Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hopes & Fears
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Henry Cow goes...pop?
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 03/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well sort of. Technically the hard core of the Art Bears is only half of Henry Cow, and most of the songs are written by Fred Frith. But this album features Henry Cow's full instrumental palette, including Linday Cooper and Tim Hodgkinson's bassoons, oboes, saxes, recorders, and clarinets. The notorious Dagmar Krause does vocals, and she sings downright melodiously compared to Henry Cow's _In Praise of Learning_ (where she's pretty SCARY). As for the "pop" nomenclature, well... _Hopes & Fears_ is perhaps more like avant-rock songs but with a greater focus on vocals and melodies. Krause's vocal lines are unforgettable and sometimes very beautiful.The music on this album is extremely eclectic over its 13 tracks, and that is part of why this is my favorite Art Bears album. But with the full Henry Cow ensemble, there is also a lot more textural depth as well. Musically, the album is actually pretty unassuming until you really get down to listening closely, at which point its numerous marvels of progressive songcraft are revealed. There's a lot of great, diverse stuff here. "In Two Minds", the longest song on the album, has verses of dissonant, grim chord progressions on acoustic guitar with a surprising major key piano-based chorus that actually rocks pretty hard at the end, in a hobbling, dissonant RIO-groove sort of way. The piano and voice duet "Pirate Song" reminds me of Kate Bush. "Maze" begins with Cutler's pots & pans drumming alone, then develops into a winding, ponderous mix of winds and vocals, and ending with a chilling chromatic polyphony on violins and woodwinds and the final, stark line "lonely in love." Every other song is really cool too, from the grumbling noise of "The Tube" to Bartokian folky, dissonant instrumentals
"Terrain" and "Moeris Dancing" to the subtle, trotting syncopation on "Labyrinth" with Krause's jarring voice doubled by a slender, angular guitar line.I'm reviewing this by itself, but I have this disc as part of the Art Bears boxed set, _Art Box_. The originals' remastering is topnotch, and with all the cool stuff that comes in the box, that is definitely the way to go (Amazon sells _Art Box_, so take a look for it). If you like this Art Bears album in particular, you should check out News from Babel. The core lineup is very similar, but with more auxiliary musicians, and they do a similar kind of avant-art-pop, but Lindsay Cooper composes the music, so it's different and interesting. You can get both of their excellent albums, _Work Resumed on the Tower_ and _Letters Home_ on the ReR two-fer (Amazon sells that one too)."