by a year or so. "New Year's Kiss" is McComb's towering epic that dominates the second half of the CD: Set in an empty, flat and threatening Australian outback, McComb tells loneliness how it is, before drifting off into a reverie that is almost hallucinogenic, as if he's running short of water and has started seeing mirages.
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Format: Audio CD
Coming after the twin monuments of genius that were "Born Sandy Devotional " and "Calenture" The Black Swan , originally released in April 1989( A tremendous year for albums) , seemed a touch lightweight in comparison. It lacked the depth of emotion , the sheer brio and gravitas of those two albums. It seemed a little synthetic too, the band having embraced new technology with synths and programming yet listening to it today after years of dismissing it as a pretty but slightly empty confection I have to say that while it's still not as good as BSD or Calenture it's actually a very fine ambitious and exotic pop album.
The album was originally conceived as a double album and on this re-release with various demo's and alternate versions it attains the sort of status it was originally meant to ,with six extra tracks so it becomes their version of the "White Album". In the recording sessions the Triffids were joined by producer Stephen Street (the Smiths' - Strangeways, Here We Come and Morrissey's Viva Hate). The Black Swan used a greater variety of musical instruments than their previous albums with bouzouki, güiro and accordion thrown into the mix .The title of the album was originally going to be Disappointment Resort Complex but was renamed to The Black Swan, which according to a 1989 interview by Stephen Phillips of the NME with David McComb is based on the 1952 novel (of the same name) by Thomas Mann.
Musically The Black Swan is extraordinarily diverse. "Too Hot To Move Too Hot To Think" is a suitably languorous ballad with a gorgeous chorus melody and is the one song on the album that ,like former albums did so readily, evinces visions of the band native Australia.
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