Fantastic Sinister Pop Album
Robert Moore | 04/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What Luke Haines and the Auteurs acomplished here was an erudite, melodic, largely acoustic set of songs that perfectly capsulated the early brit pop scene in a way to which only the Auteurs could. This album is fairly perfect and is a wonderful treasure of simple, yet wonderful songs."
An awesome album I'm embarrassed to confess I've only now di
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 03/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am simply flabbergasted that there are only four previous reviews of this incredible album. I'm just as amazed that anyone could give this less than the highest rating. This truly is one of the best albums I've heard in a long time. Since listening it to it for the first time I've probably played it from beginning to end at least 25 or 30 times, having a copy at home, a copy I burned to have at work for my workplace DVD player, and having it on my iPod. On more than one occasion I've listened to it at home on my home stereo, listened to it again on the EL to work, and then played it two or three times at work.
Even if you are an avid fan of music, there are always going to be some good ones that you miss. I've long been a serious fan of rock music, especially indie, alternative, and garage rock, but having a limited pocketbook, a myriad of other interests competing for time that would otherwise be spent listening to music, and never listening to the radio (except for NPR, not a great source of rock music) has meant that while by and large I'm knowledgeable about what's going on in the rock world, the occasional disc slips through that shouldn't have. I'm almost embarrassed-heck, I AM embarrassed-to admit that I've only recently learned about this album. How in name of Pete Townshend did I miss this one? This isn't merely a good album, it is a great one. To think that I've gone over a decade without having heard it is a tad humbling. It also makes me wonder what else I've missed.
What most gets me about having missed this album ere now is how stunningly good I found it even on a first listen. The Auteurs remind me of a lot of other bands like the Kinks, the Smiths, Suede, and even George Harrison. Several of the songs sound like they could almost have been written by Ray Davies, and it is difficult to imagine some of his songs were not in the back of Luke Haines's mind when he wrote them, especially a number like "Starstruck," which almost sounds like a Kinks cover.
Haines is clearly the reason to listen to this band. In addition to guitar duties, he both sings and writes all the songs. Even if the band as a whole wasn't so incredibly musical-each song is played to delicate perfection, though that isn't to say they can't rock when they need to-the songs are so strong that they could have produced a great album even for much lesser musicians. There really isn't a bad cut on the album and several stand out. My favorite cuts include the opening cut, the quirky "Show Girl," "Junk Shop Clothes," the aforementioned "Starstruck," "Housebreaker," and "Early Years." But picking favorites is kinda stupid, because truth is I like "Parking Cars" as much as any, coming across as a softer version of the Clash's "Career Opportunities," only melancholic, sad, and bored rather than angry and bitter.
As strong as the songs are, the playing and arrangements make the perfect. I just find the interplay between voice and guitar irresistible in the same way that I was blown away by the interplay between Morissey and Johnny Marr in the Smiths. Here the guitar plays beautifully off the singing, frequently offering its own counterpoint to the voice, producing a host of glittering moments.
I truly do like this album as much as any album as I've discovered in quite a while. I'm just a little shamefaced that I hadn't discovered it before now. But judging by the number of reviews here, maybe these guys were the superstars I'd assumed they were based on this album. Listening to this I would have guessed, "These guys were obviously huge but somehow I missed them." If so, that truly is a shame. This is big league material by an absolutely first rate band. Anyone else who doesn't know this album should get it immediately."
Anything with Lenny Bruce on the cover can't be bad
Robert Moore | 03/18/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Great pop record, not quite as refined as later Auteurs releases, but a good record nevertheless.Highly recommended if you already own the other two full length CDs."