- Audio CD (5 Mar. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Cast Recordings
- ASIN: B00786XWT0
- Other Editions: Audio CD | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,719 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Troubled Times CD
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With today's biggest guitar bands harking back to the age of Adidas, alcopops and amphetamines, it's no great surprise that the class of 95 are getting in on the act again, and hot on the heels of Dodgy's just-about-good-enough return comes the re-emergence of some rather more central players. You heard: history may not have been awfully kind to Cast, but they were the point at which the Britpop pendulum swung from Blur to Oasis, and, although they were significantly a People's Band, they had a frontman in John Power with sufficient previous form and garrulous charm to ensure that critical fondness was never far away either. So what will they have to offer the divided-Gallaghers generation?
Well, approaching a Cast album in search of wheel reinvention was always a fool's errand, and that hasn't changed a bit, so of course Troubled Times is sincere 60s-isms a go-go. They always had a mild knack of unearthing diamonds from the retro rough, though, and that kicks in with familiar occasionalness here. The final minute of See That Girl, for example, is as splendidly psychedelic as anything they've ever done, while, excitingly, Silver and Gold wouldn't disgrace the upbeat end of Richard Hawley's canon. Best of all, Brother Fighting Brother is both a powerhouse pop song and, uncharacteristically, actually quite topical with the summer of unrest still freshly remembered.
Frankly, though, their absence hasn't exactly ironed out the problems that beset them initially. There was always a chasm between the offstage wide-eyed erudition and their frequent on-record tendency towards the prosaic, and opener Bow Down's stuck-on-repeat two-word chorus bodes very badly indeed, while a lyric like "Maybe it's gonna rain / Like never before in Spain" is barely the stuff of Ivor Novellos. Worse, the line between classicist and characterless is particularly fine, and it's all too often negotiated inexpertly here. Sure, as a pleasant, episodically excellent way to spend three-quarters of an hour, this is something of a success; but in terms of composing a manifesto for why Cast should matter to a new-millennial audience, Power struggles just that bit too much.
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Top customer reviews
On here, you'll find nothing new, and nothing experimental either, but that doesn't matter. This is the sound of Cast, and the same vibrant, upbeat Britpop that first got this four-piece band from Liverpool noticed, so why change a winning formula now?
The heart-warming track 'See That Girl' is especially melodic, and manages to almost hit the same highs as the La's hit 'There She Goes'. With some of the other songs, especially a stand out like 'Troubled Thoughts', it would also appear that Cast have taken some inspiration from another Scouse indie band, The Coral. Other favourites that I enjoyed immediately include the dark and deep 'Bad Waters', and 'Brother Fighting Brother, with vocalist John Power sounding uncannily like Bob Dylan, plus the rather reassuring, but confessional 'Not Afraid of this World'.
If you enjoyed Cast back then, I'll simply put you'll still love them as they were as recently as 2012, so buy 'Troubled Times' with ease, and enjoy it. I was hoping that it wouldn't take as long for a follow-up, for although it didn't gain a chart position, the new music was quality, but thankfully, their official website is giving visitors the chance to pre-order a new album.
I could add more but I carnt really be arsed.
Overall disappointing. Still doesn't diminish my love of them live or there earlier albums.
Cast were always there but never really visible. These loveable Scousers despite multi- platinum selling albums (including the fastest selling debut album of the time) never really reached the heights they should have or deserved. 17 years on there back after some incestuous affairs on the Liverpool music scene.
Troubled Times sounds like Cast in terms of the vocals and the easily identifiable guitar work, but not in style or spirit. Yes they take from the retro sixties influence that Britpop always did, but it lacks the effervescence of their youth. This is a mature collection of songs that reflects their age and stature (These guys are in their early 40's now).
Sadly they sound like a middle aged band playing in a pub somewhere on a Tuesday night. That's not so say it's bad but the brisk optimism and infectious choruses have gone. Unfortunately you can't really recapture a scene that was so spontaneous and I don't think they are really trying to here. The wide eyes, energy, excitement are now replaced more mundane affairs and acceptance of what life is all about.
Never the less this collection of songs is heartfelt and warming and comes from a group that have gained wisdom through experience and age. The songs and tempo reflect this. When you think about it the audience are going to be ex- brit-popers who are also going to be around the late 30 or early 40 mark. So they should be able to relate.
Cast have never been critical darlings. Even when Britpop was at its peak they were being written off as mere revivalists. But this never affected their popularity, mainly thanks to John Power, a songwriter with a gift for writing radio-friendly melodies. This album does not attempt o relive the Britpop years but picks up exactly where they left off. The guitars chime and jangle brightly and the songs are full of lyrical clichés. But it's not the Cast you may remember.
If Cast in 1995 were a bottle on lemonade the Cast of 2012 are a bottle of lemon squash
It's sad that with so much musical talent and versatility that this album will not appeal to anyone else other than those wishing to open window into the past. These seasoned musicians who have played with the likes of Shack, the LA's and the Bunnymen deserve more but unfortunately I don't think this will do it .
All in all a plesent album but another one that will collect dust in the collection
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