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1. Give Up
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2. Music From The O.C. Mix 4
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3. LCD Soundsystem
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4. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
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5. Set Yourself on Fire
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6. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
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7. The Milk of Human Kindness
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8. In Case We Die
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9. Before the Dawn Heals Us
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10. Country Falls (With Bonus DVD)
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11. Strangely Isolated Place
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12. Lost and Safe
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13. 69 Love Songs
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14. Finally We Are No One
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15. Alphabetical
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16. This Island
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17. Fingers Crossed
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18. We Will Become Silhouettes
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19. I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
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20. La Maison De Mon Reve

1. Give Up
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B000089CJI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 144
Average Customer Review: 4.41 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (218)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Postal Service -- Give Up | Review

Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello and Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard knew they were on to something good as soon as they finished collaborating on the track "(This is) the Dream of Evan and Chan." That compelling combination of Tamborello's melodic knob-twiddling and Gibbard's literate vocals and forlorn delivery was the triumph of Dntel's acclaimed 2001 release Life Is Full of Possibilities. Not long after that first collaboration, The Postal Service was born. The relative strangers began recording in December 2001, swapping tracks on CD-Rs through the mail.

Listening to the act's debut brings back the same sort of giddiness inspired in me by New Order's Low Life when I first picked it up a decade-and-a-half ago. The Postal Service expertly channels that adolescent spirit with an awkward blend of dance beats and melodic songwriting. However, the duo has updated the sound for the millennial set, pleasantly mixing Depeche Mode beats and bass lines, Pet Shop Boys melodies and Warp Records-styled twinkling tones and clicks. Orchestral samples and pseudo horns add an unusual flavor to "Clark Gable." Chunky, monophonic Casio-sounding keys tie the vocals to the beat in "Nothing Better."

Two of the album's highlights appear right at the front end of the record. The first song, "The District Sleeps Alone Tonight," leads with brooding organ, before beats saunter in and steadily cruise through the first verse and chorus to a clean, ringing guitar riff. A second chorus pumps even harder and defies you to not sing along. This despite a characteristically bumming realization repeated by Gibbard: "I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving" (Christ, Benny, just stick a fork through my heart, why don't you?). Track two, "Such Great Heights," has already been released as a single. The catchy number apes Rod Stewart's "Young Turks," especially the beat and understated arrangement, albeit in an electro fashion.

The remainder of Give Up is solid, though Gibbard's lyrics are less potent by the middle of the record, and Tamborello burrows perhaps a little too deeply into some of the thinner sounds of the cold '80s era that inspires him. "Sleeping In" stumbles a bit with Gibbard's trite invocation of the JFK assassination, but the murmured chorus, "Don't wake me, I plan on sleeping in," that drapes over a quiet acoustic guitar phrase is strong enough to carry the entire song.

Perhaps the only shortcoming of Give Up is that the adherence to pop shuts out some of the more interesting electronic elements explored on Life Is Full of Possibilities. "Natural Anthem" is probably the most adventurous Postal Service tune, utilizing a relatively heavy break-beat, a looping string sample and more aggressive production, but clearly the duo's strengths are geared more toward hit-making than trailblazing. So, while the record isn't necessarily an instant classic, the unabashed embrace of simple pop sensibilities, both old and new, make it a record that is hard to stop listening to.

Jay Breitling

4-0 out of 5 stars Electronica redeemed...?
This album of dancy electronic pop hasn't left my MP3 player since I bought it. It's like finding a lost and prescient New Order album circa 1985, filled with compelling and instantly memorable melodies. The lyrics are quite wordy, but they are also quite good, like on the melancholic opener, a guy going to visit his ex in a new city:

"Smeared black ink...Your palms are sweaty and I'm barely listening to last demands...I'm staring at the asphalt wondering what's buried underneath: There I am. Wear my badge--a vinyl sticker with big black letters adhering to my chest. Tells your new friends I am a visitor here, I am not permanent..And the only thing keeping me dry is: You seem so out of context in this gaudy apartment complex/I'm a stranger with a doorkey explaining that I'm just visiting/I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving."

"Give Up" is an excellent, warm and human example of a genre in which one's connection can sometimes get lost amongst the bleeps and blips of synths and Casios. One of last year's best!

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect Balance
I have never been a fan of electronic music... and to be quite honest I probably won't convert anytime soon. I've always felt that the music never had an heart or substance to it; it was just too cold. So when one of my friends gave me this CD to listen to, I was worried and immediately the electronic bleeps and blurps made me tune out. But then I listened a bit more, to the lyrics and the melody and how perfectly they combined. This CD is amazing because you take the amazing emo-esque lyrics (honest, heart breaking... I love "I am finally seeing why I was the one worth leaving") and combine it with the most peppy and catchy music ever. I actually got to see them in concert (lucky me!!!) and I was worried how the album would translate but it was even better than the cd. This amazing little project is must for anyone, period; no matter what style of music you like.

4-0 out of 5 stars lovely
i have to say, i really enjoyed listening to this album. To be honest, one may get tired of the seemingly redundant pop/synthesizer beats but my that is hard to say, because this album altogether is just heavenly. My favorites are such great heights and brand new colony. i am looking forward to purchasing a few death cab cds also...

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous in every aspect
Wow what a great album. Benjamin Gibbard is one of my favorite artists of all time, so I bought this with high hopes. I had never heard of Tamborello, but hey, my focus was Gibbard. When I first listened to it, i really did try to keep an open mind, and then I ended up hating it. About a month later, I popped it in again after listening to every single Death Cab for Cutie album, and all of a sudden i was tapping my feet and flipping through the lyric book rapidly. How could i have ever thought this bad??!!

As always Gibbard delivers with sharp, smart, and epic lyrics, turning what is obviously small events into the most important thing the world. The electronica takes some getting used to, but by the time you get past it, you see how perfect with the melancholic perfection of Gibbard.

The standout tracks are #2, Such Great Heights, all for its lyrics, "i am thinking its a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned; #4, which is a duet played out like a tense and pleading conversation between Gibbard and a girl who is leaving him; and #8, This Place is a Prison, which is an extremely mournful song rife with touching lyrics.

All in all a brilliant and lasting album. ... Read more

2. Music From The O.C. Mix 4
list price: $13.98
our price: $11.99
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Asin: B0007QMS20
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 297
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

"A showcase for new music that’s fallen under the mainstream radar." ("All Things Considered," NPR, April 24, 2004) Musically the hippest show on TV, "The O.C." spawns the edgiest album yet from the unprecedented Music From The O.C. series. Headlining Mix 4 is a new song from alt-rock superstar Beck, "Scarecrow," co-written and co-produced with The Dust Brothers, and "Decent Days And Nights" from post-punk pop’s The Futureheads. Two other tracks also debut—chamber-pop quintet Matt Pond PA unveils its cover of "Champagne Supernova," the mid-’90s #1 Modern Rocker from Oasis, and ethereal alt-rocker Imogen Heap (half of the band Frou Frou) offers "Goodnight And Go." Music From The O.C.: Mix 4 is as sharp as Marissa and as cool as Seth. ... Read more

Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect cure for the Obsessive Compulsive!
"Mix 4" is the latest soundtrack from the FOX television sensation "The OC". Once again, this great collection of songs blends soothing mellow rock, with pop, dance, rock and ballad to create a beautifully diverse and enjoyable listen.

The music of "The OC" has gained considorable respect over the short couple of years, acting as the main launching pad for great artists including Death Cab, Jem and The Killers. Because of this show, and its terrific soundtracks, Mellow Rock and Alternative have certainly become two of my favourite musical genres.

So once again, producer (and creator of the show) Josh Schwartz has intoduced more fantastic artists, along with their wonderful songs. I know everyone has their tastes, but for me, my Top 3 songs would have to be:

1) "Cartwheels" - by The Reindeer Section: This is a soothing mellow rock song. It has beautiful musical arrangement, as it includes string instruments, which add a great melodic stength to the song.

2) "Eve, the Apple of My Eye" - by Bell XY: this is a moving ballad which has gorgeous piano chords the whole way through. The lyrics are also very metaphorical.

3) "Champagne Supernova" - by Matt Pond PA: this is a cover song of Oasis' original rock classic. This version is very well done, with energetic electric guitar and a string arrangement at the end, which adds real depth to the song.

Other great songs include Sufjan Stevens' "To be alone with you" a calm, and relaxing mellow song. It's beautiful! To lighten things up, it features a "dancier" track, "Play" by Flunk.

So as you can see, there is terrific range in the songs, from very slow all the way to very up-tempo, "The OC: Mix 4" is yet another brilliant soundtrack from the equally fantastic show! This is the perfect cure for an "OC" Obsessive Compulsive, such as myself! I can't wait for the next installment!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I am a large fan of The OC and every Thursday night I am watching the show. I used to think it was stupid until my girlfriend got me watching it and my friend let me borrow Season 1 on DVD and I was obsessed. The same friend also purchased this CD and let me borrow it and it is awesome! I love the music in The OC because I am into this type of music, like indie and emo, etc.

