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Hot Shots 2

The Beta BandAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2004 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2001 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00005K9Z6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Squares
2. Al Sharp
3. Human Being
4. Gone
5. Dragon
6. Broke
7. Quiet
8. Alleged
9. Life
10. Eclipse
11. Won

Editorial Reviews

Hot Shots II continues the Beta Band's play with epileptic beats and creepy melodies as they again rearrange a record collection stocked with Pink Floyd, Talk Talk, the Beatles, and the full Astralwerks catalog. A clipped toy piano inspires a shiver on "Al Sharp" while the swirling synth of "Eclipse" recalls Brian Eno's contribution to the Trainspotting soundtrack (which the Beta Band would have dominated were the movie made two years later). The album's deep-bass sounds and obvious craft are arresting, but attempts at the band's cleverness or playfulness expose seams that would best remain hidden. The lyrics of "Eclipse" falter through a satirical allegory of politics, concluding with "the people with the answers," "the people with the questions," and "the people with the books" sitting down to "smoke a pizza pie." While almost every song contains layers of crackling vinyl, laser, or toy-piano effects, it's only in the closing hip-hop version of Harry Nilsson's "One" that the sounds neatly meld. Newcomers to the Beta Band should start with The Three E.P.'s, but old fans will find Hot Shots II a better second full-length than 1999's self-titled release. --Sarah Sternau

Product Description

Hot Shots II is the quartet's most accomplished work: folksy, futuristic, dubbed-out atmospherics and off-kilter pop. Think Beck meets Lee Perry meets Pink Floyd meets RZA meets Beatles. This U.S. version features an exclusive track. 11 tracks. 2001 release.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breakthrough for the Betas April 16, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Most people first learned about the Betas from "that movie", when John Cusack puts on "Dry the Rain" in order to sell copies of the 3EPs... sure enough, everyone in the store started doing that by-now-familiar Beta Band dance. "Who is this?" a patron asks. "The Beta Band".
"Dry the Rain" was the only song on the 3EPs with pop potential, but anyone buying that CD was pleasantly surprised at the diverse, driving melodies and rainy Scotland day lyrics. But, that one song kept coming up.
With Hot Shots II, the Betas have gotten past High Fidelity, John Cusack, and Dry the Rain. Oh, and they've also gotten past that inconvenient other CD that happened two years ago. New millenium, new Betas. Hot Shots II is probably the best CD of the year, period, and it is still, incredibly, being overlooked. Every song is an original. All the tracks, starting with "Squares", are incredibly catchy, well-produced, and interesting from start to finish.
And, here's a news flash- these guys can PLAY their instruments. While it would be impossible to generate all of these sounds without a lot of overdubbing and sampling, all the guitar, bass, keyboards, and most of the drums is all Human Being-produced. Anyone who's been to a live show can attest to this.
Specific songs do stand out. "Dragon", a dark song about strange people (I think fellow musicians) is haunting, with an amazing synth bass riff. "Human Being" could be the highlight of the record, the Beta Band's equivalent to "A Day in the Life." The banter between Betas on "Eclipse" between the people with the answers and the people with the questions adds a funny, light atmosphere to the record.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful spaced out bliss August 1, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I had the Beta Band- 3 Ep's album, and although i liked it a fair amount (especially when stoned ), i was not prepared for how much I would love Hotshots 2....
This is one of those albums that takes me a couple of weeks to get all the way through...The reason? Because as soon as the first song has finished, I absolutely must hear it again...and again...and again....
Eventually, I make it to the second song....and the whole process starts again...but after listening to the second song ten times...well, i have to go back and listen to the first song again....
So, after 3 days, I've only managed to get through the first 4 songs....but every minute has been aural bliss to me...
The beautiful hypnotic melodies are layered onto super-cool trippy beats in a way that makes me think I'm listening to what the Beatles would be creating if they had lasted till 2001....
Others may disagree, but i'd say this is one of the essential recordings of 2001, so far....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The chill-out Beta Band album? July 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I picked up Hot Shots II shortly after I got ahold of the Beta Band's new album Heroes to Zeros, even though I was already familiar with several of the tracks. As the follow-up up to their much-maligned (even by the band itself) first album, Hot Shots II was generally regarded as a more polished and deliberate effort than its predecessor. While the record is certainly better than most of the trash out there today, I would say that it suffers from two weaknesses in the end. The first is its uneven quality; Squares is perhaps my favorite Beta Band song, but Eclipse is either a satire I don't get or simply a silly song with bad lyrics. The final track, a cover of One is the Loneliest Number, also sounds pretty out of place and probably should have been left off the album entirely. Another potential weakness is the fact that the album seems to find its sonic range early on and sticks with it to the end. Upon first listen, many of the songs sound fairly similar to each other. After a couple more listens you begin to appreciate the depth and subtlety of the music, but the fact remains that most of the tracks are assembled from the same combination of relaxed vocals, looped melodies, and spacy electronic effects. Those looking for more spontaneity and variety may want to check out the Three EPs or Heroes to Zeros first. If you're in the mood for some laid-back music with a touch of electronic psychedelia, though, Hot Shots II is a sure bet.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beta Band's finest work October 29, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A couple of years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the Beta Band's 3 EP's, which was, and still is, quite beyond anything i'd ever heard. Their self-titled full length debut was..well, i don't think disappointing is the word for it; I simply don't know what that album is all about.
But I was always hopeful that the Beta Band could produce a brilliant album, and indeed they have. Hot Shots II is truly an excellent exploration of sounds and original song structures. As soon as I heard 'squares', I just laid back on my coach and thought: Yeps, this is the real deal.
And Hot Shots II just keeps getting better. Whether it's chilling mixture of synthesized and garage-ish drum beats (Human Being, Dragon), or some nice, unexpected emotions (Gone, Life), The Beta Band can't seem to go wrong.
Hot Shots II is the ultimate chill-out album, yet it is too brilliant to be dismissed as background music.
Good job fellaz..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars MUSIC FROM BEFORE....
FLASH! I woke up in a meat freezer. Its the year 2014, what in the good crap happened? The last thing I remember was that it was 2001, Julyish, and I was just getting down with... Read more
Published 7 months ago by wally gator
5.0 out of 5 stars An oldie but a goodie
I heard a few songs from this about 6 or 7 years ago, but finally bought it recently and it's such an underrated album.

