Facts of Life
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Top Customer Reviews
First single "The Facts of Life" has become a minor hit know in England and deservedly so. It is at the same time uplifting and depressing in equal proportions. Lyrically it deals with the pains of adolescense but its honesty and truthfulness is what makes it so special. "No one gets through life without being hurt" and "it's just the facts of life/there's no masterplan" are good examples of the material being dealt with. Musically the song is quite dark. The harmonies are quite lovely as they gradually build over top of each other towards the end.
Elsewhere Black Box Recorder hits the mark by constantly mixing clever lyrics with the darkly affecting tunes. "The Art of Driving" satirizes a sexual relationship using driving as a metaphor while "May Queen" deals with youthful romance. Other great tunes include "Sex Life" and "French Rock N'Roll."
Sarah Nixxey's vocals are a welcome breath of fresh air. While she has a traditional "girly" voice she is not nearly as abrassive as many singers. She sometimes uses her honeyed vocals to add a decieving feeling of comfort to otherwise bleak surroundings.
Black Box Recorder's second album is certainly one of the best of 2000. The closest comparaisons can be drawn to Pulp, but musically this is darker than "This is Hardcore." Lyrically speaking BBR's frontman Luke Haines is possibly even more brutally honest and observational than Pulp's Jarvis. Any group that can open a song with the line "they're digging up human remains in Notting Hill" and make the rest sound lovely is definitley worth investigating.
In this album, the band has matured a bit. Their storytelling can deliver a much appreciated sense of nostalgia for one's own teenage years - after all, who doesn't remember their boyfriend/girlfriend pushing the relationship one step further than you were ready to go, that almost too-cozy encounter with your highschool best friend or the introspective of a child trying to live as an adult.
Lead singer, Nixey's voice sounds almost like a submissive siren, as she faintly sings anthemns about teenage sexuality and desire. Haines and Moore push their music writing even further, keeping the low tones of instruments and mixing in small beats and rythmns that add a certain liveliness to their melodies. Some of the radio-worthy songs, "Art of Driving" and "Facts of Life", have a good combonation of indie rock/folk with a touch of pop, at the same time expelling the requirements of any particular genre. For those who appreciate rock/pop and alternative music, this will fit in easy to your music collection, though there is enough to interest electronica and folk fans alike.
Out of all the one hit wonders I'm subjected to each morning of my commute - its really nice to have a cd that one can appreciate all the way through.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Black Box Recorder expand their sound on "Facts of Life" sparingly using synths and syncopated beats. Read morePublished on May 29, 2013 by Unquiet American
...I describe it as the album Clinic would release once they have Cia Soro as their leadsinger. @ any rate, it is truly a magical album that improves on the sombre debut England... Read morePublished on May 25, 2002
Cover is diff. from the usual UK release but the songs are same.A must have for anyone.Published on March 24, 2002 by Behic Gencoglu
An enormous and delightful surprise. Who'da thought that Black Box Recorder would follow up their rather creepily impressive debut, "England Made Me" with a record this... Read morePublished on June 14, 2001 by jk64jk
[....] Black Box Recorder's "The Facts Of Life" is one of the best CD's I've picked up in years. Read morePublished on April 29, 2001 by Ron Jones
The spirit of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen delivered in the sweet Stepford Wife whisper of Sarah Nixey. This is poison so sweet you'll never know what hit you.Published on December 28, 2000 by Gary Lancaster
An endlessly refreshing piece of work here. Tired of bands like Radiohead? I recommend this blend of dark pop to stir up the boredom caused by most music that is incorrectly... Read morePublished on December 13, 2000 by Christopher Chaupin
England Made Me, Black Box Recorder's stellar debut, was the first and seemingly last word in English self-hatred and hypocrisy. Read morePublished on August 19, 2000 by WrtnWrd