1. "Decent Days and Nights" by The Futureheads- 2.5/5
An alright start to the album, but nah, it's not the greatest song. Still decent though.
2. "Goodnight and Go" by Imogen Heap- 3.5/5
At first listen I thought it was too "pop" music sounding but now I like it a lot, it's catchy and nice to listen to.
3. "Fortress" by Pinback- 5/5
Probably my favourite on the album. It's an excellent song and I listen to it often, Pinback is a band worth looking at.
4. "On The Table" by A.C. Newman- 4/5
Good song, catchy, and one you can sing along to even on your first listen to it.
5. "To Be Alone With You" by Surfjan Stevens- 4/5
Soft, nice, and beautiful. A good OC song featured on a romance scene.
6. "Play" by Flunk- 3/5
Okay, the woman's voice is sort've drony, but worth a listen.
7. "Scarecrow" by Beck- 4.5/5
Excellent song, Beck is the man. I am a large fan of Beck and was happy to see a contribution by him on this album.
8. "The View" by Modest Mouse- 5/5
Another great song. Again, I am a large Modest Mouse fan and after seeing them live at the club on The OC, I was happy they received a spot on the album. A faster sort of a song.
9. "Hardcore Days and Softcore Nights" by Aqueduct- 3/5
A good song, but not a fan of the vocals on the song. Maybe after a few listens I might like this song more, because when it seems like a song that could take a few listens to enjoy.
10. "Cartwheels" by The Reindeer Section- 4/5
A happy, peaceful, relaxing song. Nice to sit back and listen to.
11. "Eve, The Apple of My Eye" by Bell X1- 5/5
Excellent song! At first I thought the vocals were that of Thom Yorke from Radiohead. Amazing job done on this song.
12. "Champagne Supernova" by matt pond PA- 4/5
An excellent cover of the Oasis masterpiece, although I like Oasis' version one million times better. matt pond PA did an excellent job.

All in all, a great album, it has it's ups and downs. If your a fan of indie/emo music, get this album. If your a g-unit rap-fan who likes The OC, don't get this album.

Seth would be proud.

4-0 out of 5 stars Anyone For Angst?
The fourth installment in a great series of indie-flavoured soundtracks, the OC: Mix 4 strongly reflects the way the show itself has been lately - a bit more sombre and mellowed out, where the parties don't seem to be quite as frequent, and when they are - they're disasters.While there are a number of excellent tracks on this album, I found it didn't quite live up to the other soundtracks, but still, its a great buy.

What I mentioned about the mellowness is true.Very few of the tracks channel any sort of get up and party emotion - although Futureheads "Decent Days and Nights" gets the album off to a rocking start, and Modest Mouse's "The View" is a bit more on the upbeat side.

Truth be told, what really stands out on this album are the slower, angst-ridden songs - of which there are plenty."To Be Alone With You" is a very soft guitar number, "Cartwheels" is all about the dreamy harmonies, and "Eve, The Apple of My Eye" is a sweet Brit-pop esque rock ballad."Play" by Flunk ups the count of women vocalists on this album to two, in a sorta psychadelic style.Matt Pond PA lends a somewhat uninspired but altogether enjoyable cover of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" as the closing track, which fans of the show will remember played as Summer & Seth reunited.

The rest of the album is mostly mid-tempo rock/emo/alternative/indie tracks - with two particular shiners.Imogen Heap's "Say Goodnight and Go" is a nice electronica turn that hasn't been explored much yet on the OC soundtracks - and rivals her excellent track on the Garden State album as part of Frou Frou."Fortress" by Pinback is also excellent, to the point where these guys have crossover options if they want.

All in all, this album is much more subdued, and doesn't offer quite as many 'gems' as the previous soundtracks - however, it is still a great addition to the OC collection, and even better, your music collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars more indie gems from TV's coolest soap
I would have bought this CD just for the song by Imogen Heap (of Frou Frou, and by the way when the heck are they going to put out a new disc?). Fortunately, as with the rest of the "Music From the O.C." series, this one is filled with gems from popular as well as semi-obsucre indie artists, and will introduce fans of the show to musicians who deserve a wider audience.

I'm not entirely sure who's responsible for selecting the songs for this series, but whoever it is has an ear for talent, and the entire series of CDs has helped me discover artists such as Jem, the Doves, South, the Album Leaf, and now with this latest release Pinchback and a genius named Matt Pond PA, who delivers a sparkling cover of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova."

Whether you're a die-hard fan of the show or you can't tell the Coopers from the Cohens, do yourself a favor and buy this CD today. And then do yourself another favor and buy the CDs of the artists it features.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nearly As Good As Mixes 1 & 2
Mix 4 offers much of the same terrific music as the first two OC mixes.The songs are great for listening to while doing just about anything (entertaining, driving, working out, relaxing, etc.).I gave this CD four stars -- as opposed to the five stars I gave Mixes 1 & 2 -- only because I didn't find as many "WOW" tracks on this disc as I found on previous albums.Still, it certainly beats most commercial pop/alternative music that is available these days, and it will fill out your "OC" iPod playlist quite nicely. ... Read more

3. LCD Soundsystem
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our price: $13.49
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Asin: B0006U4UAU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 569
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So much has been said about disco-punk's King Midas, New York musician/producer James Murphy, that it's kind of hard to believe that we've had to wait until 2005 for the debut album from his dancefloor project, LCD Soundsystem. LCD's classic triumvirate of early singles--"Losing My Edge," "Give It Up," and "Yeah"--joined the dots between punk-rock, disco, and funk in a way that hadn't been seen since the New York downtown scene of the early '80s, but these are bravely relegated to a bonus disc in favor of a suite of new material that reworks the band's influences in new, often explicit ways: take "Movement," for instance--a homage to the Fall that finds Murphy barking "It's a fat guy/ In a T-shirt/ Doing all the singing!" over punchy analog synths, or the quietly majestic "Great Release," a doff of the cap to Brian Eno circa Taking Tiger Mountain. For all his encyclopedic musical knowledge, however, it's one of Murphy's strengths that he seldom seems uptight about the practice of music-making: it's how he can get away with penning a gonzo disco-punk number and naming it something as fantastically flippant as "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House"--and more importantly, it's why LCD Soundsystem succeeds as a splendid dance record as well as a smart intellectual exercise. --Louis Pattison ... Read more

4. Oscillons from the Anti-Sun
list price: $24.98
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Asin: B0007YMRWS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2664
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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When you're a prolific band that also happens to be mighty friendly to your obsessive compulsive collector fan base, you wind up releasing a lot of singles and EPs with material that's otherwise unavailable on your albums. And here, for the price of a Japanese pressing of the Fluorescences EP on an auction site alone, you get Stereolab's eight Elektra EPs, from 1993's Jenny Ondioline to 2001's Captain Easychord. The "groop"'s collaborative EPs ( Crumb Duck, Uilab) are not included, but there is a DVD with rarely-seen videos and television performances. This box set serves far more than a plug-the-gaps exercise for trainspotters; as with the singles collections Switched-On volumes one, two and three (did we not mention this band is prolific?), it's an intriguing retrospective of the band in their mature years. And unlike those comps, this set often highlights the band's more lengthy, experimental songs. "Les Yper Yper Sound," for instance, John McEntire's distorted, delightfully repetitious reworking of "Yper Sound" from Emperor Tomato Ketchup, is spine-tinglingly awesome.--Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stereolab-'Oscillons From The Anti-Sun'(Too Pure)3-CD/1 DVD
'Oscillons...' gives fans a real treat,a three audio disc and one DVD box set.Total of 35 songs,of which 28 will be new to most Stereolab followers EXCEPT for those die-hards who put out big $$ to purchase past import releases.Despite it's cheap-o packaging,this box set is very nice to have.Most of the tracks are lesser known singles and B-sides.The DVD is great,with it's live performances,video clips and other visual surprises.Should appeal to fans of Air,Yo La Tengo,Spacemen 3,Mouse On Mars and Tortoise.

5-0 out of 5 stars God Bless Stereolab!
This box set is a welcome addition for the die-hards AND casuals, and it's nice having all of these EP's and singles in one place. I have no idea why others are having such a hard time opening their boxes however; it's really not that hard! And aside from one tiny little split in the corner, my box seems really sturdy and finely made.

The sticker set is a wonderful addition to this box collection, so make sure and get your box set now before it goes into a second pressing and they disappear! The set includes eight (8) 4x4 inch stickers with great art work. Suitable for framing! At just around twenty bucks for 35 tracks and a DVD, you just can't go wrong with this. Even if you've not heard one single lick of a stereolab song and if you're a semi-casual fan of electronic music, try them out!

