Top critical review
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Not good - pretty infantile to be honest!
on 18 January 2007
I bought this after reading good reviews in the press and also reading the reviews already posted here on Amazon. I've got to say this is a huge disappointment! I have very little that's positive to say about this other than I like the first track, "Nevereverdid" and the last (unnamed) track's not too bad either. Between these two highlights lie 11 tracks which are at best forgettable and at worst highly irritating.
Lyrically this is so twee it is become utterly infantile, "It's 5" is particularly irritating with the silly shouting of "It's 5" all the time in a ridiculous screechy voice. "Tiny Painting" is completely forgettable (I only had it playing 2 minutes ago and already I've forgotten it!!) "Wishbone" - well I keep expecting the singer to start chanting "Hey Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind" (Altered Images?). Yes it's a song and frankly an entire album that seems to delight in taking an affectionate nod at the eighties that decade of utter musical despair (I know, I remember it). Whereas the best of indie music (Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands, the sadly defunct Unicorns, and the best efforts of the Elephant 6 collective take a nod to great music from the 60's and 70's or even better strike out on their own, Architecture seem to delight in the absolute worst of musical influences. To be honest the rest of the inside tracks are equally as banal, though "Cemetery" easily wins worst track award - painful.
This is quite unforgettably bad though the first track is good enough to stop it getting the dreaded 1 star! There is a surfeit of pointless experimentation here. Lots of instruments that seem to be played merely because members of the band CAN play them. Most of it is entirely unneccesary. Experimentation is fine (think Neutral Milk Hotel to see it done superbly) but what Architecture in Helsinki seem to have completely forgotten are 2 cardinal rules:
No. 1 - It's fine to experiment if the songs are good. Sadly there really aren't any good tunes here. There aren't even any memorable tunes! Most of the tracks have no melody but seem merely to be an amalgamation of tinkling and background brass and synths.
No 2 You need a good singer! The vocalists on here are pretty awful. The male lead has one of those horrible forced voices that you come across in someone who's just trying too hard because he knows he's not really up to it. I've heard better karaoke singers to be honest. And the female singers, well they just can't sing can they.
I'm not sure if this whole thing was meant to be a joke. I just can't believe they're taking this stuff seriously. This has to be some of the most twee stuff I've ever come across. It would suit a 10 year old perhaps but I'm sure that's not what they were aiming at.
Sorry I really don't like this one. In fact it was irritating me so much in the car the other day I had to turn it off, as it was puting me in a right bad mood for work! So much for this being jokey and upbeat! It's just NOT funny. (3/10)