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Words And Music By Saint Etienne
 
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Words And Music By Saint Etienne

21 May 2012 | Format: MP3

6.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for 4.99 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
Provided by Amazon EU Srl. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations. Complete your purchase of the CD album to save the MP3 version to your Amazon music library.
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By Matt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Its been seven long years since Saint Etienne last graced us with a brand spanking new studio album; it began to look as if 2005's Tales From Turnpike House might prove to be their swansong - but they're back at last, and they've put their long hiatus to good use by providing us with a 24 karat pop nugget.

The band have always come up with stunning singles, but their albums could be a little patchy at times - experiments that just didn't quite work or melodies that didn't quite fulfill their potential. The last album was one of their most consistently strong to date, and this new release follows in the same vein. There are highs of course: gorgeous bittersweet opener Over The Border and uplifting pop rushes Tonight and DJ for instance. However there are no tracks where I felt my finger creeping towards the skip button on repeated listenings. The mood is mainly upbeat, albeit with touches of nostalgic regret, and the sound is mostly Saint Etienne's patented blend of effervescent pop influences from the Sixties to the Noughties, although there's a moving folk ballad, I Threw It All Away, towards the end - and there's more than enough variety in the melodies to prevent any suggestion of repetition.

The theme of the album is music - the effect our favourite music has upon us, the memories it evokes, the emotions it stirs...and the question of what role music plays in our lives as we get older - can it still stir and excite us as it once did? I think I can safely say, as long as Saint Etienne keep making great records like this, the answer is definitely yes.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the first St Etienne album that I have bought, I was tempted to try them out having read several favourable reviews. The album is themed on their love of pop music, an interesting concept. The opening track Over the Border has a rundown of what its like to be an obsessive music fan, telling of a trip to see Peter Gabriel's house while still at school, asking whether Marc Bolan's music will still matter as much in the future, and giving a potted history of their love of music. Lots of namecheck references for those in the know,clever and sophisticated stuff. Subsequent tracks with titles like Record Doctor, I've Got Your Music, Last Days of Disco, and Haunted Jukebox continue to focus on the allure of pop music. Overall the arrangements are poppy, the lyrics give an insight into what has been a lifelong obsession with popular music, and it probably strikes a chord with anyone now in their early 50's, who is likely to pick up on the nuances of the in jokes and specific references made. This is not my usual bag, but it has a lot to commend it , and I am impressed that they have maintained the concept successfully throughout a whole album. For those who are into such things, there is a bonus album of remixes of selected tracks, with various producers playing around with selected tracks , but the main original album is the one that I personally enjoy the most. The artwork on the cover is fascinating in its own right, a pastiche of a street map like you would find in an A-Z, with all the road names refering to past popular hit records such as Penny Lane, Devil Gate Drive, Ventura Highway, Yellow Brick Road etc. Like the music on the CD, you can have lots of fun trying to spot the influence and getting the references to the music knowledge . Good stuff, highly entertaining , nod is as good as a wink humorous hooks abound.
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit to being a fairly recent convert to the Saint Etienne cause. I'd got You're in a bad way ages ago on a mixed compilation album and really liked it. I'd heard of them but didn't know too much about them, they seemed to bypass me in the 90s. I came across London Conversations and decided to take a chance, after listening to it i was totally blown away and i am now cursing myself for not finding them earlier.
I had high expectations for the new album and i wasn't disappointed. The theme of the album is that Music affects our lives in many different ways and reminds us of good times, bad times and defining moments in our lives. The opening track Over the Border takes me back over 30 years when listening to the Charts on Radio 1 was a weekly ritual and my bedroom wall was covered in posters of my favourite Bands. There isn't a duff track on the album from the bouncy DJ to the beautiful I threw it all away!!!
What sets Saint Etienne apart are the interesting lyrics, great tunes and the superb voice of Sarah Cracknell. I was lucky enough to see them recently at the London Palladium and they put on a great show, Sarah never seemed to stop smiling, it's great when the Artist is enjoying it as much as the Fans.
I can't rate this Album highly enough and have been playing it constantly.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Always had a soft spot for Saint Etienne, but sort of drifted away for reasons unknown. Did we fall out? Where the hell have all those albums come from on Amazon? Will it be kind of awkward? So, the doorbell went and as I helped 'Words and Music' out of it's Amazon box, outside a perfect English summer downpour, I was starting to think it was not going to work.

This soon changed. Listening to the opener 'Over The Border', I realised it's me that should be making the apologies in this reunion. I settled down. we had a lot to catch up on.

Saint Etienne always like to spell out a sense of time and space, weather directly in lyrics or through production styles. They need you to know the 'when and where'. So there's a wistful, bold intent on this first track to say, hey - it's OK to be someone who grew up with Factory Records, NME, Top of the Pops - your're not alone. That's always going to get a codger like me on-side. The track itself is a real stunner though, with that effortless and non-sickly 70's sheen that no one else can do (except perhaps Air on occasion). A great way to set the tone of the album.

That's not to say this is all Foxbase Alpha from there on in. There's some great synth pop workouts here, New Order style (by that I mean latterday New Order, once they got transatlantic sunshine, clubs and sports cars in their lives) that really suit SE. Sarah Cracknell's delivery is still perfect. Underrated doesn't come close.

But the theme of music as a life lived and still living is central to the album, and it does do this in a way without going for the obvious retro tag or just because SE know that they are no spring chickens (although the inside pic of the trio does look like it's from the about us page of an architectural firm's website).
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