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on 29 September 2000
What a great album, already knew I liked the three songs that had been on general release but the rest of the album was superb. Good mixture of some softer ones together with the boppier upbeat ones to play full volume whilst driving!
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on 16 February 2015
Brought this for my Dad, who loved it
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on 6 July 2000
I first heard Toploader at a Paul Weller concert a year or two ago, and whilst there I bought their "High Flying Bird" EP. Since then, barely a day has gone by that I haven't thought "I can't wait for their debut album!" The EP was really that good. The waiting has been a strange experience, as I have witnessed the releases of Achilles Heel, and Let The People Know barely even scratch the charts - such amazing songs yet no success - why? Early this year they released Dancing In The Moonlight, which I felt was not their usual style (they didn't write it) and not upto the standard of previous songs. However, this song was the first to get any serious airplay and really hit the charts, which was great because it felt like Toploader had finally "arrived." What's more, the more I heard the song, the more addicted I became to it - it's fantastic. I read that it's an old song and is actually the lead singer's favourite song of all-time. Then, a couple of months later, Achilles Heel got a re-release, and everyone was ready to give it a chance this time around. Of course, almost everyone who heard the song said it was one of the best songs in recent memory, so Achilles Heel really got the public fired up for the debut Album, Onka's Big Moka...which is fantastic! It's soooo full of raw energy; the lead singer puts everything he has into the songs, so much energy that it can feel electric at times. You really feel that they're all having a fantastic time playing their music, which is generally pretty happy, making it great summer fare. I have many favourites, but almost any listener would be gripped right from the start with the energetic Let The People Know (seems like a perfect song to listen to while running...although I habven't tried it, being a lazy...person). I guess Achilles Heel is the most accomplished pop/rock song here, and Only For A While is one of the most amazing ballads I've heard for ages, but there's generally something for everyone. There seems to be 2 main groups of people who buy the album - those who bought it for Dancing In the Moonlight and those who bought it for Achilles Heel. Usually lovers of Dancing cite Summer Cycle, High Flying Bird and Only For A While as their favourites, whereas the Achilles fans (the largest group) seems to like Let The People Know, Breathe, and Just About Living as their favourites. Either way, you won't be disappointed - the vocals are fantastic, the musicianship is awesome, and the songs are so perfectly arranged, they're pretty much faultless...except for High Flying Bird, which, while still a great song, was far, far better in it's original state, and most people may never get the pleasure of hearing, unfortunately. Still, one of the best albums I've heard for a good while - it takes considerable effort to put in another CD!
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on 24 March 2006
There's this new band I've recently discovered called Toploader. They've pretty much exploded onto the underground music scene and are definitely set for great things. They are a relatively unknown band at the moment, you will probably only hear about them through word of mouth. But the word on the street is spreading like wildfire! It's just a matter of time before these guys get signed to a major label, so get in early so you can say you were a fan of their music before they made it big!
Their material is steaming hot and has created a whirlpool on the indie music circuit. I went to see them live at a small venue and they played this new song called 'Dancing in the Moonlight' and I just stood there amazed and lost for words. It was eerie how magnificent this new song was, it literally took my breath away, from that instant I knew I was in the midst of legends and was witnessing something really special. This is how imagine it must've been for the audience seeing 'Smells like Teen Spirit' being played for the first time at a Nirvana gig.
Not only is the music amazing but Toploader's lyrics are really deep, profound and inspiring to boot. Take 'Dancing in the Moonlight' as an example, it's a song about the good times that come around every once in awhile, you know? When everyone is feeling warm and bright whilst dancing in the moonlight. It's just really deep, really captures the essence of the human condition and makes us question our own existence. And if you think this is all just a front, it isn't. The band are real hardcore rock n' roll and [i]live[/i] what they talk about in their music, most notably the singer Joseph Washborn, he's a real anarchist right down to the bone. This is a man who is determined to shrug off any social conditioning inflicted upon him and really shake up the system and fight the power. Once he even stuck up the two V's at a journalist and told him to p*** off! This band are truly a force to be reckoned with, both musically [i]and[/i] culturally.
You're going to hear about this band sooner or later anyway, so I recommend you ride the wave now! Catch it before they become 'commercial'!
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on 4 March 2001
You can tell as soon as soon you hear the gravelly- voiced Joe Wishbourne on Let the People know that this man has listened to a lot of Reef. For the most part this is not a bad thing; The stand out tracks of Let the People Know, Archilles Heel, Breathe and Do You Know What Your Future Will Be? all benefit form his emotionally charged voice. Who cares if he doesn't sound like Craig David? The album is great apart from a few at the end which fail to hold me and is of a high quality. They are a less "poppy" version of Jamiroquai and deserved a Brit I felt either for Best Album or Best Single It seem like they've manged to rub Atomic "Kitten" up the wrong way which is no bad thing and posssibly worthy of an award in itself. I saw Joe and the lads at V2000 and although I knew they were good after Archilles Heel, I was blown away by the set they played, with it being a fine summer's day it set the mood perfectly. The album is as good as anything else out at the moment - it grows on you more and more as you listen to it; originally I found the tracks (singles outstanding) dull but after a few more listens I was hooked Yessiree!...
