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Black Forest (tra la la)

Pale Young GentlemenAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2008 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2008 --  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Coal/Ivory 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I Wasn't Worried 3:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Marvelous Design 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Goldenface, Morninglight 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Crook of My Good Arm 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Kettle Drum (I Left a Note) 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Shadows/Doorways0:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Our History 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Wedding Guest 3:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. We Will Meet 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. There Is a Place? 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. She's All Mine, I Think 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 7, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Science of Sound
  • ASIN: B001F963EM
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,447 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Perhaps one of the best Britrock records of 2008, a year which has seen releases from UK giants like Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Keane and Travis, comes to us special delivery from Madison, Wisconsin and the band Pale Young Gentlemen. Why give such a geographically-confusing label to the four pale young gentlemen and three pale young ladies who crafted these 12 lush tunes? The answer lies in the group s union of endearing, melancholy melodies and gentle, pastoral soundscapes; in their sound, Pale Young Gentlemen capture the feelings that Great Britain s overcast skies and bucolic countryside tend to evoke with more clarity and certainty than any band in recent memory. Black Forest (Tra La La) is an album that is modest in its aims, yet nearly cinematic in its execution; the band never shoots for the atmospheric hooks or spectacular crescendos produced by their contemporaries. The album is, however, gently stirring and thoroughly stunning. While each song is simple in structure and approached with a certain degree of minimalism, the group understands how to adorn their work with an unpretentious beauty. Pale Young Gentlemen give you a sense of where they re headed musically from track one, Coal/Ivory. The tune commences with active, rootsy guitars, fluid strings and a pulsing drum beat. Vocalist Michael Reisenauer delivers a quirky and commanding vocal turn; at times, Reisenauer s baritone approaches a quality not unlike that of Coldplay leader Chris Martin. The band s tendency toward British stylings increase exponentially in the moments Reisenauer sounds most like Martin. Coal/Ivory introduces the skill and sensitivity of the three string players in the album s lineup; their playing makes the musical colors provided by violin, viola and cello a constant and often comforting presence. Whether tracks prove hearty and up-tempo or soft and sincere, the group s string arrangements are adapted to ensure the instruments prove a welcome addition to every track and never a distraction. The record progresses forward with two of its best songs coming back-to-back: I Wasn t Worried, relies on fingerpicked acoustic guitar and a softly pleading melody from Reisenauer, taking on the dreary feel and minimal form often embraced by Radiohead. Marvelous Design follows, revisiting and reviving the album s often cinematic outlook; with its interplay between rich piano chords and winding strings, the tune sounds like the accompaniment for a cold and blustery street scene, where a protagonist soldiers on, fighting both the wind and his own emotional distress. Throughout Black Forest , the band blends in a variety of influences; with its lively string passages, gently grooving guitar/bass and percussive stomp, Our History feels like a Decemberists track. We Will Meet, arguably the album s crowning achievement, sets a melody that s pure McCartney against a backdrop worthy of a stately Renaissance chamber concert, giving the track the sound of a modern-day madrigal. In fact, the band s predisposition toward structuring arrangements around acoustic guitar and strings, writing downy melodies and adding quirky accents often lends the songs on Black Forest a sort of timelessness that is refreshing in this time. That sense is most notably captured on Goldenface, Morninglight, a ballad which is shaped by its string figures and includes an wonderful, lilting mid-section which is reprised briefly at the song s coda. Progressive yet embracing the past, full of fit and flourish without ever sounding fanciful, Black Forest (Tra La La) is one of the most unique and glorious albums of the year. Pale Young Gentleman have truly captured what it means to be captivating and this record possesses the qualities nececssary to live long past the day in which it was recorded. -Aarik Danielsen, Pop Matters --Pop Matters

The sophomore slump does not apply to the Pale Young Gentlemen, with Black Forest (tra la la) - their follow-up to 2007's outstanding debut - hitting the shelves on October 7th. Their first album, a creative, kitschy collection of off-the-wall tracks with vintage sensibilities, accrued wide acclaim from critics and fans alike, and this second offering, Black Forest (tra la la), is equally as groundbreaking. Stepping back from the raucous fun of the first album, Black Forest (tra la la) embraces the dreamy qualities of perfectly harmonized cello, violin, and viola, while lending itself to plucked strings on the guitar, pensive vocals, and a sweeping progression from first track to last. The maturation and development of this band is obvious and unmistakable; the members of Pale Young Gentlemen clearly have a vision for themselves. The most striking sign of this growth is the departure from really good pop-rock to a new type of music that is magnificently orchestrated but still sounds contemporary, the prime example being Marvelous Design. I Wasn't Worried shows the most flashes of the first record, but the gorgeous harmonizing and sweet lyrics shows the band as a more refined, mellower version of themselves. Now signed to Madison's Science of Sound label, the band, whose grassroots-like promotion of their first album led to astoundingly successful results, has an even wider range of exposure to their uniquely original style and sound. The 50-second instrumental Shadows/Doorways sounds like a snippet of a classical overture, and somehow, it works perfectly. We Will Meet incorporates even more musically diverse aspects while keeping up the common thread of songs that flow and undulate into one another seamlessly. This track, perhaps the best on the entire album, also boasts great lyrics and a relaxed mood. Once again, the Pale Young Gentlemen has crafted a singularly noteworthy record unlike anything else. - Claire Schuster, Delusions of Adequacy --Delusions of Adequacy

Product Description

Pale Young Gentlemen, Black Forest (tra la la)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look Out Andrew Bird October 24, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I recently purchased this album on a whim and have quickly fallen in love with it. These PYG's have created a wonderful piece of string-heavy pop music. It is an experimental and creative poppy album that anyone will enjoy.
This is in my top 10 albums released this year for sure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album April 10, 2011
By Bjorn
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
This album has some fantastic tracks! I'm really surprised I hadn't heard of this band until recently, as they are practically local to me (MN). The music reminds me of a mix between Johnny Flynn and Andrew Bird. Highly recommended if you enjoy those two musicians.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Custimer February 21, 2011
By abilani
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was very impressed with the time in which I received my purchase and the quality of the used item.
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