4-0 out of 5 stars Damn That Packaging
I really do like this latest compilation from Stereolab but I do have to knock a point off for the packaging that the band insists on providing.I thought the last two Switched On compilations were annoying with their flimsy cardboard but this one beats them both (although my copy of S.O. 3 did fall apart about a minute after I got it so I couldn't put the disc in with out it falling out).With "Oscillons...", Stereolab gives us an incredibly difficult to open as well as bulky box with cheap sleeves inside to hold the discs, including the DVD.C'mon, are you so against simple plastic jewel cases?Well, other than the box it comes in, I do indeed recommend this latest compilation from Stereolab even like many other fans, all of the trouble we went through to get those import EPs and singles seem to have lost its shine now that a proper domestic collection is out but at least you had them before a lot of others and thus got the pleasure of hearing some of the band's finer material years before a lot of people did.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ketchup in a box!
Ok, I kid - it's actually "catch up" for all those of us who discovered Stereolab later rather than sooner.I'm sure I'm not alone - my first Stereolab CD was 2004's sublime Margarine Eclipse, which prompted me to search for the earlier CDs and EPs.My advice to fellow latecomers: dive into this box set!As other reviewers noted, this is a great collection.

A few thoughts about the DVD included in this set: one of the first things I heard about Stereolab was that they were exceptional in concert, and I was disappointed that I could not find any DVDs of their shows.The DVD in this collection has eight "promos" followed by three live performances from UK television.With the exception of Jenny Ondioline, the promos are not typical music videos.They are more like surrealistic dreamscapes (think Dali, backed by synthesizers, broadcast on early PCs - a hoot) set to music.Next, the first live video is a superb, driving rendition of French Disko, gone a bit trippy with TV special effects (think Austin Powers).And then come two gems from the Later...with Jools Holland show (ca. 1996).For all those of us who were late to the party, here's proof that Stereolab -- in addition to being electronic, cerebral, political, carefully crafted, etc., etc. -- are terrific live.These performances of Cybele's Reverie and Les Yper Sound are a great glimpse of what we missed, including the late, lamented Mary Hansen.We can only hope that there are more live performances in the vault and destined for future DVDs, and look forward to the band's future tours.In the meantime, I highly recommend the videos and three CDs in this box set.

A final note for the old-time Stereolab fans who already own the EPs collected here, but not the Jenny Ondioline promo: there's a moment in that video, when the always serious Laetitia Sadier starts to smile and turns away from the camera and toward Mary, who's smiling about a perfect moment. As a previous reviewer said, Mary, rest in peace.And long live Stereolab!

5-0 out of 5 stars have to agree with the first 2 reviewers..
...but elaborate a little bit on both. The music on this is beyond cool, I can't say enough about it, so I'll leave it at that.

But... the packaging is *extremely* tough to open - mine's already pocked with fingernail marks from trying to pry it open, and the cardboard box seems to be splitting at some of the outside joints. And I've had it for all of 18 hours. It's not enough really to knock a star off of my review, but it's more than a little irritating.

And yes, like reviewer #2 said, it is a bit frustrating now for me to look over the hundreds of dollars worth of import cd's that have now been rendered obsolete by about $23. Have I had $100's worth of enjoyment over the years that I would have otherwise spent without this music? Well, that's debatable, but I'll say "yes, I have."

The stickers of all the various single covers are very cool - I'm tempted to plaster my guitar case with them, but then they'd get messed up. What's an OC (obsessive completist) to do??? ... Read more

5. Set Yourself on Fire
list price: $22.49
our price: $22.49
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Asin: B00061F8M8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11004
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Album Description

Approaching the follow-up to an album you adored is a tricky thing -- there are all those expectations to wade through. Luckily, Montreal/Toronto soft-focus popsters Stars more than live up to last year's endlessly charming Heart with their latest, Set Yourself on Fire. Universal. 2004. ... Read more

6. Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00070FWUG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1225
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Having established himself as a folk singer-songwriter of considerable weight with 2002's--take a deep breath--Lifted, or the Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Conor Oberst takes the opportunity to experiment here. Released simultaneously with the more conventional follow-up disc, I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, Digital Ash in a Digital Urn sees the Omaha-based leader of Bright Eyes teaming up with a diverse set of musicians that includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner for a collection of songs that aim to recreate the alien landscapes of Radiohead but more often come off sounding like midperiod Depeche Mode. --Aidin Vaziri ... Read more

Reviews (67)

1-0 out of 5 stars Oh for the love of all that is good in music
Rejoice peeps! Conor Oberst, currently in the running for most overrated artist to ever be allowed to record music, has finally discovered Depeche Mode! What will the kids think: the supposed(but can never touch)second coming of Dylan has thrown them all a curve ball, as they say, with some electronic twinged material. And guess what? It's garbage.
Bright Eyes is not capable of writting music that is interesting to anyone over the age of fourteen, and "Digital Ash in a Digital Urn"(an accuratly pretensious title for a pretensious record) is further proof that the little bubble world that this dude finds himself living in grows smaller and smaller so that only he and whatever Hollywood girlfriend he currently has can live in it. There is no proof that this guy resides in the world that you and I live in. The land of reality.
So what do you get from "Digital Whatever"? You get the same emo-lite "honest" songwritting that makes up the bulk of the rest of this gentlemans catalog, but this time its electronic. Whoop de doo. The use of said elements sound forced and boring, not actually there to compliment the songs, but to make people think "hey, he's using keyboards. He must be an artist". This sounds like a remix record of Bright Eyes all ready oversaturated catalog, and that's as needed as a Bush remix record(wait a minute...)
What this record is really made for is so high school art students will have something to play while they create they're self-conscious "art", and on that front it achieves in spades. But for the rest of us who have long since left teen angst nonesense in the past(and I'm only twenty-two for the love of Jeebus) there is little to nothing here to tolerate.
Please, please don't support this hack, because that's all he is. Just another bad record in a growing in size if not quality catalog.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD If Given a Few Listens
I have just discovered Bright Eyes, having first been introduced through the simultaneously released "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning". This work is entirely different, and equally excellent. I admit I had to give it more listens before the songs really grew on me (except for "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)"--this one was love at first listen!). It's a mix of rock and synth-rock, somewhat dark, with many instrumental layers. After a few listens, the melodies are stuck in my head, especially after going to see Bright Eyes live, promoting this CD. It's refreshing to hear intelligent, poetic and symbolic lyrics after a few decades' drought. Then it was all clear--Conor Oberst is a genius, musically and lyrically.The CD is somewhat of an experiment, but not too far away from some of his older work, and it works very well if you listen a few times.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unlucky Friend, Lucky Me
My roommate and I are Bright Eyes fans, not diehard, but quite fond of earlier CD's which we found to be lyrically great (Lifted of the story.., fevers and mirrors)...So when Bright Eyes was going to release 2 CDs at once, we were pretty enthralled. But being college students (and therefore slightly short of cash) I decided that I would buy "I'm wide awake" and he would buy "Digital Ash"...Then we could listen to both.
Well I am glad that luck was in my favor, because "Digital ash" is unlike bright eyes I have known. THey go for the Postal Service electronica style, but whereas "Give Up" is a pleasant if unexciting CD, it is more than listenable. To be harsh this CD is almost egregious to the point that it gets little to no playing time in our doorm.
If you want to get into Bright Eyes though, get some of the earlier CDs. I loved "Lifted" and "fevers", and to a lesser extent "Im wide awake". Not digital ash.

1-0 out of 5 stars Hate to admit I own it.
After enjoying "I'm Wide Awake It's Morning" I decided to purchase "Digital Ash".All I can say is what a waste.The other revewer who described the album as amaturish hit the nail on the head.Banal would be a generous description of this album.The only positive point I could make about the CD is that at least the artist didn't attempt to rap.This one's so bad I'll be throwing it away ... I'd be too embarrassed to give it away.

4-0 out of 5 stars The first great CD of 2005
First off, I have never listedned to a Bright Eyes cd before this one, so i don't know what he's "supposed" to sound like.But for my money this a phenomenal cd.I first got into Bright Eyes when amazon posted the free mp3s on the website. And I liked Take It Easy(Love Nothing) and Gold Mine Glutted are much better songs than the way too morose Lua.Overall every song is good in it's own way.The only complaint I have is that the first 2 minutes of Time Code is pretty much silence, which I have to skip through every time I listen to it.And on Ship In A Bottle, the part of the song where it breaks down into a baby crying annoys me.But other than that I have no complaints. ... Read more

7. The Milk of Human Kindness
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Asin: B0007ZSH4O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1363
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Dan Snaith's Manitoba project is back with a new name but his hypnotic music hasn't changed. Caribou, like Manitoba, is still heavy on electronic jam sessions, with peculiar swirls of sound and stoned instrumental wanderings leading you who-knows-where. The Milk of Human Kindness also has that faint whisp of ‘60s bubblegum pop (see "Bees") and Stereolab-like drone present on Manitoba records like Up In Flames. Such reference points provide welcome toeholds in the midst of all the laptop anarchy, preventing the whole thing from drifting off into the ether. Snaith puts a few other twists on Milk, with mixed success. On the plus side, the sharp opener "Yeti" is a quick burst of fun, while "Lord Leopard" knocks up the beat a notch toward hip-hop territory. The lamentable "A Final Warning," however, falls off the deep end into an almost comedic dead-end. Still, Snaith continues to show off boundless creativity, and when he conjures the right mix of chaos and cohesion like he does on "Brahminy Kite," the result is a glorious noise all his own. –Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars This disc rocks.
The smooth lounge-like electronics of Manitoba's first album, "Start Breaking My Heart" gave way to beats with a harder edge and more potential dance-floor use on the accompanying EP, "Give'r".The shift was an exciting one, but didn't foreshadow the complete revision in sound that the next album "Up in Flames" was.While the influence of psychedelic rock was heavy, it was laced with the laborious attention of the laptop artist/producer, producing a beautiful piece of ear-candy.(I initially gave "Up in Flames" a tepid review that I now regret posting, FYI.)

