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on 9 February 2016
top drawer album
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on 5 September 2015
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VINE VOICEon 20 September 2007
Much like Maximo Park earlier this year, the Rakes have followed a critically acclaimed album that underwhelmed me with a second album that may not get the same fevered response from a lot of critics but is a record that I prefer.

The brashness and punk ethic that encapsulated the likes of 22 Grand Job has pretty much disappeared, to be replaced by reflective, but utterly melodic, tunes.

At it's best it's brilliant. The likes of Down With Moonlight are sublime and there are a few tracks, like We Danced Together, that get better every time you hear them again.

The only real places when it gets a little too misplaced is on the likes of Suspicious Eyes, a game attempt to write a song relevant for these terrorist influenced times but one that falls flat. It's neither sharp enough lyrically, or memorable enough musically to convince. Similarly When Tom Cruise Cries is a game effort, but just not a very memorable song (seemingly exactly the same all the way through it's near five minute running time) and whilst the idea of song largely concerned with mobile phone signals being crap may sound interesting, Mike Skinner has already given us much wittier examples of how to do it properly.

So it's not a perfect record, and I can well imagine fans of their first album being very suspicious when they first hear it. Still, it is a good record which does improve with repeat listens.
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on 13 November 2007
This is an album I listen to frequently.I hadn't heard any of the Rakes previous to a friend giving me a CD of this,so I was instantly converted on hearing it.This London band are very talented and have a Dickensian charm about their leadman Alan Donohoe's voice.
Fave tracks include: The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect,When Tom Cruise Cries,On A Mission,but they're all very good songs.The production is faultless,the musicianship top class,and the tunes very singable.
One of those albums to listen to again and again in years to come.
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on 17 April 2007
Fantastic effort. After all the brilliant albums from across the pond this year (Kings of Leon and Arcade Fire), this is where the UK strikes back.

Forget the overhyped Arctic Monkeys (great lyrics, no tunes), this is a superb album. Here is what I think of each song;

1 - The World was a mess..... Just a superb song. Brilliant "english" lyrics and driving bass. Wonderful opener. Deserves to be a massive hit and is leagues on from the Arctic Monkeys

2 - Little Superstitions. Another excellent tune with a lovely guitar hook over it. Superb chorus. Again, deserves to be a massive hit

3 - We danced together - The first single and takes awhile to get going. However 2/3rds of the way in when the drums and bass combine with the snarled words "we didnt give a s*** about....." is brilliant.

4 - Trouble. Brilliant dirty guitar intro and then the pounding bass kicks in. Sit still to this, I dare ya !! Sounds English and Punky. Brilliant !!

5 - Suspicios Eyes. This is a massive song. Showing the two sides of life in London today. Rapping sections from both sides of the fence. White flight and a brown guy with a bag. The band have taken a big risk with this song as it could have been so cheesy. But this works and is a masterpiece. Says it all about London today.

6 - On a mission. Argeuably the weakest song here. Still good though and no filler.

7 - Down with the Moonlight. Brilliant. Bet this is smoking live. Sounds edgy and prowling. Great song.

8 - When Tom Cruise Cries. My least favourite on the album. Cant get into it. Reading the reviews though, everyone else loves it.

9 - Time to stop talking. My favourite song. Brilliant bassline and superb chorus. Wonderful track !!

10 - Leave the City and Come Home. Just magic. Slighty slower and wonderul lyrics. Love it and great end to the album.

Buy this album. Its an absolute cracker.
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on 27 March 2007
This album has been unjustly critisiced by many of the music press (NME) but luckily people with taste should enjoy this fine album. From start to finish it shows that the Rakes have grown in stature and maturity, it needs to be heard.


The world was a mess but his hair was perfect: Great name and a great tune. A really snappy intro that is just like the ld rakes, fast paced and packed with sneer.

Little Superstitions: A song of great maturity, a good song that has a really catchy beat.

We danced together: The lead single from the album, and what a cracker! Everything about this song is immense.

Trouble: A fast paced song. A really strong chorus that will be a live favourite.

Suspicios Eyes: What a tune! With a bit of rapping to boot! A fascinating song abut racism post 7/7. Needs to be heard!

On A Mission: This is where the album slows down in quality songs, it shouldn't be on this album. A good try though.

Down With Moonlight: A good pickup from the previous song, but again, not the best rakes song.

When Tom Cruise Cries: What a great title and what a great song! A brilliant take on our clebrity obsessed culture.

Time To Stop Talking: One of the highlights of the album. Needs to be heard!

Leave the city and come home: An average end to a great album. Could have been better.

Overall: A great second album, great for people into Bloc Party. The Rakes deserved far better media coverage for this album. It is far better than their frst and gives the band a platform to do even better things!

Buy it now!
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on 24 March 2007
So far in the music press (aside from a somewhat glowing review in Q), this record has been much maligned in the like of the NME. On evidence I believe that this criticism is totally undeserved.

First of all, how does this record compare with its predecessor (Capture/Release)? Whereas the first record was full of witty, 3 minute raucous punk-pop gems, the new record exudes more ambition, with a richer, fuller sound (think the production of 'Computer love off the first album, but with added vitriol). However, this hasn't, as far as I'm concerned, dulled the appeal of the group at all.

