Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Legendary Pink Dots|
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Second best dots album
A. Temple | Ann Arbor, MI | 01/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second most interesting LPD album I've heard. It's more experimental than most of the Dots' material, and its experimentations are more interesting than most of the other Dots stuff that *is* experimental. The only album of theirs that surpasses this is the mind-blowing _Island of Jewels_, released one year later. At any rate, the first half of this CD (originally a double LP) is fantastic. Most of the second half is not so good, but the first half (and the good stuff from the second half) is so great that it doesn't matter. The album starts out with "Echo Police", a fairly ordinary song, rather stereotypical of mid-80s Dots (that is, gothic-tinged synthpop with wonderfully cheesy drum machines). However, its ordinariness helps set the stage marvelously for the rest of Side 1, a suite of pieces that are clearly influenced by 20th-century classical music. "Gorgon Zola's Baby" is a spoken-word piece set over a highly-rhythmic, not very tonal backdrop which is interspersed with fragmentary quotes from Bach choral music. It is followed by "Fifteen Flies in the Marmalade", a bizarre dance of sorts, featuring an accordion playing speeded-up waltz rhythms and such lyrics as "will you dance with me, my little pickled herring?" Then comes "Femme Mirage", the most "classical"-sounding track on the CD, consisting somewhat 12-tone-sounding female vocals and violin lines over an ambient electronic backdrop. (But no, this is not "ambient music", don't worry! :) This leads into "The Hill", a cracked, rather out-of-tune, sound-effects-filled and incredibly catchy "pop" song about a kid who shoots up his school. Side 2 starts with "Demonism" and "Prisoner", which are basically one song, starting with vaguely Bartokian violin part, consisting mostly of Ka-Spel's increasing anguished vocals over a rhythm-oriented electronic accompaniment, and ending with something like an airplane crash. The first LP culminates here with the haunting "So Gallantly Screaming", which begins with a full two minutes of slow, atonal music for string orchestra, but which, over the course of its 11 minutes, draws in influences from early electronic music (the same sound effects that Black Swan Network would base their career on a decade later, only used more interestingly here), poetry recitation, traditional Chinese music, and the weird sounds you can get from the higher-numbered settings on a cheap Casio keyboard. And thus ends one of the great records of the 80s. Then there's LP 2. Unfortunately. As far as I'm concerned, this has three really good things on it: the _Tower_-esque "Golden Dawn", which is the best of the three or four traditional "songs" on the whole CD, Edward's exaggerated pronounciation of the line "I am the way and the truth and the light" on the track of the same title, and, most importantly, the wonderful, spooky, very slow-moving 8-minute album-closer "This Could Be The End". The latter has only a few lines of lyrics, and most of the sung parts consist of repetitions of the lines "Your pain is for you alone as it is, as it was, as it will be" over and over again, in skin-crawling parallel fourths, to create an effect that reminds me a little bit of a much darker version of The Incredible String Band's "A Very Cellular Song." The rest of the second LP is not bad, really (except for the overly "nice" "Agape"), but it's not all that memorable, and certainly not an equal to the first one. So buy! Buy while you may! (It may not be very long...)"
Asylum - The Pink Dots' ultimate masterpiece
email@example.com | Portland, Oregon | 02/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Asylum" is the ultimate LPD recording. Written and recorded with primitive instruments and shoddy production equipment while the band was destitute and hungry, this massive piece of electronic-rock experimentalism is one of the darkest and most haunting albums of its decade. Graced with beautiful [non-electronic] violin playing, melodic keyboard composition, extremely emotional vocals, and quirky, atmospheric sample arrangements, "Asylum" is truly an odyssey of sound experimentation. "So Gallantly Screaming" is simply one-of-a-kind--an eight minute barrage of dissonant string progressions, spoken-word vocals, ambient keyboard arrangments and massive doses of both brutal and pretty samples twirling from left to right. Other tracks, such as the epic "I'm the way..." take on a more melodic-rock approach, and the haunting tracks "A message from our sponsor" and "This could be the end" use deep ambient pads as a backdrop to utterly spine-chilling vocals about life, death and the human condition. In a word: Brilliant."