With this new album, Snaith has closed the circle, bringing back the hip-hop and dance aspects of "Give'r" while reinvigorating the folk-rock with clearer vocals and more live instrumentation.One of the things that I was disappointed with in the previous record was the lack of variation throughout the album, but here that problem has disappeared.The presence of some pretty damn funky interludes helps to split apart the spaced-out folk tunes into more discreet chunks.While there is still plenty of sprawling wall-of-sound rock, the mix is tighter and the song structures more focused.I've compared this band to the Beta Band and Beck before, but now it is clear that the torch that those two have dropped has been picked up by Caribou.This is his best album, yet, in my opinion.

By the way, the live show that this band puts on is blistering.I mean BLISTERING, they rock out and have great animations.That's why I listen to this record very loudly.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
I am truly amazed at what Dan Snaith has put down. He is one brilliant man. Up In Flames may have been a rock meets electronica affair but Milk of Human Kindness is electronica that's got a bit of funk, folk and FM.

This album starts off with a fast moving romp that will probably be the closest thing Dan will actually get to recording a dance track. If Madonna had done some experimental drugs when she was recording Ray of Light, it might have sounded like this. It then takes some bends and turns touching on 50's and 60's doo-wop, 70's funk, 80's hip-hop.... It's really a journey through a lot of musical styles. It puts a really interesting spin on the music as does his hypnotic Beck-like vocals.

This is definitely one of the best this year. All the songs are great but the standout tracks are YETI, LORD LEOPARD, BEES, DRUMHELLER (a small town in the heart of the Alberta badlands where the dinosaurs roamed - very cool landscape up there) and PELICAN NARROWS.
... Read more

8. In Case We Die
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Asin: B0007LPM78
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1205
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This free-ranging octet from Australia has brought forth their second album and it's a veritable funhouse adventure. Experimental, but gently so, their diverse instrumentation and varied approaches to vocal presentations (theatrical character voices, choirs, rock band exuberance) make for a listening experience akin to someone's perfectly cerebral mix tape. The opening song alone sets the stage for all that follows, constructed like an overture, one theme and setting gives way to another. Much like the parable of three blind men trying to describe an elephant, if three different listeners heard three different songs from this wonderful album, there still would be no complete description possible. --David Greenberger ... Read more

9. Before the Dawn Heals Us
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Asin: B00070Q8HC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1230
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most druggy music chooses clearly between ecstasy and horror; Anthony Gonzalez deliberately blurs the emotional borders. The French musician, now a one-man-band following the departure of partner Nicolas Fromageau, communicates an awareness that even as the darkest trips have a sick thrill to them, the most pleasurable parts of a lysergic voyage have a creepy aftertaste. On the opener, "Moon Child," you can hear both creepiness and pleasure, as a lucid yet happily stoned female voice reveals that "The whole universe will glow," contrasting ominously with the sort of swelling background choirs Pink Floyd amassed when it was time for their big production numbers. And excitement and fear meld on "Don't Save Us From the Flames"; surreal snippets of lyrics ("Out of the flames/ A piece of brain in my hair/ The wheels are melting/ A ghost is screaming your name") are followed by the name "Tina" in a moan all-but indistinguishable from the airy synthesizers. Gonzalez is less adept at constructing structurally-complex compositions than at tunefully arranging sound effects--repetitive keyboard licks that could've been swiped from a '70s PBS documentary soundtrack and bone-scraping blasts of My Bloody Valentine guitar are among his favorite tricks. But his methods are justified by his sense of brevity, and careful alternating between two speeds--soft epic space-trance and vintage shoe-gazer rave-up--adds to the hallucinatory feel. --Keith Harris ... Read more

Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth buying
This cd has some awesome trance-inducing synth lines in it, and some very solid tracks.Favourites include 'mooonchild', 'dont save us from the flames' and 'teen angst'.The way the tracks alternate between ulrich schnauss style dream-like washes suddenly to rise to a drum infested crecendo really gets me only reason for not giving this cd a 5 star rating is that i find the tracks to be fairly linear, unlike ulrich schnauss's tracks which are really progressive, these tracks seem to find one killer riff (for want of a better word) and stick with it, looping it through different levels of energy.however it works, so i really cant complain.

4-0 out of 5 stars More organic than Dead . .
The drums and piano really stand out.Good progressions via piano with Eno esque treatments.The drums are powerful on the second song, but mixed well.There are slow pieces like "Safe" and "Let Men . ." and aggressive songs in the mix.The only drawback?The female voice?Enough to make one wince in its melodramatic excess.In "Car . ." it is downright annoying that the young female voice takes on both the role of a little child and her mother and the voice of a little boy in the opening track.Sad . .it could have been five stars.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Oh god the flowers are dying!" is the PERFECT description
Another review of the album described this album as melodramatic and normally a review like that would leave me unconvinced.After hearing the album, however, this album has a very cheesy/romantic attitude, thus making many of the chord progressions painfully familiar, especially such the swaying-lighter-inducing "Farewell/Goodbye".The lyrics may be horrible and the French accent may be annoying but neither of those are a focus.When they use it the right way, M83 is hugely successful.Many of the tracks are wasted on short throwaway melodies and interludes often even interrupted by repetitive distorted "percussion" (and this comes from a Skinny Puppy fan).A couple of these interludes are memorable, such as "Slight Night Shiver" and "In the Cold I'm Standing", but the others just cost the album momentum.There are two absolutely undeniable classics on here- "Don't Save Us From the Flames" and "Teen Angst" are beautiful, rocking, wall of noisish synth metal and if M83 used this style more often I would love them.Stuff like "Car Chase Terror" only serves to point out again that these people are obviously bad romantic poets and should just shut up and use more of the melodic genious that they obviously possess.Instead of inspiring any kind of sad emotion they make me feel more like "Oh please.These people are pathetic" in a Dashboard Confessional sort of fashion."*" and "A Guitar and A Heart" are decent songs but nothing special again.The last track that some have said is ambitious is exactly what you'll expect by the time you reach the end of this album and so is not interesting.In conclusion... I think you will enjoy this album a lot more if you buy into the melodramatic everything-makes-me-cry attitude a lot of this has, but if that annoys you you'll still find some classics on here like I did.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blissful, bombastic, confusing
OK.I don't get it.On Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts, M83 was two guys and they managed to produce this tight, unified sound.Almost monolithic.It owed a hell of a lot to My Bloody Valentine and, while it may not have been the most original thing ever, it was pretty fantastic listening.So then one of the guys leaves and M83 turns into what's basically a Anthony Gonzalez solo thing and somehow the sound becomes totally schizophrenic.

And not neccessarily in a bad way, just a confusing one.Where the previous album was all insistent and fuzzed out, this one alternates between driving and languid.You've got your songs with fast, fuzzy beats and pretty synth lines.And you've got your songs that sort of meander around spare, aimless melodies.And it all sounds good, sort of.It's just that, because Gonzalez keeps bouncing back and forth, Before the Dawn Heals Us keeps losing its momentum.One track will fire you up and get your head nodding in tranced-out bliss.The next will lull you into a melancholic stupor.

It's a little frustrating, is what I'm trying to say.I can see where I *could* have been pretty let down, coming from the consistently driving previous album.But you know, the more I listen to this thing, the more I like it.Yes, there's no momentum to speak of.Yes, some of the tracks don't seem to go anywhere.But ultimately, it's much more of an album than the previous effort.It ebbs and flows and is consistently lovely.Sure, I'm still kind of confused by the whole thing, and I'm not yet sure what Gonzalez is trying for here.But, I've never been initially confused by an album and then grown to hate it.Any album that's confusing enough to intrigue me turns out to be well worth the time and effort spent getting to know it.And that's more than true of this here album.Give it a lot of time, and you'll grow to love it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A synthesizer, drums, piano, guitar and a heart.
Before the Dawn Heals Us is a beautifully arranged album with sweeping grandeur.This french menage produces a sound that is very very original.I haven't heard anything else quite so epic and unfamiliar before.Moonchild is a magnificent and appropriate introduction to the album and I have never heard such a magnificent, ambitious ending in Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun.In between, features resplendent highs and overarching undertones that imbue the band with such concurring confidence, you can only beat your head in agreement.Yet there are the few songs that stray from M83's precious forumla and tend to go a little experimental, but I am willing to forgive since their first album was magnificent and this one can truly holds its own among M83s elite intentions. ... Read more

10. Country Falls (With Bonus DVD)
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0007X9TZM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6868
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

The Finnish band whose gorgeous confection of folksy instrumentation and sweeping ambient electronic has gob-smacked European club scenesters, cynical musos, and dreamy pop fans alike. Seductive, narcotic, and superb, this is their debut. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Start the summer right...
and check out this album!Every song on Country Falls sounds different, which makes for an enjoyable and interesting listening experience. I love that the Cd comes with the bonus DVD.The video for "Summertime Cowboy" is pure kitsch!One of the best new albums I've heard in a long time!

