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Fingers Crossed

Architecture in HelsinkiAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Price: $15.75 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, 2004 $15.75  

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Architecture in Helsinki have certainly come a long way since the late nineties, when Bird was a gangly kid in a New South Wales country town messing around with his buddies Jamie Mildren and Sam Perry. They moved to Melbourne and soon found likeminded musical souls in Kellie Sutherland and Gus Franklin. The five of them have continued on the Architecture in Helsinki rollercoaster to this ... Read more in Amazon's Architecture in Helsinki Store

Visit Amazon's Architecture in Helsinki Store
for 13 albums, 3 photos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Fingers Crossed + Places Like This + In Case We Die
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bar/None Records
  • ASIN: B0001JXPDE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,180 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. One Heavy February
2. Souvenirs
3. Imaginary Ordinary
4. Scissor Paper Rock
5. To And Fro
6. Spring 2008
7. The Owls Go
8. Fumble
9. Kindling
10. It's Almost A Trap
11. Like A Call
12. Where You've Been Hiding
13. City Calm Down
14. Vanishing

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One, two, twee May 14, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Architecture in Helsinki struck gold in their very first release.The Aussie octet sound remarkably polished here, with their mix of twee pop and nonsensical writing -- imagine a three-way between Fiery Furnaces, Arcade Fire and Belle & Sebastian. The result might sound something like the deceptively cute "Fingers Crossed."

The intro "One Heavy February" errs on the side of twee, with catchy synths and lots of handclaps. Then it switches into the twinkly guitar pop of "Souvenirs," which sounds sweetly innocent at first. But listen more carefully to what Kellie Sutherland sings. "I've got souvenirs/but yesterday can't mean too much/have we missed an opportunity?" she sings sadly. "For what once was gold/ and once was rich/now is poor."

That sound of poignant innocence permeates the entire album, over music so exuberant, warped and playful that it's enchanting. The general sound is that of guitar pop laid over thickly with keyboard, horns, and more handclaps. They also veer into childlike whimsy in songs like "Spring 2008," and a clarinet at the start of "Imaginary Ordinary."

But the songs slowly lose their more innocent vibe, sounding more and more melody. Even the catchy upbeat "Fumble" and childlike "Where You Been Hiding" sound melancholy. It's a bit like growing up -- life may still be beautiful, but you gradually lose your innocence and unbridled joy. By the end, we have Sutherland and Cameron Bird wistfully asking "where you been hiding?"

Writer/musician/vocalist Cameron Bird reportedly said that "Fingers Crossed" was the sound of a band figuring out what they wants to do. That explains why they have the musical naivete of a band just doing what they want to do, without imitation or preconceptions. So no matter how poignant, it's amazing music.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing... April 25, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I saw this band about a month ago at a local indie show. I had never heard of them before they played. While watching them set up, I figured I was in for a really interesting show because of the massive amount of instruments on stage. There are eight members in A.I.H., and they each play about ten different instruments. Their live show was amazing; one minute, one of the band members would be playing the guitar, and then two seconds later, he'd be on the other side of the stage, shaking a tamborine, singing, or playing the trumpet. Within hearing five seconds of their first song, I was in love with Architecture in Helsinki. Their music is amazing to listen to. I actually bought their cd in the middle of their set because I was afraid it would sell out! I was apprehensive to listen to them on cd because I didn't think anything could top their live performance, but believe me--the CD is just as great. Do yourself a favor and buy this cd, and if they come within five hours of your wherever you live, go watch them. You won't be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly solid July 27, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love the first Architecture in Helsinki album. Fingers Crossed is like a breath of fresh air. It is light: Meditative without being overly ponderous. Makes excellent use of negative space. The CD is always over too soon for me & I have listened to it 7 times since I received it in the mail yesterday. This nice little group of Australians have made my week. The tone palate for the album is very well blended, perfectly in fact. With many of the home done type releases which have come recently, these eclectic instrumental combinations are hit & miss, particularly in communal bands with a large number of members where the hi-fi, low-fi argument is more likely to come to a head. Not so here, every note sparkles & shimmers. The production glows & blushes like a sunrises. It's a subtly done & wonderful thing. Similarly, male & female voices seem to blend together neutrally in an inspiring way.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow July 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to this entire album a good five times in the first 24 hours that I owned it. As an avid Belle & Sebastian fan, I hate to say it, but this album is much better than B&S's newest (Catastrophe Waitress). I only say this because the two groups have a very similar sound, almost as if Isobelle Campbell is singing several of the tracks. For a 'debut' album, this thing is a masterpiece.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Australia's Coolest Band Ever? July 16, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Looking throught the other reviews, I notice a lot of references to Belle and Sebastian as well as the twee genre. While the layered production of disperate instruments ranging from trumpet to thumb piano, and soft, harmonized vocals occassionally recall Scotland's finest (I'm really being geographically referential, aren't I?), the music on Fingers Crossed is undeniably its own beast.
Though the music is always honey sweet, Architecture in Helsinki shows a lot of range on this album. Taking the amazon listening samples as examples, "One Heavy February" starts the album on a synthy, new wave note, "Souveniers" is an example of the twee influence, although the dense instrumentation (per the jacket cover, 11 instruments are used) creates a more compelling texture, "Imaginary Ordinary" is a weird haltering song -- undoubtedly the sparcest on the album -- with electronica influences, "Scissor Paper Rock" sounds like a cheesy 70's song thrown together with a cheesy 80's song, and "To and Fro" sounds like The Sea and Cake with orchestral backing.
While the listening samples show the album's range, the real highlights occur later on with pretty songs like "Spring 2008," and groovier, alomst Stereolab-esque songs like "Kindling" and "Where You've Been Hiding."
I personally think this album is awesome, but I give it only four stars, because it is a little schizophrenic. Regardless, I think it would be a great purchase for anyone whose musical interests aren't completely straightforward, so if you're not put off by track one, I think this is probably for you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice album.
I'd listened to this and could not find anywhere to purchase it reasonably. Though a bit high for what I'm comfortable with, the music made it all worth while.
Published 15 months ago by Auricom
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely enough to warrant further examination
Other then scoring the seldom creatively inspired music passage, the generically eclectic alternative unit seems content to wallow in it's derivative nature whilst heaping layer... Read more
Published on October 23, 2007 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD
If you like wacky indie rock groups, then this is the CD for you. I would advise seeing AiH in concert too which will enhance your CD listening experience in the future.
Published on January 3, 2007 by Matthew Brand
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and airy..
I'm reviewing this album as it comes to it's third loop at 3:50 in the morning. It was given to me by a friend several hours ago. Read more
Published on May 9, 2005 by B. Cowe
4.0 out of 5 stars Precious and precocious
It's like listening to a bunch of really gifted children making music...and that's a good thing. Sometimes the guy's voice reminds me of an innocent version of Billy Corgan circa... Read more
Published on January 9, 2005 by H. Lindsey
4.0 out of 5 stars out of left field
This is a record I have listened to again and again. The name alone makes me want to hate it. But it seems to work perfectly at the end of the day. This is their first record. Read more
Published on June 14, 2004 by alexander laurence
5.0 out of 5 stars I've got my fingers crossed you'll buy this [wacka wacka]
Normally I would have given this album 4 stars, as I believe in using the full spectrum of stars, and reserving 5 for the absolute end-all of all things. Read more
Published on April 7, 2004 by Daniel S. Dunnam
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing.
I literally just saw this band open for Ben Kweller less that 4 hours ago, and I bought their cd right after they got offstage. It's PHENOMENAL. They are AMAZING live too. Read more
Published on April 6, 2004 by Anne Clarke
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