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But in Defence of Elastica, this is a different album with a different goal and a nearly soap operetic change in the band. Unfortunitely even taken as its own entity, without comparison to the first Elastica CD, The Menace is an average effort at best and perhaps a harbinger to the band's destruction shortly there after.
Elastica is dead, long live Elastica.
The slower songs -- "Image Change," "Nothing Stays the Same," "Human" -- give Justine's sprechensang (talk/sing, like Marlene Dietrich) a chance to shine. Singing the more raucous songs, though, Justine will make you remember that the catchiness of Elastica's previous hit "Connection" wasn't due entirely to the guitar lick nicked from Wire. Though their relationship has been over for a while, there is a distinct similarity between Justine's "rocker" voice and Damon Albarn (of Blur).
While not "pleasantly surprised" -- I expected it to be pretty good -- I am shocked by the way the sonic layers of voice, guitars, synths, are manipulated. "Miami Nice" wouldn't sound out of place on an Ultravox best-of, while the following song, "Love Like Ours," sounds like it could have been a Talking Heads original.
My advice? Buy it.
To start out with the line-up is different. Guitarist Donna Matthews, who played such a key role in their sound, is no longer in the band. She is missed, definitely, but the new more synthesized sound fills in her gap pretty well. At first I thought the onslaught of noisy keyboards was a bit much but the songs that feature them prominently soon became my favorites. Although I'm still not quite sure anyone actually knows how to play the instrument!
Some of the slower ones still remind me of the first album. Songs like "Nothing Stays the Same", and "Imagine Change." But like I said, I prefer the less mature, louder tracks like "Mad Dog" and "How He Wrote Elastica Man".
I think there is enough of the old sound to keep the old fans but perhaps enough of a change to gain them even a few more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rare so rare second album from now now defunct punk band OK look OK and get it OK oki iPublished on November 17, 2012 by captain jackk
shipped really fast and was in new shape, as promised. i thought i bought it through amazon but it turned out to be from an indy dealer. very happy. Read morePublished on August 22, 2011 by mara
...so don't get your hopes up, cheese!
An interesting, but ultimately disappointing second album. Read more
I wanted a clean copy of Human. Miami Nice is ok for background music too however. The rest of the album is a letdown in my opinion.Published on July 15, 2008 by Peter DiGravio
I remember loving Elastica's first album when it came out. The whole CD was great, but "Stutter" was especially a standout. Read morePublished on March 19, 2008 by David Mastro
After a hit first album, which remains a classic and great favourite, there was a five-year gap before the follow-up arrived in 2000. Read morePublished on February 14, 2005 by Lozarithm
Post-Punk perfection. I have read many bad reviews of this album on other sites. I don't understand. Much better than their first.Published on September 10, 2004 by Spinetrak