People are weird eh.
Duke Garwood played clarinet on the last song of the Savages album.
For some reason made me snort loudly in the library.
A friend and I were in a bar/restaurant a few weeks ago and about 10 minutes in tried to place the lush, sweet-sounding indie-folk music playing in the background. It was about another 10 minutes before we caught on that it was the second half of It’s Blitz, and we HADN’T EVEN been drinking.
Yeah that sentence was a bit wordy, I must’ve accidentally cut a vital prefix in the edit... thanks for pointing out.
coming from the most annoying poster on here...
We all know the majority of DiS readers will go into a positive Stereophonics review with eyebrows raised to the ceiling, so why not acknowledge that? Sean could’ve maintained some critical distance by going for a ‘This is a strong album with strong songwriting’ approach, but in all honesty, who here would be interested in reading that?
But the line of argument kind of misses the point. People choose to review albums they’re likely to enjoy. In that context, 6/10 probably DOES indicate a slight disappointment, where a 7 suggests the record was as good as hoped, if not exceptional.
Looking back at my last few reviews I’ve given a 9 three 8s, three 7s, four 6s and a 4. It’s a pretty even spread. In any case, a 6/10 rating is hardly likely to suggest that the record’s ‘truly terrible’, though I suspect you knew that already.
(Excellent review, obvs.)
Well done everyone.
I live in Toronto, which has subways for tubes and streetcars for trams. But I think I saw a compliment in there somewhere, so I‘ll thank you for it.
I don’t *actually* think EE sound like Coldplay. Just like I don’t find them a bit T4 or a bit 2010. The point was that it’d be easy to simplify their complex identity into its constituent parts.
As for ’they could write a better Coldplay album than Coldplay’, again, that’s not to say the resemblance is overbearing. There are moments on Arc where, owing to a combination of Higgs’ vaguely Martin-esque croonier bits (thanks Andrzej) and gentle, comfortable melodies and progressions, you might find yourself thinking, ’this could stand up on one of those latter-day Coldplay records, you know’. Then you hear some obscure Talking Headsy percussion and background twinkle, then it morphs into a texturally incongruous chorus-type beast (that doesn’t throughout the song repeat itself), then the castrato choirboy register makes a brief cameo, then someone plays a Neptunes bassline, then you realise the lyrics refer to a kind of social malaise that’s more Chuck Klosterman than Bono. And so on.
EE don’t sound like Coldplay, but if they did they’d be a significantly more interesting alternative.
Why did I bother defending that? Fuck knows.
In fact, of the 13 songs, 10 probably would’ve made viable leads imo. And yeah, the closing five are practically flawless - hooky, thoughtful, lyrically substantial. Radiant’s a clear highlight, and Don’t Try is the most sad and powerful ’anthemic indie’ song I’ve heard in years.
I understand people preferring the off-the-wall debut to the streamlined follow-up - feel the same way about Wild Beasts, incidentally - but I think EE’s ’importance’ in terms of modern/pop music is far more pronounced in light of Arc and the subject matter therein.
you’ll be in a slightly better position to gauge the opening paragraph’s relevance once you’ve read the rest of the review. If you’re genuinely too disgusted to go on, try replacing it with this randomly selected intro from another review:
“Sorry to break it to you, but GaGa really ain't that weird. Neither is Minaj, Paloma or any other of the "I'M MAD, ME!" fraternity who've got 'Quirkeee' carved in to their premium contracts. But a band who straight-up sling anything and everything at the wall then see what sticks, only to OCD it into sheeny harmonic, catchy-as-f**k, about-as-original-as-indie-gets pop? That's weird. And, following 2010's Mercury-nommed debut Man Alive, it's on second album Arc where we meet Everything Everything again.”
The point is, they could probably take a route more lucrative and conventionally 'mature' if they were to jettison everything that makes them unique and wonderful. That said, I think EE mentioned in an old DiS interview that they're influenced to some extent by Keane, and, in passing moments, that seems somewhat more plausible on Arc.
I’m quite defensive of 7/10s. They can’t really look after themselves, but to me it’s an ambiguous and encouraging sort of mark that generally suggests that, if you tend to like this type of thing, you probably shouldn’t write it off being your favourite album ever. I sometimes feel guilty for giving largely excellent but sporadically disappointing albums 7/10, and I suppose that guilt manifests itself in long, bizarre rants like this.
Anyway, the album’s superb, especially tracks one and two. 7/10 for me.
I think *some people* forget that 7/10 means, 'Very good album, totally worth buying!' and that contributes to the abundance of 8/10s that *other people* complain about.
