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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2002
Yep another Groove Armada album and this is right on the same tracks the boys were steering down with Goodbye Country, Hello Nightclub. Injecting yet more musical styles with infectious beats and electronic ear-candy, this album steers even further away from chill-out/dance/electronica and some songs seem almost straight rock, funk, hip-hop and soul.
But like the previous album there seems such a mixture of real gems and songs that you'd quite easily leave behind on your trip to a desert island. Particular highlights are Groove Is On, a real head-nodding hip-hop tune, the down-beat beautiful Think Twice, the Beatles-A-Like Tuning In and the elegant tearful, packed full of the soulful voice of Richie Havens on Hands Of Time.
I had the pleasure of seeing Richie Havens play live at The Jazz Cafe, Camden two years ago and he blew my mind. Groove Armada's resurection of this excellent singer/guitarist/songwriter has produced some of the best moments of their last two albums. Lets have a whole GA/Richie Havens album guys!!
For all the great tunes, there are those duds such as Be Careful of What You Say that you'll be dying to skip over.
But hey, its like pizza, even bad Groove Armada is good. And there's some great stuff here, so if you liked the last one you'll want this one, if only to kick-back to the sound of Richie's voice.
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on 5 November 2002
All three of Groove Armada's previous albums have been heavily based around well-produced laid back tunage, but this is a step into the more upbeat. The album is still brilliantly produced, and the music high quality, but this is something that clubbers will find more easy to dance to.
Around three quarters of the tunes are deeply influenced by Chicago House or heavy breakbeats, bringing GA's reputation more into line with the quality live act that they really are.
Highlights of the album include Madder, a house/hip hop hybrid with spine-tingling lyrics from MC MAD, and a chorus you can't help but sing-a-long to, alongside Be Careful What You Say, a deep house track fused with stuttering breakbeats that warm the cockles of the heart.
This album, safe to say, has helped Andy Cato and Tom Findlay finally shake off their reputation as Coffee Table Fodder, and anybody who enjoys uptempo music with the slightest hint of chillout (See FC Kahuna), should be champing at the bit to buy it.
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on 23 December 2002
I can’t stop playing this album. I’ve been listening to it on my walkman and find myself grooving round town grinning like a fool. It’s that good. The Groove Armada lads have obviously been listening to the finest music the 70’s had to offer and have gone off on a retro one with an album crafted from some of the finest elements of the era. Coherently weaving disco, reggae, folk and rock, together with dubby housey vibes, into a big, kitsch, sparkly silver thing, “Lovebox” is interspersed with some beautiful soulful tracks, such as “Think Twice” and “Remember.” Sounds random in theory but it works spectacularly. I particularly love “Remember” because it features a sample of Sandy Denny’s vocals on a wicked Fairport Convention track that I thought nobody else under 50 had ever heard of…
I personally don’t think there is a bad track on this album. It occasionally is reminiscent of Vertigo, but is a much more eclectic album. Fans of their earlier stuff may not be so enamoured, but Groove Armada have evolved, and why not; musical stagnation is death, ask Status Quo…This album has been the high point of my music buying year; whack it in yer walkman and see if you get as many odd looks as I do…
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on 4 November 2002
Having never been let down by Messrs Findlay and Cato on previous purchases, i assummed that this would be a safe bet as another cracker. And I haven't been let down. Again the varying styles the boys like to experiment with, are very much on show with their new creation. From funky, to chilled, to reggae, to housy, to a new rockier side that hasn't really been shown before, this album has the lot. Add to that some spanking vocals from the talent that is Neneh Cherry, another beauty with legendary Ritchie Havens, plus many other guests including M.A.D over a heavy rock lick! Thus proving that GA are now an established force in the music industry. This is an album that will remain in your player for a long time. If its not in your collection, your missing a good, good thing!!