From the first track, 'The World Was A Mess.....' you can tell that the same primal thrill that you expect from a Rakes record remains. The spidery guitar backed with a rich bass and drums combination makes for appealing listening. The same is true across the board. A personal favourite being 'Trouble' - a richer, drum-fill-peppered 'Strasbourg' with an epic melody to boot. 'Supsicious Eyes' is a fine piece of topical observation, and the album ends with a fine, lolloping 'Leave The City and Come Home' - a truly epic end to the album - to just name the highlights off a pretty consistent album.

In conclusion, the Rakes still have tunes. It's just they have come armed with more than 3-minute punk-pop songs - ambition and greater sound depth. Approach with an open mind and don't expect it to be a carbon copy of Capture/release and you may be pleasantly surprised.
4 people found this helpful
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on 24 April 2007
I actually agree in large parts, with the scathing review below...

This is a distinctly average album - it's not bad but it's not good either. Having seen them live last night, the general ambivalence of the record translates to the live show. Needless to say, the tracks from the first album carried the show in their punchy wake.

Avoiding a track by track analysis, there are a couple of strongish tracks, namely The World was a Mess But His Hair was Perfect and When Tom Cruise Cries. I find the first single, We Danced Together, a tad repetitive and uninspiring, although, that said, I still can't help but sing the chorus. Little Superstitions is just plain rubbish - how it manages to gain the exalted status of 2nd track on the album is beyond me.

I do want to take issue with the comments below that the album lacks enthusiasm. At face value, this is true. But I think this confuses irreverent style, one of the most appealing aspects of the first album, with apathy. The monotone, as I hear it, relays the protagonist's outlook on life - stale and staid.

It's not all bad however, it's an enjoyable enough way to spend 40 minutes. Perhaps the most alarming aspect, however, is that it sets a strong precedent for dodgy 2nd albums from second tier indie bands, a trend that's compounded by Maximo Park (who's first offering I loved). We shall have to see if this carries on to the current batch of indie favourites, The Holloways and Good Shoes being pertinent examples...
3 people found this helpful
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on 13 March 2007
...how can the person above have legally heard the album if it's not been released yet? This sounds to me like a personal attack - all the more so that few if any will be in a position of making their minds up if they are legitimately waiting for the release!

So I am giving it 5 stars (based on the single, We Danced Together, that I received today) mostly to even out the above.
8 people found this helpful
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on 6 March 2007
Ten New Messages is the comeback LP from old London favourites, The Rakes. It's a far cleaner cut than their debut, avoiding the drunken slurs and sleaze which made them so endearing. Will it live up to fan's expectations? We'll find out in a couple of weeks' time.

Previously downloadable and already fan-favourite, 'The World Was A Mess But His Hair Was Perfect' kicks off this second record. The track-length has been chopped dramatically since the first mp3 we all dirty downloaded over a year ago. The sophisticated bass line with its James Bond influences is the song's most prominent feature and a sign that the Rakes are more than their catchy three minute ditties.

However, as the album progresses so does the boredom. Alan Donohoe must be clinically depressed, there's no other excuse for it. The Rakes are now less wit and more wet. The music isn't exactly mosh-worthy; it'd even be hard to bob your head along to tracks such as 'Little Superstitions'. Remember the backing singer in the chorus of 'Little Thoughts' by Bloc Party ('I'll go back...")? The one who really sounded like he didn't want to be there, like he was singing deliberately bad because he was jealous of Kele being forever in the spotlight? That's the vocal sound of the Rakes new album. If you were on your death bed you could still manage to convincingly mimic 'We Danced Together' with matching vigour.

'Trouble' is far more gig-worthy but 'Suspicious Eyes' is what we've really been waiting for, something a little bit different for the Rakes, a Strokes sound, with an almost 80's sounding chorus. Oh God, maybe not 2 minutes in. What the hell is going on? I could deal with the female vocalist (That should be interesting live), but the Rakes and guest rappers do not mix (No, the '22 Grand Job' Lethal Bizzle mash-up wasn't acceptable either.), but at least it's topical rap: "there's people always assuming who I am but they're wrong, got a beard and the bag so they think I got a bomb."

The song that follows is far more appetising to the ears. How could anybody not like a song named When Tom Cruise Cries? Surprisingly, the song is a clever but bitter stab at the media and how it only acts as a false distraction to the real dramas of life. As with the rest of the album, the music is desperately over-produced and the only remnant of their previous, gritty selves is Donohoe's strong accent. Even with that in mind, if the whole of this LP had been based around this one model of a song we'd have a far more successful album. The track itself is far from legendary but the lyrics are addictive and quotable. 'Time to Stop Talking' is another example of the Rakes ageing, but for the worse: grumpy old men rather than fine wines. They may as well come out for their next tour in slippers and heads donned with flat caps.

But wait! Maybe there's still hope. The initial guitar strums sound as though 'Leave the City and Come Home' is going to launch into Feeder's 'Buck Rogers'. Not quite, but at least there's a mention of sex to keep us interested- or more the lack of getting any. You just know the next album's theme will be around Viagra and speed dating (Watch out for the 2007 'Still Keeping It Up' tour).

If you're after a lack-lustre album that makes you wish for the return of days gone by, get out and grab Ten Messages on March 19th. Over 60's special 50% discount.
10 people found this helpful
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