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Beet Maize & Corn

High LlamasAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $15.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon's High Llamas Store


Image of album by High Llamas


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Although the High Llamas are nominally a group, they're pretty much the brainchild of singer and guitarist Sean O'Hagan. O'Hagan did some time in the London-by-way-of-Dublin band Microdisney, in which he was the songwriting partner of Cathal Coughlan. After Microdisney split in 1988 (Coughlan forming Fatima Mansions), O'Hagan released a couple of import-only solo albums before ... Read more in Amazon's High Llamas Store

Visit Amazon's High Llamas Store
for 27 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Beet Maize & Corn + Buzzle Bee + Talahomi Way
Price for all three: $49.75

Buy the selected items together
  • Buzzle Bee $17.88
  • Talahomi Way $16.01

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B0000CD5GZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,709 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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12. The Walworth River

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece. Thank you High Llamas. October 24, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I love everything this band does. I think O'Hagan is an incredibly gifted songwriter and few bands put out music that is more beautiful. Even Buzzle Bee, my introduction to the band, which I bought exclusively because I'm mesmorized by "The Passing Bell", which I still think is the LLamas' best song, has grown on me immenselly as langorous and perplexing as it is.
Nothing prepared me for this album though. It is one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard anywhere. The first few times you hear it, its so simple, brave and stunning that you don't really know what it is you're listening to. I didn't really get a feel for how well written, catchy and cohesive each song was until the third or fourth listen.
Despite the fact that the sound of this album is one that is simply never heard anymore in pop music, it is entirely familiar, like an older family member's hand me down sweater. It reminds me of Christmas and childhood. Its really a gorgeous album and every song is incredible once you've heard it enough to enjoy the intricacies.
A girl who heard it with me said it made her want to dance. I was puzzled at first, but ever since I imagine slow dancing to this album every time I listen to it. The kind of slow dance where her eyes are moist, the stars are out, the moon is full and its your wedding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The High Lllamas get warm and fuzzy October 11, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The big news for for Llamas fans is that, for the most part, this CD features very little electronic instrumentation. The sound harkens back to 'Hawaii', with beautiful string and horn arrangements carrying most of the melodic load. The obvious result of this switch is a CD that is much warmer sounding than the somewhat disappointing 'Buzzle Bee' CD, where it was becoming apparent that O'Hagan & Co. had reached a creative dead-end. So, even though some of Beet Maize & Corn sounds like recycled ideas from 'Hawaii', there's a freshness here that the distance of time has created. Their tendency towards excessive repetition has been kept in check, and the songs are just as long as they need to be; the listener's patience is never tested. I guess I never will understand the cryptic lyrics of the High Llamas songs, but words never seem to be what this group is all about anyway. The human voice becomes just another dimension in the overall sound, and what a lush and beautiful sound it is on Beet, Maize, & Corn. One song flows seemlessly into the next weaving an intricate and radiant tapestry of music that can only be appreciated by attentive listening. The memorable meoldies make this is a CD that is easy to love. Sure, it's music for the mind, but your heart may just find a place for it too. Yeah, its good- real good.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, What have I been listening to? December 26, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I first heard about the Llamas in a reference made by a music critic reviewing the Beatles Let It Be...Naked album. He suggested saving your money on that, and picking this up instead. I guess there is a little bit of Sgt. Pepper/Revolver going on here, but Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach are the men they really channel.
If you want to know where to jump in with this group, this album is evidently an acceptable place, even though it's their most recent. The mood varies from warm and sunny to dimly-lit room late at night stuff. I love every track, but especially the closing song, The Walworth River. The lyrics are beautiful, but almost completely inscrutable (they do hommage Van Dyke Parks after all).
Having said all this, here's a warning: I've played it a few times for different people I care about, and so far I've gotten so-so feedback. This is a great album IMHO in a 'Pet Sounds' or 'Smile' kind of way, but maybe it's not for everyone's ear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grow Old Gracefully Amongst the Beet Maize and Corn December 15, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Now that the 90s are over, a generation of supposedly lost souls must look elsewhere for the music to soothe their supposedly savage breast. If ever there was an age in which soft emotions were expressed with raw sounds, it was the 90s - but the decade that opened with grunge and the hip-hop boom quickly gave way to a diversity of approaches, from indie-rock to the nu-bubblegum, boy-band thing to the retro sounds of...well, just about everybody. #1 on the retro hit parade was High Llamas, who delivered a shocking approximate of the Beach Boys' "Smile" filtered through early-70s technology and therefore twisted up with the savvy-smooth Steely Dan era. With each album, High Llamas widened their scope, adding Bacharach-love, Latin and world-beats and electronic sounds to the mix. When last heard from on 2000s "Buzzle Bee," their approach was being perceived as a dead-end in some circles. Good news, then, that "Beet, Maize and Corn" is a fresh take on High Llamas of the past. Some of Sean O'Hagan's best melodies are here, framed spaciously with arrangements stripped of the Lllamas former post-modern kitchen-sink catchall. However, repeated listens reveal more and more in the mix, making the experience of "Beet, Maize and Corn" more entertaining and somehow more emotional as well. It's a real departure on one level and a 'best-ever' entry on another. Best of all, it's a record by a middle-age band that acts its age, providing soothing sounds that distract and edify in their turn. "Beet, Maize and Corn" is adult-child music, a real treat in this day and age - or any other, really!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the sound of Spring
This record sounds like the sonic equivalent of those first days of Spring, when the weeks of freezing rain and clouds as grey and oppressive as brutalist architecture give way to... Read more
Published on February 23, 2007 by Lypo Suck
5.0 out of 5 stars God, this is rare stuff.
Sure, sure, if you give even a casual listen to the most popish elements of the High Llamas better known albums, Hawaii or Gideon Gaye (as most youngish American big-city... Read more
Published on January 21, 2005 by Jon-erick
5.0 out of 5 stars Deserves 6 stars!
I'll admit to having been a High Llamas junkie since the late '90's. But to hear a recording this superb from a band I consider among the best of the best is like watching the... Read more
Published on September 14, 2004 by J. Winer
5.0 out of 5 stars It just sounds better with each listen...
Folks, let's face it. Sean O'Hagan is every bit the musical "genius" that, say, Brian Wilson. Read more
Published on June 15, 2004 by Anthony Kibel
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a kind respite
This album is a strange experience. I listened to the tracks for the first time on a warn night with the last of the days light was coming in my window. Read more
Published on April 24, 2004 by simon moss
1.0 out of 5 stars best Llamas Album? Get real!
I do not know what you guys smoked, giving 5 stars to this album, but it must be strong... Honestly, this is the slowest, inspiration deprived of all High Llamas albums... Read more
Published on March 26, 2004 by Maserati86
5.0 out of 5 stars runner up for best of 2003
Buying a new High Llamas release is always accepting the fact that you will be taken on a musical journey; the creative road less travelled by other artists. Read more
Published on January 1, 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Corny
What a disappointment. The High Llamas used to be a killer band, with fantastically-crafted pop songs. Read more
Published on December 9, 2003 by D. Rutledge
5.0 out of 5 stars This has to be their best
The new High Llamas record Beet Maize & Corn really is something special. I have heard earlier works by this band and was never really too blown away, but this album is... Read more
Published on November 3, 2003 by doug
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best
Gorgeous, beautiful, harmonious, what else? Duke said there's only good music & bad music. This is great music. The usual echoes of Brian, Burt, John Simon, V.D.P., etc. Read more
Published on October 22, 2003 by Lane Steinberg
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