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on 9 February 2002
North London quartet Candidate have plowed their distinctive furrow for a few years now, announcing themselves splendidly with a slew of EPs (Leader, Take Over Tokyo) which their debut LP, sadly, struggled to match (though it wasn't without some excellent moments - Somerset, for one). It's great to be able to report, then, that second album 'Tiger Flies' is a more cohesive, consistent and altogether better record.
Commencing with the gorgeous harmonies of the all-too-brief 'Avalanche', the LP quickly settles itself somewhere between The Beta Band and Sparklehorse, with Lambchop and Giant Sand thrown somewhere into the mix. Lest you think it's wholly derivative of its altcountry antecedents, it's also necessary to point out the overall distinctiveness of the sound, characterised mainly by singer Joel Morris' deep, faintly Americanised voice and pithy lyrics ("Damned incompetents/What Do they know?" Begins one song).
Some fifteen minutes longer than their debut, the album isn't without its filler and occasionally comes across as slightly inconsequential. However, in 'Hawaiian Police', 'Honey' and 'This is the Way', Candidate demonstrate an easy way with melody that distinguishes them from their peers (if they have any: they're distanced from the new acoustic orthodoxy and don't really fit in anywhere else, which can only be a good thing). Flawed it may be, but 'Tiger Flies' is an engaging grower that should bring the group to wider attention.
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on 13 April 2002
There aren't enough words to truely do justice to North-Londons' CANDIDATES' latest musical offering. Tiger Flies is the follow up to the quartet's highly acclaimed debut "Taking on the Enemies Sound". Candidate have blended the right influences with a fistfull of catchy hooklines to create a superb second album that tears at the heartstrings and leaves you screaming for more. Take for example "This is The Way". This track embodies an ocean of melody, lapping gently against your eardrums! This is the kind of song that makes you feel good to be alive. Elsewhere on the album "Hangman's Waltz" packs an impressive punch of raw accoustica while "Honey" surrounds the listener in a warm glow of spine-tingling bliss. I can see very little wrong with this album. Oh, except for the dead bee on the album cover. Although apparently it died of natural causes!!
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on 22 January 2011
Slotting 'Tiger flies' in my CD player has become a regular occurence over the years. There is no better 'chilled out' Saturday morning record, and it sounds as fresh today as when I 'pot-lucked it' from Select-a-Disc (another ex-record store) back in 2002. The high praise it recieved at the time from such high authorities as Rolling Stone, Mojo, Q, The Guardian, Sunday Times and the Telegraph surely predicted great times ahead for Candidate. They've plowed their furrow ever since and have kept up their high standards on the peripheries of the mainstream, with good albums and brilliant moments.

'Tiger flies', however, for me, stands out head and shoulders above the rest. Not only does it contain a multitude of sublime songs, with break-your-heart melodies, but it works as a 'whole' - a sequence of indie-folk mini masterpieces.

'Avalanche' kicks off the album, with honey soaked, reverbed harmonies, birdsong, fading into the beating acoustic guitar of 'Talk about troubles', with break beats, slide guitar soaring in the background, and hyptnotic vocals. Next, the delicate 'Light through stones' sounds Moody Blues-ish, with haunting harmonies, flute and acoustic guitar. 'Hawaiian Police' is a masterpiece - a romantic gem - to send shivers down your spine, fading out with soaring harmonica and yearning male/female vocals. 'Honey' with its simple, repeated refrain and picked guitar; 'When the honey comes out, the world seems better that way, but when the honey runs out, will leave you empty and grey', works wonderfully. 'Cactus Jack' changes the mood - a subtle jazz plod with bar room piano, tinny guitar and sound effects - a pleasant interlude. 'Burn low' does just that - reverby harmonies, dreamlike, with pleasing hooks. 'Hangman's waltz' is a pleasant filler. 'Head to toe in white' is yet another intoxicating classic. Delicate picking, beautiful harmonies and great lyrics - a tune to bring tears to your eyes and bring back memories of years gone by. 'Hole' brings you back down to Earth with punchy rhythm guitar, piano and gets the full band treatment with horns and strings - chaotic. 'The wreck...' is a pleasant filler; 'Medicine Ball' better still;'This is the way', a Beta Band style, hypnotic gem, with instruments popping in and out as the song builds up sonic momentum to the repeated refrain 'This is the way, this is the way, this is the way I always want it to be' - and you have to agree with them.

This album elevates you, stirring memories of happy times, and when you come down, the cold turkey final track 'The last days of the war' feels like a lifetime from the start of the album. Like a powerful, moving film this album take you on a journey and brings you back...buzzing!
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on 18 February 2002
I bought Candidate's CD because it was recommended in the Guardian and because it was something quite different to what I normally listen to. I wasn't disappointed. It's the kind of music that can seriously break your heart - I loved Honey and the far-too-short Avalanche - Joel Morris seems to sing out despite rather than because of the audience and one has to wonder about the source of such emotional depth.. This is a winner...... like a good wine, it just goes on improving.
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on 23 March 2005
If you're a lover of The Beta Band you'll like this album, every song on this is nice to listen to, a real chilled, sunday afternoon, relaxing in the sunsheeeeine with a bottle of chilled lager and a fat one. The first couple of songs are great but it does tend to spin off in lots of directions towards the end. Definately worth a purchase though
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on 7 February 2002
bought this as the guy in the Times reccomended it. Not disappointed, very similar in many ways to Hobotalk, a record i havent stopped playing for a year now. Not a cd that grabs you first time but just beguiles you on repeated listenings. Lovely chord changes, subtle melodies and just has the ability to wash over you and make you feel good. 'Honey' is my personal favourite track a sweet track with some beautiful harmony work. Could be another Coldplay, but then again i thought Witness was a cert this year.
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on 28 October 2010
Love to recommend this I know it is good as it has been recommended to me but not from Amazon as it is no longer available even though it says it is
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