5-0 out of 5 stars An album worth buying
Well put together CD, amazing energy and design. for more info.
All together, two thumbs up.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rescuing music
Tired of the same old thing?Husky Rescue to the rescue!This album is full of melodic masterpieces and atypically hooky infectious grooves.If you're like me and can't stand the 30 second previews at these online stores, go to and download a free Husky Rescue MP3 to get the full effect.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Record
Very musical, with flowing instrumentation, great hooks, and some really unique arrangements.Check this one out if you're tired of the same old garbage.Great to hear some real music in this genre for a change instead of repetitive beats and tired gimmicks.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like The Cardigans' LIFE or Beck's SEA CHANGES ...
Just when you feel you could catch a chill in the frozen climes of the current music scene, a saviour pads into view. Husky Rescue is here, carrying the revivifying (and intoxicating) liquor of musical invention and pure, untainted melodicism in their capacious sleigh. As clear as icewater, as dazzling as the Aurora Borealis, as jolting as a splash in the face from a Finnish lake; the music of Husky Rescue is more than capable of refreshing even the most jaded palate. Helsinki's all-round musical magus Marko Nyberg and sensual vocalist Reeta-Leena Korhola lead the Husky Rescue charge. Other members include Mikka Colliander on guitar, Ville Riippa on keyboards and Anssi Sopanen on drums. Touched by the chilly majesty of their homeland, and much more besides, the band describes their influences as being 'the magical moment' and mood in movies. David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders, Lukas Moodysson, Russ Meyer, Scandinavian architecture, Erik Satie, the airy lushness of French impressionism and Philip Glass, the sound of Arvo Part, warm and honest country music and a lot of other things in pop culture such as graphic design and photography. Each Husky Rescue song is a self-contained mini-movie aiming for its own unique emotional impact. When asked to describe their work, Nyberg's metaphors are unusual but entirely appropriate: David Lynch meets the night-less night in Lapland, he suggests, or perhaps Bambi meets big bad wolf and they become friends. If you can read that and not be intrigued, you are an iceberg, my friend.

... Read more

11. Strangely Isolated Place
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Asin: B0002CHK18
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2454
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Ulrich Schnauss's A Strangely Isolated Place was released in Europe during May of 2003, but fans had to wait over a year for it to arrive on these shores. The Berliner's follow-up to Far Away Trains Passing By is another gentle and fascinating record, similarly drunk with melody. But Schnauss has augmented his electro-synth sound with tsunamis of huge, arching major chords that rival M83's over-the-top lushness. Shoegazer influences show up in the Slowdive-esque "Gone Forever," as well as the My Bloody Valentine buzz in "Clear Day". Despite Place's ethereal sheen, the bones of solid dance-ability are also here, as several clever DJs have already noted (see Sasha's use of "On My Own" for Involver). The record could use a few well-placed batches of noise to act as counterpoint, but long-suffering fans of early Cocteau Twins looking for a fix of dreamy songcraft should find much to love. --Matthew Cooke ... Read more

12. Lost and Safe
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Asin: B0007XMKXU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4740
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

After two albums that spread like wildfire solely on word of mouth and self-propagating critical acclaim, this duo from Massachussetts return with their third album.It is even more cohesive and song-based than "Lemon Of Pink." Their core of cello, mandolin, banjo & guitar has been augemented with new instruments and a now overflowing library of found sounds and serendipitously found spoken word passages.First U.S. tour coming soon! ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Language, context and music
This is a somewhat interesting exploration of language, semantics and rhythm.It is more surreal in it's use of deconstructed conversations placed with new and different contexts.Some of it reminds one greatly of Korean Samul-nori music, which relies mostly upon percussion and rhythm that is based upon the Korean language (listen to No. 6, "An Animated Description of Mr. Maps" for a very clear example of such.While some tracks are very ingaging and suggest a different musical line of exploration from much conventional music, there is a problematic sameness in instrumentation that is sometimes very uninteresting due to a lack of musical development. The Books could end up doing very well if they were to invest more time in their musical development of their ideas and instrumentation.Layering samples can only go so far before it is boring.

4-0 out of 5 stars This album did not dissapoint
I enjoyed this more than I did Lemon of Pink, it felt lush and cinematic the way Thought for Food was, but more emphasis on found speech and juxtaposition.The percussion is just mindboggling here, I can't tell if they're banging on trash cans or paint cans or how much of it is sequenced and looped and sampled, it's all so calculated and choreographed yet otherworldly.My one reservation is that they may be turning the found speech into their schtick, they juxtapose random samples from speeches and field recordings and films and it's really hit or miss, sometimes the juxtapositions are blatantly ironic, sometimes they are just aimed at giggles, but when they work best they are surreal and beautiful.Really, no one else is doing this kind of work with sound composition right now.No one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Written on my Face
The sun shone upon the frosted mermen and they destroyed the fringe. Open up our generous portions of marmalade and feed the beast. Denver is hopelessly uninspired when it comes to fountains. New is the new old. Jungles and jungles of disco-inspired nameless cats approach unwanted. You must not arrange the maps to make the hours fade. Each smell is the same as the last but is quickly forgotten. Take up a collection of radios suitable for general listening. It's mighty.

This is the only way i could explain this album. You will know when you HEAR it. A masterwork.

4-0 out of 5 stars wonderful
such a wonderful album. yes slightly different than past albums, but isn't that a good thing? I think his vocals are lovely and while sometimes the sampling can border on overboard....all in all this is a great album.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Books and Text
Although instantly recognizable as The Books, as others have pointed out, their sound is evolving.This CD features the human voice and spoken word against the assemblage of found sounds and music performed by these artists.I found myself moved by the patchwork of little snippets of recorded phrases and voices, representing a whole range of human experiences.Great stuff.Fans won't be disappointed. ... Read more

13. 69 Love Songs
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Asin: B00000JY1X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 924
Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 1999

Singer-songwriter Stephen Merritt's ironically morose lyrics, Tin Pan Alley stylings, sugary melodies, and idiosyncratic sound have earned his band the Magnetic Fields cult status and the adulation of grad students everywhere. The ambitious, genre-hopping, and intensely heart-tugging three-disc set 69 Love Songs probably won't gain Merritt the wider recognition he deserves, but the clever misanthrope likely wouldn't have it any other way. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (109)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic collection of bitter-sweet songs
For the past nine months (with the reissue of "Holiday"), the Magnetic Fields have become my all-time favorite band. Beware of the craving for every Stephin Merritt release that will accompany the purchase of "69 Love Songs."

This boxed set is the crowning achievement of the Magnetic Fields' already stellar career. The diversity of the music is incredible and Stephin Merritt is one of the few artists whose lyrics are as enjoyable as the music.

For the seasoned Magnetic Fields fan, "69 Love Songs" is significantly less techno-sounding than their previous work. Guitar, ukelele and piano dominate while the synth pop takes the back seat.

There are too many great songs to list here but my absolute favorites are "Fido, Your Leash is Too Long", "Epitaph for my Heart", and "The Death of Ferdinand De Saussure".

Please ignore the review posted by Darren from Chicago. These albums are not "overindulgent" or "plain old annoying": they are creative, humorous, witty and endlessly listenable. There are so many other bands who package their musical talent with a pretentious attitude (i.e. have you ever tried to read the liner notes to "If Your Feeling Sinister"?). Stephin might occassionally be bitter and sarcastic, but he is certainly not "cooler than thou".

The Magnetic Fields have single-handedly restored my faith in "indie" rock. "69 Love Songs" is a great work of pop exuberance for the new millenium.

5-0 out of 5 stars One year and still in the player
I've had this box set for a year and still am amazed.. Stephin Merritt is incredibly talented and will be remembered for this creation of tunes in years to come. Whether it's catchy humorous pop (Ab.Cuckoo, Chicken..,I Think I Need a New Heart, etc.), sweet serenades (Come Back from San Fran., The Book of Love, Your My Only Home, etc.), experimental sounds(Love is Like Jazz, Xylophone Track, etc.) or classic duets (Yeah, Oh Yeah!, Papa was a Rodeo)... (shall I go on?)it's all good. There's a little bit of everything in this set, and it all fits together so perfectly. I saw The Magnetic Fields perform all 69 Love Songs in a 2-night concert that touched my soul. This album, about love, taps into ambivalence, fears, disgusts, bliss, dysfuntion, etc....much of which can be expressed quite eloquently in a damn good song. Here's 69 of them. Buy it and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars All killer? Any filler?
Well, yes, there is some filler. But for 3 CDs and 69 songs, Stephen Merritt is allowed some slack. The rest is gorgeous, nearly a dictionary definition of indie pop. Most of the instrumentation is sparse, allowing the witty lyrics to come to the foreground. Many different styles appear here, with only the loose theme of "love" to tie them together. A lot of the songs deal with the messy end of love - making this set perfect for the heartbroken as well as the head-over-heels couples.