Great songs! Great album.. great band.
Published on August 5, 2008 by Jon R. Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars Not groundbreaking but good nonetheless
If you mix some mellow Radio Head bits, a dash of Portis Head, a dollop of Pink Floyd and sprinkle liberally with spacy loops, vinyl noise and dub-atmosphere, voila, you have Hot... Read more
Published on December 14, 2005 by Chet Fakir
5.0 out of 5 stars An imperfect but sorely unheralded masterpiece
Ignore the cheeky title which both plays on the band's frustrated potential and pays homage to a so-so Zucker-Abrams comedy. Read more
Published on January 22, 2005 by Clare Quilty
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb
I stumbled across the video for "Squares," and after I heard the song, I took a chance and bought the cd. Overall, the cd is nonetheless, great. Read more
Published on November 24, 2003 by Tiffany Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Hip as can be.
This album could not have been any better. I have got to say that i love it completely. I even dig that groovy little bonus track at the end. This is Beta speaking, OVER AND OUT...
Published on November 12, 2003 by "beta_ep"
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh.
Oh. Wow. OK. That's . . . Yeah. Oh, man. Give me a . . . Hang on. It's. Well, you . . . Wow. Yeah. Wow.
Published on July 1, 2003 by Chase Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!
The Beta Band have put together another highly influencil album. But this time, the expiriments of the Monolith and the straight foward Dry the Rain have formed into a unique but... Read more
Published on June 3, 2003 by david baake
4.0 out of 5 stars Better Than Their Self-Titled CD, But Not As Good As 3 EP's
Yeah. This album is tight. It has some awesome sounds and some really tight songs. It's a little darker than the 3 EP's, which is really nice, but the 3 EP's is ground-breaking. Read more
Published on March 2, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars in some ways better than 3 EPs
A brilliant album. People looking for something fresh yet acceptable could do much worse.
:Squares" and "Broke" are absolutely brilliant and solidly anchor this... Read more
Published on November 23, 2002 by "drwoz3"
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