Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Sophisticated tribute to love of pop music
on 10 July 2012
This is the first St Etienne album that I have bought, I was tempted to try them out having read several favourable reviews. The album is themed on their love of pop music, an interesting concept. The opening track Over the Border has a rundown of what its like to be an obsessive music fan, telling of a trip to see Peter Gabriel's house while still at school, asking whether Marc Bolan's music will still matter as much in the future, and giving a potted history of their love of music. Lots of namecheck references for those in the know,clever and sophisticated stuff. Subsequent tracks with titles like Record Doctor, I've Got Your Music, Last Days of Disco, and Haunted Jukebox continue to focus on the allure of pop music. Overall the arrangements are poppy, the lyrics give an insight into what has been a lifelong obsession with popular music, and it probably strikes a chord with anyone now in their early 50's, who is likely to pick up on the nuances of the in jokes and specific references made. This is not my usual bag, but it has a lot to commend it , and I am impressed that they have maintained the concept successfully throughout a whole album. For those who are into such things, there is a bonus album of remixes of selected tracks, with various producers playing around with selected tracks , but the main original album is the one that I personally enjoy the most. The artwork on the cover is fascinating in its own right, a pastiche of a street map like you would find in an A-Z, with all the road names refering to past popular hit records such as Penny Lane, Devil Gate Drive, Ventura Highway, Yellow Brick Road etc. Like the music on the CD, you can have lots of fun trying to spot the influence and getting the references to the music knowledge . Good stuff, highly entertaining , nod is as good as a wink humorous hooks abound.