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Cold & Bouncy


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Audio CD, January 27, 1998
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Music

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Biography

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

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: January 27, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 / Wasabi
  • ASIN: B000004BSB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,213 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Twisto Teck
2. The Sun Beats Down
3. Hiball Nova Scotia
4. Tilting Windmills
5. Glide Time
6. Bouncy Glimmer
7. Three Point Scrabble
8. Homespin Rerun
9. Painters Paint
10. Evergreen Vampo
11. Showstop Hip Hop
12. Over The River
13. End On Tick Tock
14. Didball
15. Jazzed Carpenter
16. Lobby Bears

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Amazon.com

Since the High Llamas first arrived on these shores with 1995's Gideon Gaye (the band actually dates back to 1990), the London-by-way-of-Ireland quintet has worked tirelessly toward crafting increasingly elaborate versions of the same album--an album that isn't even theirs to begin with. While single-minded devotion is commendable, head Llama Sean O'Hagen's obsession with realizing the pop ideal promised by Smile (the aborted "teenage symphony to God" attempted by the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks in the late '60s) now verges on a folly that's leading him to a hopeless (though admittedly blissful) oblivion.

Gideon Gaye presented a limited but highly successful attempt at an Irish-flavored Smile, while 1997's Hawaii offered a sprawling, blatantly derivative take on Wilson and Parks's mix of rustic Americana and orchestral pop. Now with Cold and Bouncy, O'Hagen incorporates Smile's banjos, harpsichords, organs, strings, and horn arrangements with a healthy dose of the electronic percolations he picked up from his work on last year's Stereolab album, Dots and Loops.

As the High Llamas get more ambitious, what they achieve is analogous to a computer enlargement of a sharp and colorful photograph: The boundaries stretch and the vision expands, but the material itself becomes increasingly flat and diffuse. Where pop elements are often handy in making more challenging music accessible, O'Hagen's attempt to expand pop's ambitions has yet to produce conclusive results.

Like past albums, Cold And Bouncy intersperses supermelodic vocal constructions between lush instrumentals for a series of pleasant but largely indistinguishable compositions. On a track like "Showstop Hip Hop," the computerized bleeps and blurps add a significant new texture which lends a wonderful sort of "dub pop" sound to the extended introduction. Once the song breaks into the verse, however, it surfs good vibrations all the way and washes out with the rest of the album. While the High Llamas search for the outer orbits of pop, it seems more and more like the group long ago exceeded the genre's limits and unknowingly floated off into space. --Roni Sarig

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I've never been able to decide on my favorite High Llamas recording, (Gideon Gaye is a bit dull, Hawaii is a bit long, Cold and Bouncy is slightly choppy, and Snowbug loses its appeal upon repeated listens) but on occasion I lean toward Cold and Bouncy. Pop tunes such as "The Sun Beats Down" (the single for this CD) and "Tilting Windmills" are quite pleasant and very addictive, in my opinion. One of the nice instrumentals of the album, "Over the River" is one of the album's ambient highlights, albeit a bit kitschy. As for the ambient music that the album conveys, a lot of it runs together and almost seems like filler. For this reason, upon glancing at the back cover of the CD, I'm not certain what track title corresponds to what little bit of mellifluous delight! And maybe these delights could use some lyrics. Perhaps leadman Sean O'Hagan writes his lyrics separately from the conception of the music itself. I may have that read that at some point. If such is the case, the fact that the music is encapsulated without lyrics suggests that a more complete concept could be fulfilling. And indeed the lyrics are often nonsensical. I suppose, though, that this gripe is somewhat trivial. Ultimately, I like Cold and Bouncy very much even though it reminds me a lot of the kinds of sounds that video games emanate (perhaps that's part of the charm). The melodies and mood of the album are great, and I recommend this album as one of the best of the High Llamas to date.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is , my friends, the most misunderstood, undervalued, misconstrued and downright underappreciated album of the 1990's. After winning widespread critical acclaim for their Gideon Gaye cd, the High Llamas saw their popularity sink a little after the release of this, their 4th, and most ambitious album to this point. Critics bemoaned the predominance of the "computerised bleeps and bloops" which frequent the recording seeing an attempt to update the band's previous reputation as blind Brian Wilson imitators. Nothing, in fact, could be further from the truth. Melodically, the music here represents Sean O'Hagan's finest work to date. Utterly tasteful, never overly clever, imbued with precision and attention to detail but still hauntingly soulful despite himself, O'Hagan proves himself to be a master of tradition and his own creative powers. Far from being a "computerised" or coldly digitally sequenced affair, Cold and Bouncy is remarkably warm and analog in sound and feeling. Listen carefully, and many of the sounds are being produced by old Vox or Farfisa organs, dusty moog monosynthesizers, wood panelled beat boxes from 30 years ago, ancient vibraphones and worn out Rhodes electric pianos. This is hardly the technology of the modern recording studio, simply an inventive and highly imaginative musician armed with some good delay boxes, an open mind and a modicum of talent. Add some beautiful string quartets, trademark horns and harmonies, and you have another step in the fascinating de-evolution of this, the most interesting avant garde pop outfit since..... well, The Beach Boys! (There, I said it damn you!). The electronic computerised effects are far from the sterile bells and whistles that adorn most modern Moby-ish electronica .Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Goldstein on January 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
but really, what is the point of rating anything. Everyone has different tastes, no one can tell another what they should and shouldn't like. This observation is particularly appropo with regard to what I consider one of the most incredible groups I've ever heard, the High LLamas.
This group is not popular. This album, one of my absolute favorites, a masterpiece, filled with the most beautiful and sublime pop music one could ever wish to hear, the single most evocative of summer album I have ever heard, is out of stock, and not because it keeps selling out. I used to be bitter that in America the Avalanches never became the sensation they deserved to be, or that musicians like this are marginalized and their albums out of print, but I'm passed that. I only write this review for the others who love this album, to show them that I'm out there. This music is certainly appreciated. Might I suggest we all convene at some point, High LLama lovers, like minded in our romanticism, love of beauty, exploring and probing sensibilities? This is the kind of album where if you told me you loved it, I'd trust you, and we'd be friends immediately.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I picked this up blindly, only on the recommendation of a stupid website. Boy was I dumb. NO! This is some well spent dough, especially if you're into the whole electronic ambient scene but still like "real" music. The first listen had me hooked, especially "Glide Time," which can give you the mild sensation of floating on air under the right circumstances. "Three Point Scrabble" is also a gem, as are the several other tracks that are layered so deep, then come apart into individual elements before your eyes. It's reminiscent of Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" score, with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys strumming along, then with Steely Dan wandering in on "Painter's Paint" just to keep you guessing as to what's coming next. Well, it's probably going to be Stereolab, as the influences of O'Hagen's recent collaborations with them are evident on many tracks. The entire disc is essentially one neverending track that really takes you for a ride. Buy it, I order you. It's good and I wouldn't lead you astray.
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