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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
The It Girl
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£2.93+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 13 December 2000
This album has many impressive pop tunes, and they, along with Wener's pouty sex appeal, saw it become quite a success commercially. Wener's lyrics and vocals are at their most consistent here; while the lyrics are a little prosaic and unambitious, they are far more involving and occasionally insightful than on the half-baked follow-up, "Pleased to Meet You". Despite the self-conscious attempts to be trendy for the times, the lyrics often hold a downmarket charm. Vocally limited, Louise Wener affects a breathiness that is effective mainly in slower numbers like "Click...", but also especially in the quick-fire phrasings of "Lie Detector". A breathless song it is; one of the best along with the slow-burning "Shrinkwrapped", the resplendent tunesmithery of "Statuesque" and the lovely "Click... off... gone"; one of their few beautiful tunes (see also "Breathe" on the follow-up album). However, perhaps the record is a good 10-minutes long, with non-songs like the tedious "Glue Ears" and the familiar, dull "Factor 41". Without these songs, it would be much the better. Sleeper weren't the most talented band ever, but they had some potential and were good in their student-indie-pop niche. Overall, worth getting, as an example of some of britpop's better pop music.
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on 16 July 2004
Sleeper were, in their heyday one of the finest Britpop bands around. Overshadowed (rather unfairly in my opinion) by Justine Frischmann's Elastica, they nonetheless produced some high quality pop tunes, and The It Girl is the perfect showcase for the band's talents.
While most of the album sticks to the upbeat, guitar-laden sound the band is mostly known for, there are also a couple of quieter, more contemplative tracks, which give Louise Wener's vocals a chance to shine. What is striking about this album is the consistent strength of the lyrics - neat, meaningful and beautifully crafted. The melodies are almost as strong, and, on listening to this album it's difficult to see why Sleeper aren't held in quite the same high esteem as Elastica, as there are some genuine indie-pop gems on this album.
How many good tracks? Eleven, out of thirteen
Best Track: A three-way tie between the fabulously shouty-ranty Factor 41, the gorgeously melancholic Shrinkwrapped, and singalong favourite What do I Do Now?
Worst Track: Compared to the rest of the album Good Luck Mr Gorsky stands out as not really being up to scratch.
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on 24 October 2007
Whenever Britpop is discussed in the monthly music mags, Sleeper are usually placed firmly in the second division alongside the likes of Cast and Shed Seven. If they weren't at the right place at the right time they would never have made it seems to be the general premise. This opinion seems very harsh when this excellent album is played or re-played.

The It Girl, Sleeper's second album is a superb example of indie-pop with an added edge and bite courtesy of Louise Wener's sneery vocals and lyrics. It's no coincidence that it's one of the most frequent LPs playing in the background to the bitchy, era-defining TV series This Life.

Wener's expressive, often semi-spoken singing and angry lyrical put-downs are highly effective especially on tracks like the opener Lie Detector and Dress Like Your Mother. I could quote examples though, as with all songwriters apart from the true poets like Leonard Cohen and prime Bob Dylan, the impact of a lyric is at least half down to the musical context and delivery rather than merely the words themselves...

Aha, the musical context. As well as some fine words and vocals, The It Girl also includes some excellent tunes. In addition to the tracks already mentioned, further highlights include the hit singles Sale Of The Century, What Do I Do Now? and the Blondie influenced Statuesque. Further highpoints include the biting bounce of Feeling Peaky and coming-down closer Click...Off...Gone.

All songs on The It Girl are written entirely or co-written by Louise Wener who at the time was quite justifiably angry that critics often presumed that she, as a woman, didn't write the music. Yes Sleeper certainly had their detractors and further less understandable outbursts in the press probably didn't help Louise's cause. However, this shouldn't take any credit away from The It Girl which is a superb period-defining LP. Maybe those who placed Sleeper in Britpop's second stream should listen to it once again, ignore their prejudices and adjust the band's league position accordingly.
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on 1 July 2007
I'd recommend this album to anyone and everyone! Some catchy tunes and excellent lyrics, it's by far the best of Sleepers 3 albums. What Do I Do Now? is one of my favourite songs

I was surprised when reading a couple of the other reviews that people think there are only a few good songs on the album and lots of 'fillers'; it's one of the few albums which I think every single song is great!
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on 20 May 2012
If you're reading this review you will already know the main album contained here. I liked the album then and had it on vinyl so, on seeing this release I thought to myself "look at all those extra tracks!" and bought this! Well the album is still how I remember it but this is another Cherry Red "Let's max the volume on the CD so much that we leave no dynamics left!" I still keep buying these Cherry Red re-masters but have to say that there are only a few that are any good. The extra tracks are OK (Still mastered too loud) so I didn't waste the money on this 2 cd set but this release could and should have sounded good too!

Note to Cherry Red: I think we all have volume control on whatever system that any individual will be playing this CD on. If I turn up the volume on a well mastered CD I keep the original dynamic range of the CD AND get loud music! Why do you insist on compressing the hell out of the master to make it ear bleedingly loud before you press the CD? That dynamic range is lost forever ;-(
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on 24 December 2003
Although Sleeper belong to a genre which is subjected to many a critism when brought up (Brit Pop if you were still wondering) -if you havent heard this album before then throw all preconceptions out the window and enjoy..
Admittidly there are some weak tracks, 'glue ears' particularly. However 'what do I do now' certainly makes up for it, and 'sale of the century' is another great tune you've just got to listen to.
Better than your usual average Brit Pop, although it would never please the masses -but if you like this kind of music then you wont resist its appeal.
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on 7 June 2003
This is a front-runner for the best album ever. I've had it since it was released (1996), and have never tired of it's catchy tunes and ironic and witty lyrics. Louise Wener is fabulous as the lead singer, and delivers the lyrics in a velvety and silky manner. A definite must-buy for anyone who was a 1990's britpop fan - it'll make you wonder why you ever moved on!
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on 20 December 2013
This is an album that represents a high point for Sleeper. Louise Wener is a good songwriter with a strong vocal presence. She wrestles with her relationships with wit and a wry sense of irony. Playful and there are a few tracks that really resonate from your speakers.
Good jagged guitars, some synthetic sounds. Stephen Street was the producer. Clear bass, and punchy drums. You will not be disappointed by this released just as Britpop climaxed!
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on 22 June 2003
Back in the day, the phrase "I like Sleeper" would instantly invlaidate any of your opinions on music, in the eyes of your peers. Yes, it was a savage time.
I found a tape of this when I was moving house, and it's just great. I will hold up my hands and admit there are some songs that don't measure up on this - Good luck Mr.Gorsky and Glue Eyes being the worst offenders. Remember, even the Queen is Dead (namechecked on Dress like you Mother) had Vicar in a Tutu.
Next to these are the shining pop gems that are Sale of the Century, What do I do Know and Dress like your Mother. Crowning this is the lyrically sublime and beautifully arranged Shrinkwrapped - insomnia never sounded so good.
This album won't change your life, but it will leave you bouncing up and down, singing along in husky mockney accent. And I for one am perfectly happy with that.
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on 31 October 2010
I got hold of this cd because it was very cheap and I never got around to getting it when it came out, despite being into lots of Sleepers contemparies. Although it isn't amazing and I suspect that you need to remember the britpop era to appreciate it, I was surprised at how many songs i liked. Its got to be worth the couple of quid for a listen anyway.
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