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on 8 July 2000
I got the album in mid-June after hearing about the band through a friend. The album arrived and has been stuck in my CD player ever since, as well as in my car.
I was then fortunate to see them as the support act to Counting Crows at Wembley, so I think I can pretty much say they are fantastic.
The album suits so many tastes, and there really is something on there for everyone. I don't know anyone who can honestly say that "Dancing In the Moonlight" wouldnt get them up and dancing a bit.
The album is well balanced, and the piano work is fantastic throughout. Its even more impressive as Joseph Washbourn sings and plays.
If I had to compare them to anyone, they are similar to Jamaroquai in some senses, yet better in others. If you get the opportunity to see them in concert, go, because they really did rock Wembley Arena, and not many support acts do !
So if you want to buy one album, forget anything else and buy this, because these guys are excellent and their music is outstanding !
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on 13 February 2001
Well this record is one of the biggest growers in my collection, and has become welded to my CD player. The catchiness of the music is amazing. Tracks like "Dancing in the Moonlight" and "Achilles Heel" are proving themselves to be classics. These tracks have even hit the clubbing scene, making clubbers used to dancing to hard house learn to groove around.
Joseph Washbourne's lyrics are poetic in their simplicity and the whole record seems strangely reminiscent of some of the stuff of the 70's. Unapologetically mainstream, but lightyears ahead of most of the music in the charts. It's nearly a year for this record on the album charts now, and it keeps getting higher and higher, finally hitting the top ten after Christmas and staying there.
No review could be complete without a mention of Jamie Oliver's adverts and their "Dancing in the Moonlight" backing track, which has no doubt helped bring Toploader's music to an even wider audience. All I can say is that gradually everyone in my circle of friends has bought this album. If this is being replicated all across the UK, "Onka's Big Moka" could sell a ridiculously large number of units.
There are no duds on this album at all, every song has its proper place. I would give it five stars, only where would there be room for improvement if, as I expect, Toploader better this release with their next album?
Well done lads, keep up the good work.
Oh, and Joseph, get yourself signed up with some big shampoo company. Your hair's worth it!
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on 21 January 2003
Toploader are five young men who are clearly inflenced by the music collections of their older siblings.
"Onka's Big Moka" is the kind of music that swaggered around in the 70's which you understand isn't a bad thing.
Produced by long time collaborator of the "Manic Street Preachers" "Dave Eringa" this is a goodtime album that is full of feel good songs sung by mad-haired frontman "Joe Washbourn" with his whisky soaked vocals that make a love song sound genuine.
"Dancing in the Moonlight" is the song thanks to a well know supermarket everyone knows and loves this is the catchy pop song on the album, the standout track for me is "Achilles Heel" what a wonderful piano sound, good stuff from a recent band that sound like an old band on this collection...
3 people found this helpful
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on 20 February 2001
An excellent lesson on how to open and close an album - Let the People Know eats into you and instantly has you feeling cheerful, and Floating Away cons you into thinking it's a tinkly piano nothingmuch of a song before exploding into a fantastic finale. Of the rest, some of it is cheesy and some of it is really excellent. The album's main downfall is it's cliched lyrics - sometimes you can even guess correctly what's coming next. But this is made up for by tunes which will stick in your brain and refuse to move. Perfect for spring/summer.
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on 24 March 2006
There's this new band I've recently discovered called Toploader. They've pretty much exploded onto the underground music scene and are definitely set for great things. They are a relatively unknown band at the moment, you will probably only hear about them through word of mouth. But the word on the street is spreading like wildfire! It's just a matter of time before these guys get signed to a major label, so get in early so you can say you were a fan of their music before they made it big!
Their material is steaming hot and has created a whirlpool on the indie music circuit. I went to see them live at a small venue and they played this new song called 'Dancing in the Moonlight' and I just stood there amazed and lost for words. It was eerie how magnificent this new song was, it literally took my breath away, from that instant I knew I was in the midst of legends and was witnessing something really special. This is how imagine it must've been for the audience seeing 'Smells like Teen Spirit' being played for the first time at a Nirvana gig.
Not only is the music amazing but Toploader's lyrics are really deep, profound and inspiring to boot. Take 'Dancing in the Moonlight' as an example, it's a song about the good times that come around every once in awhile, you know? When everyone is feeling warm and bright whilst dancing in the moonlight. It's just really deep, really captures the essence of the human condition and makes us question our own existence. And if you think this is all just a front, it isn't. The band are real hardcore rock n' roll and [i]live[/i] what they talk about in their music, most notably the singer Joseph Washborn, he's a real anarchist right down to the bone. This is a man who is determined to shrug off any social conditioning inflicted upon him and really shake up the system and fight the power. Once he even stuck up the two V's at a journalist and told him to p*** off! This band are truly a force to be reckoned with, both musically [i]and[/i] culturally.
You're going to hear about this band sooner or later anyway, so I recommend you ride the wave now! Catch it before they become 'commercial'!
3 people found this helpful
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