Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Swing Out Sister|
Shapes & Patterns
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop
More swinging, instantly likable Burt Bacharach-style retro pop from the U.K. duo fronted by Corinne Drewery. Like a pre-Todd Terry, frown-free Everything But the Girl, SOS is at its sophisticated best on the Japanese No. ... more »
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More swinging, instantly likable Burt Bacharach-style retro pop from the U.K. duo fronted by Corinne Drewery. Like a pre-Todd Terry, frown-free Everything But the Girl, SOS is at its sophisticated best on the Japanese No. 1 "Somewhere in the World," a jazzy "Now You're Not Here," and the irresistible cover of "Stoned Soul Picnic." --Jeff Bateman
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A Rollercoaster of Dreams and Desire
J. Collins | 05/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The lyrical realm of Swing Out Sister is a place where perfect love exists, as does perfect heartbreak...and the very best of the group's recorded work reflects these opposing inspirations. From the brassy exuberance of their debut album through the sonic subtleties of "Shapes and Patterns," S.O.S. has given listeners a virtual roller coaster ride through emotional highs and lows. It's not a coincidence that this album's graphics depict a boardwalk and carnival rides; those images are both lyrically and aurally present in the recording itself.If it sounds like I'm spouting ephemera or high-flown language, consider the album itself. Song for song it is undeniably the perfect combination of SOS' favorite sentiments; optimism, romance, emotional thrillseeking, and conversely, loss, separation and melancholy. It is not an album you'd want to take as an example for your own thoughts and deeds, unless it mirrors what's already inside your head and heart.As someone who occasionally falls into that last category, I can say that this album is very dear to me. Many of the songs have come to represent times of my life, good or bad, when I turned to music for enjoyment or solace. At first I was impressed by the glossy sound and seamless production, but that's pretty much the standard for SOS to date.What was simply aural wallpaper slowly became a set of memorable, utterly tuneful songs that had to be turned UP, and appreciated to the fullest. "Somewhere In The World" heralds the Pop experience to come, clear and resonant like a bell. "Here And Now" slows the tempo a bit, and Corinne offers a seldom-heard vote of confidence for the Present. "We Could Make It Happen" was the dynamic first single from the album, an uptempo, Latin-inflected tune practically made for the dancefloor.The "Shapes and Patterns" theme that follows is a wonderful bit of '60s vocal nostalgia, an artful and airy (wordless) pastiche. The slightly bittersweet tone is later echoed by "Something Out of This World," "You Already Know," and "Now You're Not Here." The murky atmospherics of "Icy Cold as Winter" seem to signal that the sunny idealism of the carnival has come to a close, but then the dark tones are softened, and the song becomes a final ode to longing and wistful memories.My personal favorites include the revised version of "Better Make It Better," which is probably the most sing-able "self-help" song I've ever heard. I also recommend SOS' cover of the 5th Dimension chestnut, "Stoned Soul Picnic." It was a perfect choice for a 'revival', and makes plain the group's reverance for their vocal predecessors as well as their homage to classic Pop-Soul songwriters like Laura Nyro.The elements of '60s inspired optimism are overall a fitting complement to SOS' mastery of contemporary Popcraft. Whether you are the type of person to look back with fondness, or to look forward with hopes and dreams, this CD could well be the soundtrack to your experiences. It has been for me.-Mic"
Alain Brouillaud | Helsinki, FINLAND | 03/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A GREAT CD! After you listen to this wonderful montage of music you'll be asking yourself this question: what are the folks at Mercury Records thinking about? To me, Mercury not being able to market SOS is like Nike not being able to market Pete Sampras.From beginning to end "Shapes & Patterns" is filled with rythm, melody, harmony and a lot of soul. Cuts like "Somewhere In The World" and "We Can Make It Happen" are songs that could easily fill the void in today's "lite" format. "Now You're Not Here" was the biggest song in Japan, but never released as a single in the US. Songs like "Always" and "Stoned Soul Picnic" are filled with such spirit you'll find yourself singing and clapping along.Those of us who are SOS fans just can't get enough of them. If you really sit down and listen to this CD, you'll find yourself wanting to buy the rest of their collection - a very good investment indeed!"
Great SOS album
Alain Brouillaud | 12/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What an outstanding album. Every song has hit potential. This is one of the few albums I own (700+) that I can truly say that I enjoy every track. Definitely a soundtrack for the soul."