St Etienne are the epitemy of inoffensive, melancholy and beatiful. I find myself smiling to their music, but they also can make you cry. I think you either love or loathe Sarah Cracknells voice and accordingly this has a big bearing on your opinion of their music. I happen to love it. Finisterre has two weak tracks. B92 and The Way We Live Now. Every one of their previous albums has the odd duffer though. Tiger Bay being the only exception. The rest of the album is a mix of electro upbeat pop and wispy vocal stuff. The best tracks are the more upbeat ones including Action, Amateur, Soft Like Me and, in my opinion Shower Scene and New Thing are the two best tracks.These two might just get you off your seat for a jig around the room ! This isnt an album with St Etienne trying a new direction. It's a mixture of what they do best. Heart warming, thought provoking, bring a smile to your face music. Do your self a favour. Ditch the umpteen manufactured, sound alike, R & B, how much swearing can I get into one album type of music and re-educate your music brain. Take a trip to St Etienne. Welcome back Sarah, Bob and Pete.
The Saint Etienne album I've been waiting for. Foxbase Alpha enchanted. So tough impressed, but wasn't quite as coated with magical pop stardust. Tiger Bay seemed effortless, yet seemed to find the band on a higher plane. Good Humor was nice(not very descriptive I know, but as far as I'm willing to go), where they seemed to think they were The Cardigans(The Cardigans meanwhile seemed to think they were Garbage, but that's another story) The sound of water very nearly hit a home run, but as like other pop favourites Pet Shop Boys, Saint Etienne always seem to work better with a little extra input and make magnificent singles & remixes, ie Tell me why, He's on the phone & Heart failed in the back of a taxi. This album seems to take the main ingredients from Foxbase Alpha and add that little something extra, that their singles possess. If they carry on like this, Nothing can stop them now!
Well, I'd heard lots of remixes of Saint Etienne, I read the reviews here but the music doesn't live up to either... sigh. Maybe I just don't get it, but this really doesn't amount to much more than a bad late-60's, early 70's concept album with pop tracks that could have been recorded by any of the current set of TV created pop groups. However, I did find light at the end of the tunnel, both Action and Shower Scene are excellent tracks and very catchy. Dunno, perhaps its becuase I was actually around in the early seventies, worked in tha Barbican for a couple of years and recognise Michael Jaystons voice in the pointless interludes that put me off.
Best St.Etienne album: Finisterre or Tiger Bay? Tough one as this album features some of the band's best and most instantly listenable tracks for years, and Tiger Bay has been my favourite album for ages. 'Shower scene' and 'New thing' stand out by miles, although the opener 'Action', the second tune 'Amateur' and the third (instrumental) 'Language lab', state their intentions up front for this pop-orientated, synth-driven collection of gold nuggets. Whilst I found the film samples between tracks on So Tough interesting and original, I really think St.Etienne have done it to death now, and I especially cringe everytime I hear the 'Have you ever been to a Harvester before?' intro. There's no need.