Finally. Thanks wonton.
...Great Leap is 8 songs and 23 minutes long - depends on how the band describe it really, but certainly there’s a grey area there.
The person who wrote that Decemberists review is the editor of the site you just linked to.
Is this serious?
To be honest, the thought that anyone considers this column anything less than the best music summary IN THE WORLD (insofar as I am aware of it) makes me squirmish and upset.
Good points, well made. Could probably lose a paragraph here and there, but if there’s one band worth going on about...
Will correct once I've finished sobbing and banging my head against the desk.
I suppose not mentioning that was a combination of forgetfulness and it not making a huge difference, but it has been pointed out the synths are more prominent and there's arguably a slightly fuller sound than they've been able to capture before.
Soundcloud comments >>> Youtube comments?
Anyway, this is shitting top.
Stan, is that you?
That's a fairly interesting post. I'm not sure I totally buy into it. It's true that we're far more eager to associate hip-hop musicians with their in-song characters, compared to say, rock bands or script-writers. But - and don't quote me on this - hasn't the guy had his share of legal wrangles concerning violent crime and drug possession?
As said, totally hear your arguments - like, most intelligent land mammals have figured out he's using exaggeration etc. to deal with issues he might not otherwise be able to. But you can hardly ignore the irony in trotting said excuse out when his best friend was quite recently shot dead in a snooker club.
But ultimately I suppose it's a matter of taste. Personally I find it difficult to write off something this all-round spectacular and perfectly executed just 'cause of a coupla stabby moments.
Anyway, yeah, good read, this article.
Emmy’s Unicorn video’s now in place.
See where you’re coming from. What I wanted (but probably failed miserably) to get across was that while this is is clever - and never too clever for its own good - interesting and thoroughly deserving of a write-up as enthusiastic as the thing itself, it’s not reeeeeally something I’d necessarily say is particularly Great or anything. It’s just really fucking good. But it totally gets on my tits. So you know. We/I give way too many 8/10s anyways, so I round down if in doubt.
As Sean has said, bands tend to enjoy taking the opportunity to answer their critics, and it gives us, the angry mob, a chance to maybe reevaluate whether our contempt was justified. Long as the interviewer's horse isn't too high you can get fairly interesting results, as above.
Had no idea they were owt to do with Stars of the Lid. Should probably start paying attention to press releases.
My only concern with this piece was reading 'listening to Edwyn Collins sound-checking triumphantly on the main stage' from day one, and thinking, Oh dear, this is a newspaper-review sentence Wendy Roby has gone jaded and started doing newspaper-words these are truly the last days.
Thankfuck she has not. Funny thing is, whenever I mention Roby's words to human people IRL, all their slavering tongues seem capable of spitting out is a heady combination of the words *hilarious*, *amazing*, *singles column*, and *I want to have her babies* (only some of this is true). I can only imagine the vituperative fingersniffers bored/boring enough to personally slag off writers for articles that most likely took a fair wodge of time to write are the same ones who generally neglect to leave the house, because THE WORLD IS BAD, MAN, and whose idea of an interesting evening is reading Rimbaud to oneself by candlelight and occasionally referring to the cliff notes.
I dunno, maybe it’s just an acquired taste.
@ommomy and daniel_challis I assumed that said relaying of slightly unhinged-sounding crew member’s story was not intended to be gospel, given the context. Also: *the septuagenarian blues mentalist rips off his t-shirt and chases Our Man out of the backstage area, brandishing his fists* = amazing, true or otherwise.
I may regret posting this.
This is great.
How eminently enlightening.
fanks, codswallop. And yes, she is rather good isn't she.
Never been 100% sure on this - I’ve read loads of professional journalists using, for example, ’is sat’ instead of ’is sitting’ or ’is seated’. I never finished my English A Level so maybe you can shed some light on the rule/exceptions to same...
just made a mistake. You can download ’Don’t Know Why’ off of this for free from here. I think you should.
and I agree with all of it. Apologies and Joke are flipping amazing, too.
personally I can't stand the 'sound' of this record, gets on my bloody wick - and, if you feel the same - as I imagine you do - it's impressive you put up with it long enough to detect whether it's actually any good. Enjoyed the words, too.
Alas, “whatisthewhat” is in fact the guy who wrote this review, that being “me”
I am sorry it seems like I pigeonholed Ornaments From The Silver Arcade, I agree that to do so would not be proper
I am glad you enjoyed the album
I enjoyed it too, however I am afraid my suggestion of “10.5” was tongue in cheek.
It was interesting to hear your opinion nonetheless.