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on 16 January 2002
I cannot recommend this album enough; it slipped out towards the end of last year and somehow managed to escape all the usual media hype - and the end of year music polls, which really is a sad reflection upon music magazines. Every man and his dog have ranted on about the retro-chic joys of Daft Punk and The Avalanches, yet Trevor Jackson has quietly created the best dance album in years.
Whilst drawing on traditional influences as diverse as funk, punk, disco, hip hop and reggae the album is still so amazingly fresh and modern its makes you wonder why so many dance producers get it so terribly wrong. Every part of this album, from the collaborations to the packaging, is absolutely spot on.
The only negative thing that I could say about this album is that it makes most other dance music being released at the moment look like total bobbins!!!
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on 21 October 2001
I bought this album because the cover caught my eye and after one listen it certainly caught my ears too. With a little bit of princey funk, a little of nouvelle cuisine, a little bit of savoir faire and little Parisian charm, each track is certainly aimed to get the dancefloor going and is extremely uplifting without heading down cheesey street. If this doesn't get your green flash pumping get your ears syringed. From start to finish the rolling bass keeps you pounding and twisting like a slippery eel. Certainly one of the albums of the year that oozes originality from every pour.
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2001
Trevor Jackson, long serving member of the dance community, has put together Playgroup, and put in it all he has accumulated over the years, recruiting the services of Edwin Collins, ex-Happy Mondays' Rowetta, Roddy Frame, original Bikini Kill riot grrl Kathleen Hannah, long time Leila collaborator Luca Santucci or Jamaican toaster Shinehead to give an ultimate kick to an already clever record. Pulling influences from funk, disco, new wave, hip-hop, electro, trip-hop, dub and so on, Jackson presents here an album that relies heavily on the past, only to reshape it with such vigour that it nearly sounds too modern for its own good. The constant change of direction could well have been the downfall of this record, but it is in fact its very attraction. Playgroup is a frisky piece of kaleidoscopic dance floor sensation that grabs the listener from the first moments of the Prince-like Number One, first single to be lifted from the album, and never lets go. Chaotic ride if there was any, Playgroup is a burning slice of funk, with intermittent punk outburst (Bring It On), and occasional waves of heavenly cool (Pressure, featuring , Surface To Air) and torrid sensualism (Overflow).
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on 29 March 2004
Please ignore the critics of this album - whilst perhaps not being the most complex of albums - the simplicity of the tunes and the undoubted "fun" factor present throughout combine to make this one of the most enjoyable "feelgood" albums that i have come across in recent time. most tunes grow with each additional listen and i defy anybody to not let the fantastic basslines put a smile on their face!
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on 13 March 2002
brilliant. that's about right. this album is a great surprise, i bought it on a whim and have already - only two days later - recommended it to most of the people i know. it is smooth, funky, layered and carries you from the first track to the last with a freshness that is captivating. Number One, Pressure and Bring It On are stand out classics, everything else will grow and keep growing
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on 4 May 2002
Here's the thing, I brought this CD because it is claimed that Playgroup have made one of this finest Disco albums for a long time, I beg to differ. The CD starts off well enough with 'Number One', which sounds strangely similar to Timo Mass - Ubik The Breakz. It then flows into the best track on the CD in the form of 'Pressure', a dark disco dub track. And after that the album sort of flows into a nothing meaningless affair. With tracks like 'Medicine Man' and 'Surface to Air' doing little to inspire me, with quite dire vocals. Rather then starting off well and culminating in a big bang the album fades out into nothing more than an average CD. The fact that Playgroup have been likened to Daft Punk quite offends me, as the music is not that similar in anyway shape or form.
In general an album that does little to inspire and nothing more then average
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on 7 May 2002
Im sorry but i must be on a different planet from everyone else but at least the choonz are good from where im sitting. I got this album cors everyone was waxing lyrical over it. and its started promising enough. but then track 2 started and it went downhill from there. How ANYONE can compare with daft punk ill never know?? the guys trying too hard to be progressive as far as im concerned - dance, then breaks then dub then god only knows? if its progressive youre after then try deep dish, or tony pappa, funkys your bag then go jerry francis or nude dimensions my advice stay well clear. if you like money dont fork it out on this.....still the covers interesting!!!
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on 28 May 2002
I too, bought this album after reading the rave reviews. They were right!
The first playing left me unsure being totally original but after a second playing has convinced me this is the best album of the year (yeah, ok, it came out last year).
A neat combination of progressive, funk and Hip-Hop and great for the car or just chillin'. The opening track 'Number 1' sets the rythymn with some DEEEP bass lines and continues throughout the album. Listen to the bass on my favourite track 'front 2 back'. It makes your Bose speakers prove their worth.
Dont listen to criticism, Play it, Love it, Buy it!
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on 16 October 2003
You've only gone and made one the freshest and goddamn rump shakingly brilliant albums of recent years!
I have scanned the reviews that have been written and it seems that you will either love this or not care one jot about it. I implore you to buy it as it sounds like a lot of stuff but then again this is just a little bit different. Playgroup is disco, post punk, daft punk,dancehall,disco ball and back again...twice! There is some very well constructed tracks on this album that build like proper songs and are made to be listened to rather than just heard. I won't single out any tracks as that would be unfair to the others, so just add this to your "I must spend some money!..On what though... list"
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on 4 February 2004
I bought this album because of the reviews on here and played it with eager anticipation and what was my reaction - disappointment. There is a diverse mixture of tracks on here from disco to downtempo but I feel it is attempting too much at once and therefore some of the tracks are a little inferior in quality.
The CD starts off well but tends to fade towards the end and more often than not I havent managed to get to the end before switching it off. All in all a pretty average album.
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