The British pop duo's hit debut album coupled with a 10track bonus CD featuring mixes of four of the hit singlesfrom it thus far: two apiece of 'Life In Mono' (BananaRepublic Dub & Propellerheads) and 'Silicone' (Les Rhyth... more »mesDigitales Mix & Mr Scruff Mix)« less
The British pop duo's hit debut album coupled with a 10track bonus CD featuring mixes of four of the hit singlesfrom it thus far: two apiece of 'Life In Mono' (BananaRepublic Dub & Propellerheads) and 'Silicone' (Les RhythmesDigitales Mix & Mr Scruff Mix)
More Coldly Sensual and Smoothly Retro Sounds and Memories
C. Michael Massey | St. Louis, Missouri | 06/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's pretty inevitable that people will compare Mono to Portishead (which I also love) and although I agree with the comparison, I think it would be difficult if not impossible to confuse the one with the other. Mono, unlike Portishead, is much more deeply rooted in pop music of the 1960s, which is incredibly evident in tracks like "Slimcea Girl," "The Outsideres," and "Silicone."The main track, "Life in Mono," is what initially turned me on to the group, having heard it during a trailer for the Hawke/Paltrow remake of *Great Expectations*. The movie was somewhat of a disappointment, not helped by the fact that they did NOT use "Life in Mono" in the film itself--only during the end credits. Pity, as the beautifully wistful, melancholy track would have suited the film perfectly.The track gets double play on the album, and it's a tie as to which one is better. The Alice Band Mix is a lot funkier, but perfectly retains the same melancholy, wistful feel of the first track, coming off as if it's the same memory in a different mind."Slimcea Girl" is another favorite, sounding like classic Burt Bacharach with a millenium-era edge. Other songs, like "The Outsiders," "Playboys," "Hello Cleveland," "Silicone," and "Penguin Freud" have more of a Portishead feel--blending '60s spy-theme-like music with contemporary electronic elements. "The Blind Man" takes the idea back a bit further and sounds like the updated theme of a '70s detective show.Keeping this from a 5-star rating are the two tracks, "Disney Town" and "High Life." The former's refrain is just plain annoying, as throughout the album, Siobhan De Mare's wistful vocals get just a little tiresome. Usually, they're made up for by the great music accompanying her (sometimes you just long for that cold, Beth Gibbons edge), but not so in these two tracks. The latter sounds like its from an anti-drug campaign. Enough said.Regardless, this is a great album and a beautiful one. If you're looking for those not-quite-tangible-memories, but aren't quite satisfied by your Portishead, definitely pick this one up."
Ambient techno has never been so catchy
high_life2 | Rockville, MD | 05/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard Mono when my roommate played Formica Blues a couple times last year. I wasn't hooked instantly, but it was pretty close. It's probably also worth mentioning that someone I know bought this album after hearing me play it *once*.The music never hits a fever pitch the way Björk or Portishead might, always wanting to be the perfect background music, but nonetheless you can detect an energy in the sound. This won't swirl your head the way Orbital will -- there's definitely an element of pop here -- but you can't help appreciating the quiet, perfect electronic backing the subdued but enchanting vocals.The first three tracks of this album are golden. "Life in Mono" is the one everyone knows, and "Silicone" has a very similar sound. My favorite, though, may be "Slimcea Girl". Something about the chorus won't let me go. That fever pitch I mentioned earlier -- maybe it's that.The rest of the album is merely okay. "High Life" has grown on me, and the alternate version of "Life in Mono" at the end of the album is excellent, but for the most part these aren't tunes that will stick in your mind or paralyze you with their beauty.The reason I give the album only three stars is that with the exceptions of the first three songs, I really have to be in the mood for this album to fully enjoy it. Fans who have only heard "Life of Mono" probably will be satisfied, but not overjoyed, with the album."
This is one for the collection...
Vicky | 12/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing their first single, "Life in Mono" from Great Expectaions, I fell in love with Mono. The erotic and exotic feel of the music and lyrics are mindblowing and mood altering. While smooth and mellow, it is also up-lifting and racey. Their are no words to accurately express the feelings their music arouse. By meshing all different forms and styles of music, Mono has created a truly unique style of their own. Absolutely phenomenal!"
I've been waiting 19 years for this
high_life2 | 11/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The music on this album is perfect! I have no complaints in the slightest. The moody, perfect mix of synthesizers and acoustic instruments shapes "Formica Blues" into the most unique album I've ever heard. The only thing I don't like about this album is its lack of popularity. But then again, we are the lucky ones, are we not?"