Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Buildings & Grounds
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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W O W!
Stan | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh my...someone lent me a copy of the new Papas Fritas CD. I saw them live about 3 years ago and thought they were OK, so I popped it in. I listened to nothing less than a modern miracle of pop tuneage. This Massachusetts trio will make you smile, then lightly shake your rump, then make you cry sweet tears of joy. I don't normally resort to hyberbole, but "Buildings and Grounds" has simply floored me. The best way I can describe this album is as a collection of homages to various styles of pop music. It has a folky 60s number ("Girl"), a couple of loping country-rockers ("People Say" and the truly tear-jerking "Lost in a Dream") and one joyous song that sounds like a cross between Blur and the Partridge Family (the amazing "Questions"). But it mostly concentrates on the period between 1978 and 1983 and its myriad styles -- disco, glam, Britpop, electropop, punkpop. The brilliance is that PF does not resort to mere imitation, but instead performs in a contemplative, meditative style the kinds of songs that were never performed that way in their original form. For example, "Way You Walk" is an absolutely perfect combination of Yo La Tengo, ABBA and the Human League, down to the wonderful boy/girl vocal swaps between Tony Goddess and Shivika Asthana. This is pop music of the highest order, and I could really go on much longer about it. Suffice it to say that if you're a pop music fan, you will be floored by this album."
My new favorite group!
Brian Misso | San Francisco | 03/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Papas Fritas CD I've heard or owned, and I must say that I'm kicking myself for not purchasing "Helioself" more than two years ago when I had it clutched in my hands at Tower Records but opted instead to buy something that I'd actually heard before (I think it was John Mellencamp's Greatest Hits, but that's beside the point). This is just my kind of music: loose, casual and really catchy pop with alternating male and female vocals and lyrics that are actually worth listening to. I haven't come across a band that excited me this much since I discovered Belle & Sebastian back in '97. In fact, before I had a chance to listen to the whole CD, I'd already logged on to this site to order their previous two CDs. My favorite track--at least for now--is "The Way You Walk," which has the retro feel and propulsive beat of "Walking on the Sun" or Edwyn Collins' "A Girl Like You," but the male/female dialogue reminds me of a less-kitschy "Don't You Want Me" by Human League. "People Say" is a soft-spoken, wistful ditty full of heartfelt longing and irresistible hooks. It reminds me a little of the Roches and a lot of Barbara Manning's "San Diego Zoo" on the 6ths' "Wasps' Nests" CD (one of my all-time favorite songs). "Far From an Answer" and "I Believe in Fate" are hypnotic, very subdued tracks that recall Steely Dan: pseudo-jazzy arrangements and an underlying moodiness that creeps under your skin. Meanwhile, there are totally danceable early-80s throwbacks like "Vertical Lives" and "What Am I Supposed to Do," which have the wacky frivolity of the B-52s or something off the "Valley Girl" soundtrack. There are such a wide range of styles at play here, mainly within the pop-rock genre, that I'd think this music could be universally adored. But I guess that the Papas try hard enough to stay away from generic, formulaic radio pop that their appeal has been limited. I'm just sorry that I went so long before stumbling upon this great musical find."
Just fun music with great singing
Larry Diamond | Austin, TX USA | 05/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard the Papas Fritas review on NPR a few weeks ago and went woah. The female vocalist sounded great and so did the band. So after listening to audio clips I bought the CD and am very happy I did so.There is absoultly no need to compare this band to Fleetwood Mac or any other band. Its actually quite insulting and pointless, as this band does a great job on mixing up the tunes and the tempo of the songs on this CD. The basic pattern is a song with a male lead vocalist then a female lead. On some songs they are both present most notably The Way you Walk which has a nice organ driven pop beat. Shaniva is incredible on People Say and Far from an Answer. The best female vocalist I have heard since Corrine Dewery of Swing out Sister (and you all know how wonderful Corrine is if you have heard any SOS).The CD also has a fun driving tune What Am I Supposed to Do? I love turning this up loud. Also Beside You and Another Day are very good. This is a recording you will play and play. Its hard to get tired of it because the songs are so well done.And of course Papas Fritas will become huge in Eurpoe and Japan because we have a bunch of teen age morons in the US that will be 6 feet under before they can even grasp the concept of music rather then pop media driven god awful noise that sells albums here. But no need for you to join that group, get this CD."