5-0 out of 5 stars weak tastes need not apply
Folks, this collection is the best thing I've heard in years. I predict that Mr. Merritt will be considered the Gershwin of our times. Take a shot on this band. Truly beautiful, poetic, and true sentiments for those of us who've ever really been in love.

4-0 out of 5 stars classic
maybe not merrit's best, but it's sprawling and it's beautiful and it's fun ... Read more

14. Finally We Are No One
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Asin: B000066HH0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1992
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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It's an enchanted world that Múm inhabit. Conceived in a remote Icelandic lighthouse, Finally We Are No One is an electronica album that conjures up hazy, half-remembered memories of childhood, both magical and eerie. The obvious comparisons are with Boards of Canada and Múm's compatriot, Björk. But as with their superb 2000 debut, Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK, Múm make a music that's far too original to be easily compartmentalized. So analog keyboards hum alongside muted digital glitches, and "proper" instruments--accordions, cellos, melodicas--flutter in and out of the mix. The overall effect is of a modern kind of folk music. It's gentle, almost-fey stuff, but the quartet (including twin sisters who appeared on the cover of Belle & Sebastian's Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant) never slips into anything like polite ambience. Instead, the 11 pieces are like extracts from a particularly vivid dream journal, especially when the Valtýsdóttir sisters sing in their peculiar gurgling, infantilized way in the epically unfurling lullaby, "The Land Between Solar Systems." This is an album that leaves you longing for shady childhood experiences you never knew you'd even had. --John Mulvey ... Read more

Reviews (48)

4-0 out of 5 stars lovely night-time record
I wasn't too sure about mum, but I thought I'd give it a go, thanks to the numerous comparisons with Boards of Canada, Minotaur shock and DNTEL. I wasn't dissapointed. I could tell you all how it evokes memories of childhood and all that, but I won't, even though it's the only record in my whole collection that has actually done that. If you're looking for a late night or very early in the morning album, full of melancholic and reflective songs then this would be a perfect buy. I will say, if you're not used to singing with your electronic music this album may be a bit shocking, I certainly didn't warm to it right away, but after a couple of listens I managed to get the feeling that I was listening to St Etienne out of my mind and began to really enjoy the vocals too.

and it's about a million times better than all those 'chill out' albums too.

5-0 out of 5 stars the land between solar systems
The closing track on this astounding effort sums up the feeling of the album accurately as the listener is taken to "the land between solar systems" before being brought crashing through the clouds to the solid sufrace of the Earth.

Dreamy, atmospheric, surreal, enchanting. These are all words you're likely to hear describing the sophmore album from this Icelandic quartet. Yet, none of them will do justice in describing the sheer beauty of this album.

If you liked the first single, "the ballad of the broken birdie records" from "Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK", you'll soon fall in love with the lush vocals on the lead song "green grass of tunnel" and "we have a map of piano", a hypotic melody that follows "green grass of tunnel" on the disc. Solid beats are provided by "don't be afraid, you have just got your eyes closed", "k half noise", "i can't feel my hand anymore, it's alright, sleep still", and "now there's that fear again", all of which are augmented by the dreamy soundscapes of "behind two hills,,,,a swimming pool", "finally we are no one", "faraway swimmingpool", and the stunning closer "the land between solar systems."

It's difficult to create a follow-up album to a solid first effort, but mum has outdone themselves by creating an album that fits together as a whole, instead of being seperate pieces glued together as it was on "Yesterday Was Dramatic."

If you have yet to hear the latest Icelandic export, do yourself a favour. Insert disc, lay back, relax, and enjoy.


3-0 out of 5 stars not bad, but no boards of canada
ok, so this cd is pretty good. but it doesn't hold a candle to anything by Boards of Canada. i actually found it quite boring. there are a couple good tracks. but this cd is not in my rotation. Music has the right to children is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Stunning
"Inexplicably beautiful" is the best I can do to describe the amazing sophomore release from Iceland's Mum. Scattered with simplistic melodies and enchanting vocals, Finally We Are No One grasps the listener from the first track and spins them through a completely different musical universe. Unlike anything I've ever heard, Mum perfectly blends synthesizers and pianos. It's amazing to see the amount of growth from their debut album (Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today Is OK). Highly recommended for anyone interested in beautiful, entrancing Icelandic music.

5-0 out of 5 stars he grabbed my thumb and led me away from the accident...
While expanding my IDM/electronic collection, I always overlooked Mum because I was never really big on Sigur Ros and the samples here on amazon didn't really do anything for me. When I had every Aphex, BoC, Four Tet, Autechre, Prefuse, Squarepusher (etc...) album, I hesitantly decided to pick up a copy of 'Finally We Are No One'.

When I got home and listened to it, I was blown away. There are few albums ("Music Has the Right..." for instance) that leave me speechless after just the first time hearing it and make me excited to uncover new aspects with each further listen. To start, the samples on this page do no justice to any song on the album. This CD is meant to put on with headphones to get the full effect and just relax and feel the music. The best way that I can explain the music on this album is what you'd get if Four Tet joined forces with Boards of Canada. It has both the dreamy, psychedelic feel of BoC, and the more down-to-earth traditional musical sounds of Four Tet. To me this is great, because with Four Tet's music I always liked the way it was going but it never quite got the job done for me.

Each song is unique and beautiful in it's own way. My favorite would have to be "Green Grass of Tunnel". This song has so many different aspects of beauty, not to mention if you close your eyes you can perfectly visualize every word. The music on this album is just unbeleivable... and combined with the soft, trippy lyrics make for an incredible listening experience.

I recommend this album to anyone who loves Boards of Canada, and especially to Four Tet fans. ... Read more

15. Alphabetical
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0001K634G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2098
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Alphabetical Order
What a great record this is! Music for people who love to groove, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes of a decimated popmusic scene. It's impossible to stay still whilst listening to this album, the songs are just too catchy!

Highlights: Everything Is Everything, Run Run Run, Holdin' On Together. But the whole album is lush!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great album from Phoenix
Phoenix is such a dynamic group and they have really suprised me with this new CD of theirs. It's so different from their last one but it absolutely carries the signature of this awesome band. Not many bands can do what Phoenix did and come out with a completely different "groove" on a CD and have it sound better than the first. Phoenix is definitely my favorite band now. My favorite songs on the album are "Love for Granted", "If it's not with you", and "Holdin' on Together". But, the whole album is really good and a totally fun CD to listen to, I highly suggest purchasing it if you are a fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb!
This is the revival of seventies brilliant popmusic, remembering Steely Dan, now in a modern french glance of crispy arrangments standing on a stable rockground with wonderful melodies. Goes 8 hours a day. Strongly recommended! ... Read more

16. This Island
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Asin: B0002X9NWQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1217
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17. Fingers Crossed
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B0001JXPDE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 21917
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Australia's Coolest Band Ever?
Looking throught the other reviews, I notice a lot of references to Belle and Sebastian as well as the twee genre. While the layered production of disperate instruments ranging from trumpet to thumb piano, and soft, harmonized vocals occassionally recall Scotland's finest (I'm really being geographically referential, aren't I?), the music on Fingers Crossed is undeniably its own beast.

Though the music is always honey sweet, Architecture in Helsinki shows a lot of range on this album. Taking the amazon listening samples as examples, "One Heavy February" starts the album on a synthy, new wave note, "Souveniers" is an example of the twee influence, although the dense instrumentation (per the jacket cover, 11 instruments are used) creates a more compelling texture, "Imaginary Ordinary" is a weird haltering song -- undoubtedly the sparcest on the album -- with electronica influences, "Scissor Paper Rock" sounds like a cheesy 70's song thrown together with a cheesy 80's song, and "To and Fro" sounds like The Sea and Cake with orchestral backing.

While the listening samples show the album's range, the real highlights occur later on with pretty songs like "Spring 2008," and groovier, alomst Stereolab-esque songs like "Kindling" and "Where You've Been Hiding."

I personally think this album is awesome, but I give it only four stars, because it is a little schizophrenic. Regardless, I think it would be a great purchase for anyone whose musical interests aren't completely straightforward, so if you're not put off by track one, I think this is probably for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure, in deeper ways than you think
The first time I listened to this was also the moment I picked up Lolita for the first time - a fabulously entertaining read, by the way. This was pure coincidence, but they complemented each other in subject matter. Descriptions of innocent young Lolita fit the first few listens, as both rang with cuteness and cheap appeal, but as I became aware of the evil in Humbert Humbert's desire I became aware that this album was just too cute to be. Here I realized this album's dark heart, the horrible transience of the experience it personified (innocence) and, consequently, the inherently foreboding nature of every broken falsetto, every childish bell. By the time this record became devastating, Humbert Humbert was an emotional wreck. Architecture in Helsinki are pop geniuses and more, delivering syrupy intellectual fulfillment.

