Top critical review
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Good in parts but vastly overrated
on 21 December 2007
I bought this on the strength of various publications' "wow" reviews including that in Uncut which made it its "Album of the Year". My first impressions other than the catchy and (fairly) witty North Amercian Scum, which I really like, was one of pastiche and lacking any real depth. Lots of subsequent listens have really failed to persuade me otherwise. The rhythms and synth instrumentation of Someone Great feel like a poor man's "Don't you want me baby" without the killer hook, Sound of Silver is Heaven 17 circa 1983, but again without the grip of a real tune - the rather banal lyrics also jar. The last track, New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down like many of the others fails to develop really.
So why did I say good in parts? - well, it does have a new wave-funk groove at times and the different layers of percussive activity can be interesting. But North American Scum apart it fails to really grip you. It's hardly new and has been done far better before with tunes!
Quite why so many have got caught up in the top album frenzy is beyond me - but that's just my opinion. I'd recommend a good listen before buying or just download North American Scum.