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Biffy Clyro - CD
17 New from
This is quite an energetic CD.Quite some better-than-decent tracks, and also some really, really pathetic (in the full-of-pathos) tracks as well. The latter is more often than not a bit over the top.
All in all Biffy Clyro seems more than capable of coupling the good tune with potent delivery.Synthetic bagpipes and brass actually lifts it a bit above other good pop rock albums...A good CD (but also a bit bizarre that the simultaneously released a two-CD version)
Deus - CD
5 New from
Finally dEUS made a new album. It would be wrong to say that dEUS is a popular group, however the fans (of which I am amongst) are very dedicated.
Well. Vantage point...The record was preceded by two singles (The Architect & Slow) which are two very good tracks - Slow even featured a video including early teen girls dancing (daring i Belgium, I should say - appearantly they still got sarcastic bite! :-) ).
On average the tracks are very well played, but the reason why this album cannot make it to five stars is that I miss some of the madness dEUS also has been known for - and especially I do not believe the lyrics to be neither as well written or delivered as on the two (three?) earlier albums.
The tracks The Architect and Slow is more 'the new dEUS' as heard on Pocket Revolution, whereas Is A Robot points more in the direction of The Ideal Crash with it's two changing musical themes. Smokers Reflect is a new approach to the ballad - a very positive development.
The rest of the tracks are so-so I have to say. There is not a bad track, but still I get the impression that some of them are just there to fill out the space.
In terms of sound dEUS has included female backing vocals which is great and children choir which is - uhm, well - nevermind.I *REALLY* miss the trumpet which we haven't heard since The Ideal Crash.Even the violin is now playing a very minor role which I find to be a darn shame, as dEUS has been one of the bands to use these instruments (along with an occasional banjo) without ever sounding like a folk-rock band or fall into the country-trap.I just wish by God (dEUS) that the band will not develop into another conform guitar band, but still stick to (some of) the madness.
This is all very critical, but I cannot deny that the record is good -Noone can build a mood into a song like dEUS.I'm very much looking forward to see the band playing live!
dEUS - CD
8 New from
As other reviewers have indicated it took some (long) time before Belgian dEUS finally released a new album.
Opposite the two earlier albums this is truly a whole album with a consistent sound throughout all tracks.As this means that a lot of the anarchy from earlier times has been discarded, a lot of the old fans would find themselves a bit disappointed with this record.What had happened was a shift from the more playful experiment into music with strong empathises on the text.Front singer Tom Barman has on this record nurtured his style into a matter-of-factly almost storytelling way of singing which allows him with great surplus to make just tiny, small changes in the voice that leaves you in no doubt whether the expression is angry, sorrowful or (rarely) happy.The music seems to be written for the words, rather than the other way around, which elevates both lyrics and music into a greater whole.
There are so many layers in the music, and opposite earlier keyboards or synthesizers are adding to the different moods. The trumpet, good string sessions and even a banjo ensures that the sound picture is in no way like anybody else's.
There is still a lot of noise in dEUS, but on this record it has surely been tamed and given an illustrating point. This have without disappointed a lot of the fans of the more anarchistic previous records, but if the listener's ear tunes in on the lyrics rather than the style, it will become clear that this record is in no way lesser challenging - or even violent.
As I know no other band that manages to tell stories like dEUS on this record - and do so with music as well as lyrics - this record is not only unique. It is also brilliant!
In A Bar, Under The Sea
8 New from
On this the second album of Belgian dEUS they have apparently decided to expand their diversity in genres.
Some (weird) jazz, some rock and even program music has found it's way to this diverse record,ranging from the Tom Waits-like 'Theme from the Turnpike', over ingenious pop tune 'Little Arithmetics' and the dronic tense 'Roses'.
The idea of the album seems to be to break rules, not necessarily to please the ear - and to have a lot of fun in the process.And as you think you have a hold of the album, being a skilled jazz/noise/rock blend, the two tracks 'Supermarket Song' and 'Memory of a Festival' appears as program music likely to be found in the two places.Hm.
Jazz inspiration is clear in many tracks and instruments like trumpet and low tuned violins creates a brilliant atmosphere on certain tracks, along with piano and an often dronic bass.
It seems the band wanted to either try out genres or provoke people into wondering whether music really is supposed to sound good? And that is the greatest drawback on this album.It is very hard to listen to it from end to another, as it changes so much in moods.It is definitely not background music dEUS came up with, when the wrote 'In a Bar, under The Sea', and the record makes you sit on the edge of your chair on one track, and lean back in relaxation on the next.And; let's face it, all that moving back and forth on the chair becomes tiresome after some time.
Though the album looks like a mess, the listener will always sense a meaning behind the madness as well as great skill as the different tracks are performed.This saves the album as a whole and the listener will find him or herself drawn back to the tracks to hear and feel the details.
I suppose this album - especially given its release year - is what defined 'Indie'.No commercial record label at it's senses would release a record this diverse. And true enough it was released on Island Records, at the time a label that released a lot of non-mainstream music.
I see 'In a Bar, under The Sea' as a peace of art, if I may define art as something that is suppose to make people wonder.The constant change in genres, however, makes the record hard to give full grades, though it contains two or three tracks that I will call masterpieces!