4-0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Twee
Finding a happy (perhaps even giddy) medium between baroque and electronic pop, Architecture in Helsinki's debut fuses the multi-instrumentalism and twee mentality of bands like Belle & Sebastian with soothing, trance-inducing analog synths. Admittedly, the album has a questionable start. While the group's female vocalist is very smooth, the childlike, male vocals can be a bit cloying at first. This problem mainly persists throughout the first six tracks which, on the whole, are pleasant, if unimpressive and occasionally too cute. However, 'The Owls Go', the album's seventh track and creative centerpiece, plays out like the opening of some creative floodgate. Blending the group's style with a tighter focus and a handful of sound collages, 'The Owls Go' propels the album into a second half that is nothing short of classic. Toning down the twee-ness of the vocals and constructing songs around tighter melodies, tracks like 'Fumble', 'Kindling', and the album's glorious climax, 'City Calm Down', indicate that Architecture in Helsinki are a promising fresh face in a genre often faulted for its tendency to mine past trends for ideas.

4-0 out of 5 stars out of left field
This is a record I have listened to again and again. The name alone makes me want to hate it. But it seems to work perfectly at the end of the day. This is their first record. They come off as a Belle and Sebastian type group from Melbourne. They have been honing their unique sound for four years. They are like a school band with an assortment of instruments. They like to combine electronic sounds with great vocals and organic instruments and everyday noise, in songs like "Imaginary Ordinary." The song "Scissor Paper Rock" is more like the Swedish band Cinnamon. "Like A Call" is reminiscent of early Paul McCartney solo, post-Beatles, pre-Wings. This is a great musical band that seems to come out of nowhere every few years. Maybe this is the next Sigur Ros?

5-0 out of 5 stars Cuteness overload
This is definitely one of the best surprises of 2004, as well as one of the best albums of 2004. The music is overwhelming cute, but sonically sparse. The group uses plenty of different noises, but rarely layers many sounds at once. The music is not so much a wall as it is a series of sounds, vocals, and melodies patiently waiting their turns to meet you. The individual sounds include picked guitar, bells, horns, synths, spare drum programming, and breathy vocals. The male vocals sound a bit forced and goofy, but the female vocals are intoxicating. Awesomely cute female vocals are certainly not new to any fans of Enon, Deerhoof, or any other band with a female singer who has no feminist agenda, but these people know that you can never have enough cute female vocals. Add to the vocals the novel musical backing, and you've got a winner.

The chorus to "Fumble" sounds familiar. Was it used in a commercial? ... Read more

18. We Will Become Silhouettes
list price: $3.98
our price: $3.98
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Asin: B00079Z9V4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7781
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for Postal Service fans!
I didn't think I was missing much until I got this single, its as or more addictive than the album.Worth every penny just for "Be Still My Heart" and the remixes give the other tracks an incredibly fresh sound and feel.If you love Postal Service you will LOVE this single! Cheers.

3-0 out of 5 stars geez, theyre still putting out singles from that album?
chances are, if youre looking into this, then youve already heard the postal service and have heard the full album, including "we will become."

"be still my heart" is interesting; its a new track that happily bounces and jostles along. its good, but one cant help but think that its not quite as solid as other tracks on "give up". catchy? yes. anything to get excited over? not really.

the styrofoam "nothing better" remix is the highlight of this single. the style doesnt stray very far from the traditional production style of ol' jimmy tamb., but it just sounds so good that its welcome. though its not as bouncy as the original, the chillness factor warrants it at least a few listens. and for some reason it reminds me of "idioteque".

the "we will become..." matthews not scared remix is the obligatory remix that leaves you scratching your head. the production is minimal -- fuzzy ambient noises and a guitar strum that is repeated over and over. interesting, but it left me wondering when the loops would vary or when another element would be introduced.

then the song ended.

so there it is. a song youve heard a million times, a bouncy new song, a good remix thatll allow you to "revisit" a great song, and an abstract remix that might be good to have just to prove that youre different than any other kid who heard the postal service a year after everyone else did (most likely by downloading the album).

4-0 out of 5 stars When our bodies finally go
A band like the Postal Service produces singles easily -- their trip-hop is fresh, sweet and wistful, as well as being wickedly catchy. And Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) and Jimmy Tamborell (Dntel) were in top form in the wistful, lyrically weird "We Will Become Silhouettes."

A flowing, strange story-song, "We Will Become Silhouettes" tells what happens when for some reason, the air causes cells to "Divide at an alarming rate until our shells/Simply cannot hold all our insides in,/And that's when we'll explode/(and it won't be a pretty sight)." Interpret that as you will, but the apocalyptic whimsy of it is irresistable.

A new song follows it: "Be Still My Heart," an enchanting little ballad with rapid percussion overlaid with organ and synth. "Nothing Better (Styrofoam Remix)" is a fair remix that is off in some parts (what is with that fizzing noise?) but retains the plaintiveness as the original. And finally there is the laid-back "We Will Become Silhouettes (Matthew Dear's Not Scared Mix)," which is stripped-down and fragile-sounding.

"We Will Become Silhouettes" is a bit of an oddball song, on an album full of songs about loneliness and lost love. Lyrically, it sounds like one of the Flaming Lips' more mainstream songs. Not that that's a bad thing -- it adds a sense of strangeness and fun to Postal Service's debut. It certainly reflects in the cover, with a rather startled-looking young man surrounded by people who are fading away.

This single does a good job of also showing off the kinds of music that Postal Service can do -- the title song is poppy and smooth, while the second is sort of synthy-drummy. What is even better, the remixes are good. Most remixes cloud over what made the song good in the first place, but Postal Service's are well-done.

"We Will Become Silhouettes" is a solid single, especially with the well-done remixes and extra song. It'll probably leave you humming, "And we'll become silhouettes when our bodies finally go..." ... Read more

19. I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
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Asin: B00005QXXO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4543
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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By now, everyone knows how adventurous Radiohead are, which makes this live record--a hairy rock-band cliché--seem like a strange capper to their decidedly cliché-rejecting records. But throughout the hubbub surrounding Kid A, and its Amnesiac companion piece, Radiohead never embraced the notion that they're reinventing anything. Even while a tempest of critics hailed the band as saviors, pulling rock from the jaws of consumerist self-destruction, the band ignored it all, going into stadiums and working out their twisted angst through angry, direct means."National Anthem"'s fuzzed-out riff rages aggressively behind Thom Yorke's crazed, breath-scat vocal, giving the song a rollicking edge that was nowhere on Kid A. The same effect is heard on "Idioteque," as Yorke, getting backup vocal help from the crowd, sings over an acoustic beat, removing the distant, electronic touch of the studio version. "True Love Waits" aptly ends the record with Yorke and a solo acoustic guitar, which finds just the right touch on a song that Radiohead have played with for years (long-term fans should note the first ever appearance on record of the track). In the end, Radiohead don't really stray too far from the original templates of these songs, they merely play up the highs and milk the lows, just like any good rock band should. -- Matthew Cooke ... Read more

Reviews (133)

5-0 out of 5 stars Or They Might Be Right
An extraordinary live compilation, and as such, one of the best live records you'll hear this year. In this format, the music takes center stage; the songs are good enough to avoid any 'experimental' label the critics might try to bestow on it.

Standout tracks: Morning Bell, Idioteque, and Everything In Its Right Place morphing into Dollars and Cents. Any other band would kill to have a back catalogue like this. What's more amazing is that all the songs (save the atmospheric True Love Waits) come from just two albums: Kid A and Amnesiac. The casual fan might be disappointed that there's no 'Creep,' the rock fan might bemoan the total lack of Bends material, and the critic might complain about OK Computer's absence, but if you've liked any of their albums, this one belongs on your CD rack.

Even better, with only 8 songs, this is no 70's type double live album. It's just rock music that rocks you, and then leaves the building. Just like its supposed to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Album but missing some good songs.
I just purchased the new Radiohead live album, and let me tell you what this album kicks ass! There are only a few groups that I would even consider buying live albums from, Rush and Radiohead are probably the only two. I did not even know this album was coming out, I just happened to see it listed on Amazon. The track listings are as follows:

The National Anthem
I might be wrong
Morning bell
Like spinning plates
Everything in its right place
Dollars and cents
True love waits

The majority of the album is from Kid A and Amnesiac. My favorites included: The National Anthem, Morning Bell, Idioteque, Everything in its right place and True love waits. The majority of my favorite songs are off Kid A. I especially like True love waits; I have never heard that song until I bought this album, the acoustical song is a great ending to the album. The only drawback that I can see from this album is that they don't put anything on from before Kid A. There are a TON of good songs from OK Computer and The Bends that they could have added to this album but did not. A single Live album does not do this group justice a double album would have been awesome! But all in all this was the best ($$$)I ever spent, do yourself a favor and go get this album!

