Colorful, robust, clever and chic
GUSTAVO PRADO RGUEZ | Mexico City | 03/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are like three different flavors int the Marc Almond's discography: when he is totally into dance, when gloomy and depressive, and at his best when is elegant, flamboyant and incredible sofisticated.
This is the case here. Tenement Symphony goes next to Enchanted, and in a different way with both Open all night and Strange Creatures -this two a little less intense in the arrangements, sort of more intimate-; in create an scenario so barroque that it has to be heard fully dress in satin and velvet. the music is full of orchestral sounds, even when rythmicall much of the tone is given by lyrics at the same time poetic, well constructed and profound at certain times and even funny every now and then.
In a way it would be as his own Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, or the 'three pennie opera': in this case, the kind of thing never represented but with the same kind of narrative structure, and full of charachters and moods, that let it be so teathricall
Always appeal me that Marc Almond is not -in fame- the incredible gigantic artist he is -in talent- because anyone who enjoys records like Mclaren's Paris, or even the own Marc's 'somethings gotten hold of heart' should go and reach this amazing cd, if you like complicated orchestrations, and at the same time quite contemporary, full of drama music, this is for you.
I have in my collection everything he is ever made, and maybe this is in my top ten Marc Almond's list."
Grit and Glitter - Marc Almond's finest hour.
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two of the most distinctive talents of the 80's teamed up to make one of 1991's most overlooked albums. "The Tenement Symphony" found Almond at his cabaret theatrical best, while Horn's heavily synthesized production offered operatic backdrop and the "grit and glitter" of the CD's subtitle. The inescapably danceable "Jacky" is the apex of this pairing; Almond sinks his teeth into the Jacques Brel lyric while Horn cranks up the disco like he did for Frankie Goes To Hollywood and ABC.
Parts of "Tenement Symphony" are a Soft Cell album in everything but name. Old cohort David Ball co-wrote three of the songs here and plays on two. Much of this album's strength is from the kind of Soft Cell vibe it gives off (especially Trevor Horn's production of the final half).
Even more in this album's favor is the way it still hangs together like an old fashioned LP. Had this been a 12-inch slab of vinyl, there would have been a definite A and B side to "The Tenement Symphony," with the conceptualized masterpiece of the title suite being the brilliant second side. Trevor Horn recruited his ex-Buggle Buddy Bruce Wooley to assist on keyboards (and co-write the terrific "What Is Love"), Art Of Noise's Anne Dudley orchestrated the songs and the whole thing holds together like a mini-opera, complete with bridge from Debussy. With the high-powered dance of the aforementioned "Jackie" and the optimistic, beautiful love song, "My Hand On My Heart" that ends it, it stands among Almond's best work. I may be one of the few to suggest it, but I believe "The Tenement Symphony" to be Marc Almond's best album."