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PSB die-hard fans should buy it, but keep expectations low
on September 17, 2012
As most of the other reviewers of this item, I am a "Very" long-time fan of the PSBs. They are without a doubt my all-time favorite group, without a close 2nd. I have every album they have made, and most singles (and B sides). After recently buying the "Winner" single (which I like "ok" but not crazy about), I found one of the B sides to be an amazingly fun, dancy, classic PSB track ("A Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi"). Wow, if that is a B-side, I couldn't wait to hear the album songs!
Well, the wait is over, and after giving it is couple of listens, the jury is still out. The first listen was borderline terrible, to be perfectly honest. However, as many of you know how it goes, the 2nd and 3rd listens started showing a couple of promising tracks. But continued listens have left the majority of the tracks in the "skip" category ... I will be giving the steering wheel radio controls and thumbs a workout with this album (yes, us "old school" listeners who still prefer CDs to MP3s, ha!).
Anyway, the good:
Track 1 - Leaving - a nice introductory track with a catchy but not overwhelming beat. The only part I didn't like was the sampled "dog / keyboard voice" section, which definitely has the 80s sound but not really in a good way (I do get a smile at that part since it reminds me of Ferris Bueller playing his sampled keyboard with throwup sounds, but now I'm really digressing and showing my age!).
Track 2 - Invisible - this is your classic slower / complex / introspective style PSB track. Very "Behavior" reminiscent; it would have fit right in, and wouldn't surprise me if they had an old shelved demo that they brushed off and polished for the album.
Track 3 - Winner - an acceptable track that I have listened to enough to "learn" to like it.
Track 5 - A Face Like That - another excellent track, classic PSB stuff!
Track 12 - Requium - this one reminds me of some of their better B-side tracks (has similarities to "Between Two Islands"). I can't say it is my favorite, but for some reason it is the one that is stuck in my head before going to sleep; a nice inventive addition to the album.
OK - so that makes 5 of 12 tracks that I like. Which leaves the remaining 7 tracks as what I will call "the bad". Some may continue to grow on me, but others will just remain work that should have been left to a future B-side collection (in particlar, I like the meaning behind "Ego Music" but listening to the repetitive "yes yes yes" lyrics is, well, painful).
In comparison to past albums, I realize that this pattern of only liking a few songs is my typical reaction, and it takes time to "digest" the remaining ones. I loved the last two albums, so I would would put this one on-par with "Release" or perhaps "Bilingual" as being towards the bottom of the list. But of course those albums had some real gems, and quite frankly I am happy to keep buying PSB products as long as that keeps them coming up with new material, even if some of it is "Hit or Miss".
In summary, if you are a "true" PSB fan, I would recommend buying this album, but go into it without expecting to like most of the songs. And if you are on a budget, I would highly encourage you to pick and choose and just buy the individual songs that you like. Thank you for reading!