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on 13 January 2004
There isn't one track i even remotely dislike on this album. This is so much better than Vertigo, in my point of view, as it is more to my taste than chill out. Even if you prefer chill out, or haven't heard/heard-of Groove Armada (unlucky few), you should still buy this album, there is bound to be somthing you like on it. There are so many genres mixed into this album(Dance,House,Rock,Disco,Electronic,Hip-Hop and even a bit of reggae at the end). My favourite tracks are: Lovebox, Final Shakedown, Tuning In (Rewritten) and Remember.
Purple haze and madder are both the most rock-like tracks in this album, resembling nothing quite like Groove Armada have done before.
Remember is a slower track, with very posh female vocals (Sandy Denny) which does resemble from the likes of vertigo.
Tuning In (Rewritten), is much better than the version that is on 'Goodbye Country' with more vocals.
Think Twice resembles 'My Freind' in 'Goodbye Country'.
I will leave the rest for you to find out yourself, i don't want to spoil the surprise!!
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on 21 December 2003
This is the best album Groove Armada have made, and it's one of the best dance albums of the past ten years. Really funky, with lots of lush textures but also a good deal of badass hip-hop, plus some great vocals from Redrat and Sunshine Anderson. "Madder" and "Easy" are the stand-out tracks, but there's maybe just one track that falls below excellence. Great for after hours vibing, or in the car, or to get a party started.
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on 3 December 2002
It was almost a disappointment that this was so perfect. I mean, how can these guys keep knocking out such creative, immaculately produced material at this alarming rate? As others have said, this selection certainly shows more of their influences even than Goodbye Country...
Madder and Purple Haze are filled with chunky guitars and truly rock, while Remember features an unlikely yet extensive sample of sadly missed folk diva Sandy Denny's heavenly voice.
As others have said, Richie Havens provides perhaps the finest moments on Hands of Time.
As usual though, it's the production that really catches the ear. It's full and warm, and it really sounds as though Tom and Andy had a blast doing it. Once again this is a sublime recording that has to be worth a dozen quid of anybody's money.
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on 5 February 2004
Aaargh now I have said, Groove Armada becoming more commercial. The thing with this album is that it sounds a little too polished and hence not a true GA sound. Dont get me wrong there are some brilliant tracks on here and probably some of the best they have ever done, its just the sound seems to be heading into a commercial zone. They seem to be trying to cram too many styles into one album.
I saw GA live last year and when they performed some of the older songs alongside the newer ones the older ones did sound better. Fair play to them for trying to diversify into new sounds though and cannot wait for the next album.
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on 26 January 2003
After the disappointing "Hello Nightclub" Groove Armada are definitely back on track with "Lovebox". This album displays real signs of musical maturity and progression, as they have left behind the chilled out sound they made their name with and diversified into a more wide-ranging one. Tracks like "Purple Haze" and "Madder" are rock/hip hop fusions, while "Remember" and "Think Twice" are emotional 21st century ballads. Adding to the variety on offer are the title track and "Final Shakedown", uplifting house tunes that showcase the type of tunes Groove Armada drop in their DJ sets. This is simply an outstanding album containing elements of house, chill-out, rock and hip hop. Add excellent production and solid performances from guests such as Red Rat and Neneh Cherry and you have a welcome return to form.
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on 7 January 2003
I love my music, but recent buys have slid me towards the "chill out freak" end of the scale; as was probably the intention when I bought this.
From the off, this is a very different album to GA's repertoire (especially if you have followed their productions for the "Back to Mine" and "Another Late Night" series) and I love it. It has excellent range, wonderful sound and a feeling of evolvement; particularly if you are well versed in GA's previous outings.
It gets four because it's not an all time great but this is definitely one of the better albums around - raising the standards for modern music. I'm wondering how Fatboy Slim and company will be able to mix these into dance tracks however!
Watch out for Tracks five and eight; although not the fastest or funkiest they are beautiful tunes that mellow you out - good showing by Neneh Cherry too.
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