5-0 out of 5 stars Let Me Be The First To Say...
Let me be the first to say that this album is a "must own" for any Radiohead fan. I know some fans of their early music were confused or disappointed by the fussy studio electronica of Kid A and Amnesiac but live versions of these songs take on new dimensions and show how powerful and energetic they can be. If you've seen them live you're aware of how great their shows are. I Might Be Wrong captures their energy pretty well and lets you look at the songs in a new way. The one drawback is the disk is only 40 minutes long, that's 40 minutes too short for me!

5-0 out of 5 stars The best Radiohead album?
There are valid criticisms of this album: the abbreviated length, the fact that anyone with a high-speed internet connection can make up their own collection of live tunes. But the availability of complete live shows doesn't negate what this is: a superb little record that chooses quality over quantity, resulting in flawless music all the way through. That's the rarest of all accomplishments, for a live or studio album.

Radiohead open up on stage in ways they never do in the studio. They manage to convey a range of sound comparable to their albums' production effects, but without the calculated distance. The result is that each of the songs here seems a truer version of itself: noisier, more powerful and more genuine. Like Spinning Plates and Everything in Its Right Place, in particular, crackle with new emotion. And all the songs benefit from what's best about live work: they're energized by the fact that they balance constantly on edge of possible failure (though of course these were selected because they succeed).

Anyone who has only listened to Radiohead's albums will benefit from hearing how they flourish on stage; and anyone who already knows live Radiohead should cherish these outstanding mixes. In the company of only their fans, Radiohead finally aren't afraid to be a great band.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get This For "Spinning Plates" Alone
the songs are all executed well.
my brother enjoys this albums version of "i might be wrong" more than the AMNESIAC's version.

but, this version of "SPINNING PLATES" is the real reason to get this.
it's just brilliant.

i got this as an afterthought, but i'm really glad i have it. ... Read more

20. La Maison De Mon Reve
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Asin: B0001F7US4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7768
Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Tiny field mice singing gospel"
La Maison De Mon Rêve is essentially a tale of two sisters' dreams and fantasies: CocoRosie are Sierra and Bianca Casady, two Brooklyn siblings - the former a student of classical opera in Rome and Paris, the latter a wild child who started singing a cappella on street corners and bars - who rediscover one another in Paris, city of dreams. They hole themselves up in a small apartment in the 18me arrondissement in the spring of 2003 and eventually surface with this music box of sleepy-eyed, light-as-air melodies.

This is an album that compels you to make 'if' conjectures: if Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain had been an album, it would have sounded like this; if Björk ever picked up an acoustic guitar and lived in a van in Alaska like Jewel, this would have been the result.

The first song, Terrible Angels, sums up the mood perfectly as the ambient noises of the sisters' Paris flat and recorded barnyard animal noises add idiosyncrasy to the questioning, childlike vocal duet: "If every angel's terrible, then why do you welcome them?" The wistful, helium-pitched gospel stylings of By Your Side add a faded linoleum tinge, as Sierra warbles "I'd wear your black eyes, bake you apple pies...I just wanted to be your housewife", while listening to the unpolished, organic '70s style acoustic guitar melody of Good Friday is like eavesdropping on the two sisters as they tinker away quietly in their white-shuttered flat. The tinny sounds of Tahiti Rain Song evoke ethnic music heard through a scratchy, broken-down transistor radio while sitting in a thatched hut in a steamy jungle.

Their record company labels them "tiny field mice singing gospel" and, for once, the hype is spot on.

4-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Daunting Memoirs (4.5/5)
"I'll iron your clothes / I'll shine your shoes / I'll make your bed / And cook your food / I'll never cheat / I'll be the best girl you'd ever meet / And for a diamond ring / I'll do these kinds of things / I'll scrub your floors / Never be a bore / I'd tuck you in / I do not snore." - Sierra Casady

If you believe in the idea that big things come in small packages, La Maison de Mon Rêve is the type of album you'll want to hear. It comes in the form of a duo called Cocorosie. What makes the album immediately charming is the restrained humility that surrounds each of these songs. From the extremely gentle, yet very old-fashioned, vocals of Sierra Casady to the sparse organic sounds performed by her sister Bianca, La Maison de Mon Rêve is expressive art in its most basic form. Although it's blatantly obvious that the easiest reference here would be Devendra Banhart and his ghostly style, there are additional layers in Cocorosie's music that make it just as promising as anything Mr. Banhart has currently completed. This is primarily due to the fact that there are more instruments and textures in Cocorosie's work.

One of the most influential things about Cocorosie is the fact that they've actually (re)invented a genre consisting of folk, hip-hop, and blues that has never been pursued prior to today. What that genre will be called remains to be seen, but I'd call this album a dense study in "delta folk-blues." Funny enough, because if you research back to the beginning of blues music, you'll find that there aren't too many (if any) female artists from the 30s, 40s, or 50s that played the same type of music as a Robert Johnson or Skip James. Fifty years later, however, Cocorosie actually possess these qualities that were missed by the female artists of those periods.

Not all of La Maison de Mon Rêve is folk and blues based. In fact, on songs like "By Your Side," "Not For Sale," and "Hatian Love Songs," there are tiny hip-hop beats that give the album yet another unlikely dimension. The single greatest element of this album is the vocals given up by Sierra. Her vocals and songwriting abilities are passive, yet entirely effective ("Jesus Loves Me" and "By Your Side"). These are the types of songs I've never heard before; at least in this context. The lyrics themselves are worth their weight in gold; but the entire album is a forward-thinking piece of music.

Only on rare occasions do artists come along and create something completely detached from the rest of the field. They immediately become a trendsetter, and inadvertently inspire many other artists to attempt the same sound. This Parisian duo is one of those artists. I can almost guarantee you haven't heard anything like it in the past, but we'll probably see a lot of imitators in the future. I get extremely excited when things like this come along and remind me that big things do come in small packages. And for the time being, La Maison de Mon Rêve remains the most original sounding album I've heard this year.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bewitching, Baffling and Beautiful
When I was younger and hadn't heard as much music I used to quite often get this feeling of wonderful confusion and a kind of dizziness when I heard NEW music. I used to think "what is this? I've never heard anything like this before but I think I like it". That feeling has become a rarer and rarer result from things I've heard over recent years but it happened with this album.
There are gospel influences here but in a similar way to it has touched Daniel Johnston's music. The lyrics are almost as beautiful and bewidering as the twinkling, rattling, beeping and buzzing music. Highlights include By Your Side, Tahiti Rain Song and West Side. The is a trully odd delightful thing of rare beauty and something to be both championed and cherished.

4-0 out of 5 stars Glitchy, Inspired, Beutiful
Well, I too had the pleasant surprise of catching CocoRosie at a tiny Florida gig with TV on the Radio this spring, and I admit up front I didn't know a thing about the sister duo. I put in a bit of work, and downloaded a promotional track and read a brief background. A pair of sisters, having been separated for years, reunites in a quite Paris flat to record and reconcile. Well, this story of each maturing vocally along separate paths was very evident. As the two quietly got on stage and got seated on stool, the scant crowd began to settle in cross-legged around the meager stage, and the two encouraged it. As they began to play, Sierra - armed with an acoustic six string and sporting a seafaring hat in her best Captain Stubing imitation - opened up with a startling opratic aria like vocal display that caused me to sit up and take notice. Sierra joined in with her sisters mournful guitar plucking, first glitching off sound bytes from some children's recording and playback toy in tempered staccato fashion, then lendeing her unique voice to the mix. Taking the vocal lead in most songs, I think a lot of people were thrown a bit by her voice. Nasal and almost childlike at times, my girlfriend asked me later if I had found it annoying. "Heck no" I answered, and proceeded to play my collection of Billie Holiday cd's for her when we got home.

The above formula seems to best sum up their style and the style present on La Maison De Mon Reve. Most songs featured Sierra making a commotion with various found noismakers while caterwauling mournfully, backed by the stunning voice of her sister and her willowy acoustic pluckings. For an example of the glitchy found-sound rythem section Sierra creates, I might cite the end of track 10, "Madonna". One my favorites is "By Your Side", with lyrics that conjure up Lady Day not only in tone but in substance, I recall them recreating this number on stage with some recorders of some sort managing the volume and effect by simply moving it around and closer and then back from the mic. Stripped down but complicated; eclectic but somehow steeped in tradition, this album is certainly worth taking a chance on to see if you too are surprised, and thus rates a generous 4 star rating.

5-0 out of 5 stars Carol Channing meets scary grandma voice
I saw Cocorosie open for TV on the Radio. It was a unique night of vocals. Vocals that rarely see the light of day (or night) in indie rock clubs.
Minimal percussion (minimal instrumentation in general) which gives the record a nice blues feel. ... Read more

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