4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Back with a big bang,
This review is from: Ornaments From The Silver Arcade (Audio CD)
Having upped the ante on superabundance, the boys have stepped up yet another gear. A fantastic pleasurable listen with surprises for anyone already familiar with their work.
Slicker, bigger and more polished this album demonstrates a maturity about the songwriting and is far more single orientated than even the previous album. The only downside is that the usual wonderful musical eccentricities and House of Lords are less present here which is a shame.
But in a shrinking record industry and a recession there is no room for frivolities and self indulgence. This album goes straight for the pop jugular with "I love My Name" which is unashamedly hook lined, but no sinker. It will bounce around your head for days. That said, the best of this album is in the 2nd half in my opinion.
"Woman" has a retro 80's-ish charm about it and is a slice of old fashioned electric-disco boogaloo with some tastfully used female backing vocals which demonstrate above all else that this is a band that is spreading its wings beyond jaunty angular punk-pop.
"Everything falls in to place" is possibly the weakest track on the album, although it has a great middle eight with some vintage synths and the now signature House of Lords monologue lifting it above the mundane.
"Human Again" is a great pop song, and deserving of top 20 status. Although some suspicious nods to the the Kinks 'well respected man' in the bridge section methinks at times.
"Running from a standing start" has a great confidence and swagger about it and again demonstrates these boys are learning their craft and applying it with a fine silver butter knife.
"Sister Frideswide" is a personal guilty pleasure, I just love the House of Lords voice aynway and not only provides a 'half time' break in the album but is possibly the best song on the album. Great lyrics, great delivery and fantastic production. This track hits all the spots having hooks galore and definitely a future festival favourite im sure.
"Vision in Rags" uses a great 'cha-cha' drum machine with some great nimble guitar work and is Henry's best vocal performance on the album by far. A great samba/african rhythm then launches into a rip-roaring middle eight we all know from TYK. One to be played on the BBC over this years Glastonbury highlight footage surely?
"Go To Ground". Befitting of Blur at their best, this has growling guitar riff driven along by a great shuffle beat before exploding into stars to a beautiful chorus melody with poignant lyrics finishing the job. Probably one of the best tracks they have ever done. Classy, smooth and perfectly balanced.
"Silver Tongue" is a great stomping sex beast with the return of those female backing vocals. Reminiscence of Heaven 17 in their pomp, with the great lyrics "I've got a taste for pleasure/you've got the knife/maybe that's all i needed, someone to cut my silver tongue"
"Stormclouds" is a coda to silver tongue and takes the bouncy disco beats to a darker heavier place. Best heard together as one piece it has that pounding 'rocking-out' that Radiohead and Muse do so well. Im sure it will be used in tv programme adverts to replace the omnipitent XX tracks currently used.
"Glasshouse" has a 'secret track' feel about it and whilst enjoyable feels a little incomplete for my liking, it's enjoyable but feel it needed to to be ramped up a few gears to a screaming conclusion.
So overall a fantastic part 3 in the career of the knives and hopefully will secure further releases sooner than waiting another 3 years.
Ive got a taste for pleasure, you are the knives............