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Weathervanes CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

Price: £11.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B003626TL8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,010 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

The latest in the crop of electro-tinged indie pop groups that New York seems to pump out with an industrial intensity, Queens-based five-piece Freelance Whales have enjoyed a smooth ride into the mainstream. Having formed in late 2008, the band spent the next year or so turning heads at the South by Southwest festival, signing to indie super-label Frenchkiss and touring with the likes of Cymbals Eat Guitars, Shout Out Louds and Mumford & Sons.

The band’s debut, Weathervanes, is an unmitigated disappointment after the appreciative murmurings from press and the buzz from fans and festival-goers. A serviceable but utterly derivative slice of twee electro-pop, the album quietly retreads the ground covered by Sufjan Stevens, The Postal Service and Frenchkiss labelmates Passion Pit, failing to form any identifiable shape of its own. Frontman Judah Dadone’s studied vocals are even a perfect doppelganger of Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service vocalist and king of twee Ben Gibbard.

Freelance Whales make a perfectly pleasant noise; soft synths and toy box electronica mix with plucked guitar and banjo to keep the songs ticking over with nary a misplaced note. But Weathervanes’ complete lack of lyrical substance or sonic experimentation leaves the album with only the most irritating affectations of modern American indie. The almost parody-level lyrics on Hannah (“And if you’re partial to the night sky / If you’re vaguely attracted to rooftops”) could have been cranked out on an emo production line. The tracklist quickly degenerates into a repetitive crawl of mid-paced cutesy pop (Starring, Kilojoules), obligatory acoustic ballads (Broken Horse) and tiresome, meaningless ambient interludes. Even the album’s home-spun aesthetic is undermined by its slick, flavourless production.

Freelance Whales haven’t produced a terrible album by any means, but even a terrible album might be preferable to this non-entity. Although Weathervanes is an album impossible to despise, it’s distressingly easy to ignore.

--Chris Lo

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"You don't need a weathervane to know which way the wind blows" once observed Bob Dylan rather sagely. In the case of this debut by the Freelance Whales (great name) the wind is hopefully blowing towards full recognition and deserved success for a lovely debut album. This is an album full of top notch multi-instrumental experimentation and wonderful harmonic vocals, jammed packed with so many great pop/rock songs that hopefully Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie will derive some inspiration from this primary source after the disappointing "Narrow Stairs"

My space tells us that the Freelance Wales are from Queens in New York and recently did a nice session for the Welsh wonder Huw Stephens on Radio 1 where I first heard some of these songs. Think Death Cab, Postal Service, Phoenix, Sufjan Stevens and throw in CSN and the Fleet foxes and your in the ball park in terms of influences.

As a primer you should immediately seek out the wonderful "Location". It will remind you of the equivalent of a musical version of Oz Clarke's "Wine programme" on Radio 4, as you detect a pounding start, accompanied by a hint of Glockenspiel, a dash of piano, a dab of acoustic guitar, a frisson of watering can, all set off with a smoky and lush vocal harmonies. It shall be played tomorrow at a barbecue and turn heads. Then you have "Starring" which is all bells, accordions and banjos. Two songs have "Generator" in the title and it is the 2nd one that is the strongest and one of the most genuinely delightful songs I have heard this year. It builds and builds and by the time it ends you have a new friend.
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Format: Audio CD
Bought this purely because i adored the artwork on the digipack and it turned out that the booklet insert was equally charming. I wasn't however, initially, so blown away by the music. It seemed interesting but not special but i did find myself continually drawn back to it time and time again and it turns out it's a real grower and i really love it now. There's some gorgeous banjo (and guitar) picking throughout and most of the songs are little stories in themselves (somewhere in the Decemberists mode) beautifully told and played. It lost a star for the 3 short (pointless??) instrumental pieces. The best track is "we could be friends" which starts quietly enough but builds to a great anthemic ending with the chant "please don't put your face into your hands we could be friends". You also get a happy funeral song "generator, second floor" which has some lovely guitar work and the lyrics "life is long enough..we will put this flesh into the ground again". Give it some time and you'll be hooked.
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Format: MP3 Download
I've just bought this album, as I love "Generator 2nd floor" which a friend gave me on a compilation album. I've just listened to it 3 times over, its a really nice chilled out album. Most of the songs are laid back but happy tunes, almost folky. If you like Badly drawn boy or Mumford and Sons you'll probably like this too.
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Format: Audio CD
First heard the band on [...] (great place to find new bands) and after listening to Generator First Floor for weeks finally took the plunge into buying their album. And wasn't disapointed in the slightest. A really happy album, not a bad song on the whole ablum could litteraly listen to it for hours on repeat. Would be great to listen to on a nice warm sunny summers day with a cold cider, thats the impression I get from listening to it from my coldish room, cant wait for the summer and more tunes from Freelance Whales.
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