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on 4 August 2005
Sometimes when listening to an album for the first time, there comes a point in the record where I sit back and think 'Yeah - this is cool'. That happened during the fourth track of 'Pretty in Black' - 'Sleepwalking'. More involving than their first album. Better songs, less Jesus and Mary Chain, more Phil Spector - check the sleigh bells on 'Red Tan'. It even features Ronnie Spector on backup vocals on one cut. Now I just need to find someone to jive with...
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on 29 July 2005
I bought this album on the back of the track "Ode to L.A." and I love the whole album. It sounds like the soundtrack to a Tarantino movie yet to be made! Tracks are influenced by 50's rock 'n' roll, 60's girl groups, phil spector, Everly bros. harmonies and even Hank Williams!!
If your looking for a great yet unusual album, then BUY THIS
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on 4 August 2005
Yet another talent that seems ignored inside the UK's shoreline. Have we got a barricade or something around or country when it comes to music??? Having enjoyed most of their stuff to date and got this on import before buying the UK release, this is an emerald of an album in a sea of reproduction zircon and fools gold. Disappointed I was not.
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on 25 May 2005
Just got hold of this CD and, after being listening a lot to the previous albums by The Raveonettes, I was thrilled to finally find it around.
The album has to be said to be a natural next step for the band. It is a bit slower than the previous ones but also a bit better worked on I would guess. The songs are great and, as before, you still get the feeling of a fifties movie or something when listening. Another way to describe the sound of The Raveonettes could be to imagine The White Stripes doing the soundtrack to Twin Peaks.
My favourites tunes so far, mind you I have only listened to the album a couple of times, is 'Love in a trashcan', 'Uncertain times' and 'You say you lie', but this is over all a great album!
Well done to the Danes, now we look forward to the coming Mew album!
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Let it be known: "Pretty in Black" is not the same Raveonettes you know and love.

Sure we have the creepy vocals from Sune Rose Wagner, and the rough retro sound. But after two increasingly catchy albums' worth of music, the Raveonettes have gotten a lot poppier. The trend started in "Chain Gang of Love" peaks here, in a controversial new sound that retains some of the gloomy grandeur, but loses the ragged lo-fi sound.

Acoustics and echoes start it off on a surprisingly soft note, considering that this was the band who turned "tornado rock" into an art form. And Sharin Foo takes lead vocals an ethereal ballad, before shifting back into garage-rock form with "Love in a Trashcan," which sounds like the Velvet Underground's catchier moments.

What follows is a mixture of rough-edged ballads and pop songs, mixed in with the slightly fuzzy rock'n'roll that the Raveonettes have made famous. That bleak sound remains in it, especially when Wagner sets his creepy vocals in the middle of the songs, or when he harmonizes alongside Foo for that androgynous effect.

A cringeworthy moment comes in with the truly awful cover of "My Boyfriend's Back," where Foo sings without a shred of irony, "look out now/cause he's comin' after you!/Hey ya hey ya/my boyfriend's back." Call me a weirdo, but right now I really long for songs about how your sweetie is a little animal and how she always wants to... well, you get the idea.

Anyhow, it's pretty obvious that the Raveonettes have turned a major corner with "Pretty in Black" -- it's catchy and retropoppy, and much of their "tornado-rock" edge has vanished. Instead of distortion pedals and bass, they use more percussion, guitar and some wicked organ,

Taken only by itself, is it a good album? Well, yes. It's not the same as the previous albums by the Raveonettes, but it is an entertaining indie pop album, alternately bleak and catchy, snide and dark. And it's rough, slightly fuzzed rhythms haven't changed too much -- they simply lack the dark distortion, which, ironically, was what attracted many fans to them.

The latter half of the album has some more exotic stylings, like a tambourine and some truly eerie electronic wobbles and wavers. And "Pretty In Black" does differ a lot from the previous two in one way: Sharin Foo lends her pretty, strong vocals to several songs, sometimes solo and sometimes alongside Wagner.

Retro mod-pop -- rather than dark distortion rock -- is the sound of "Pretty in Black," the lightest of the Raveonettes' albums thus far. Entertaining, but if they go any further into the pop wilderness, they may lose their edge altogether. Here's hoping they keep their accessibility, but don't lose that dark, rough edge.
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on 25 May 2014
I've ordered several Raveonettes CDs based on MP3 samples I've heard online. Fabulous! Not sure why so much cool music never gets airtime on UK radio. Thank goodness for the Internet. Actually, I like their minimalist 'Mary Chain/Velvets' style and ordered their Lust Lust Lust CD as well, but the real knockout track for me is Black Wave. It strikes a chord in me that almost sends me to tears. But a previous reviewer mentioned, the 13 track version here does NOT include Black Wave. You need to locate the import version with 17 tracks. Amazon do have it it and it is a few pence cheaper to boot.
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on 6 February 2014
i expected a more dancing album but it's cool anyway. easy listening, soft tunes, nice to listen in any circunstance
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on 13 July 2008
As a neophyte fan I have the benefit of hindsight in declaring 'Pretty in Black' The Raveonettes' best LP, as they've reverted to predictable Mary Chain/Velvets type on 2007's 'Lust Lust Lust'. Those influences are still present on 'Pretty in Black' but the palette is much broader, with 60s girl groups (Ronnie Spector guests on 'Ode to LA'), Link Wray, the Everly Brothers and even Hank Williams adding to the mix. Much of the credit for the perfect pop sheen should go to veteran producer Richard Gottehrer, who embodies the line from the Brill Building through immediate New Wave forebears such as Blondie (whose first LP he produced) to The Raveonettes. He also wrote The Angels' 60s hit 'My Boyfriend's Back' which The Raveonettes cover here in deadpan electropop style. The Jesus & Mary Chain were never that fun !

Incidentally it's worth looking for the 17 track expanded version as the bonus tracks include Hank Williams and Buddy Holly covers and the utterly essential 'Black Wave', which is like a David Lynch film in song.
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on 31 March 2006
If you've got this far you're probably a fan already. For those who are on the verge, as I have been many a time, just go and buy it. Okay its not like their previous stuff, Imagine a wave of sonic posiive detritus, just pure laid back soiled-sheet euphoria. Silky for sure, but pure genius. When's their next release?
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on 4 April 2016
Great album and arrived quickly
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