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My Maudlin Career

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Audio CD, April 21, 2009
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Song Title Time Price
listen  1. French Navy 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Sweetest Thing 4:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. You Told A Lie 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Away With Murder 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Swans 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. James 3:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Careless Love 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. My Maudlin Career 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Forests & Sands 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Other Towns & Cities 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Honey In The Sun 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Camera Obscura - The Sweetest Thing


When you've gone through things in life and in love, do they change you? And what can music do?

Things are meant to go one way in life, or so we’re told, then there are the ways in which they do. And the Desire Lines are always there, cutting through.

Not many bands keep going through thick and thin. Camera Obscura have been a group for seventeen years. They’ve made ... Read more in Amazon's Camera Obscura Store

Visit Amazon's Camera Obscura Store
for 16 albums, 4 photos, videos, and 2 full streaming songs.

Frequently Bought Together

My Maudlin Career + LET'S GET OUT OF THIS COUNTRY [Vinyl] + Desire Lines
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B001T46U32
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,315 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As the title suggests, their new album shares with the listener an affectionate wit and a melancholy tendency towards life's daily routines and relationships. Yet it also boasts and expands on the affected pop elements explored on their breakout album, "Let's Get Out Of This Country". It's no wonder Camera Obscura are often mentioned in the same sentences as fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian, indie rock faves The Lucksmiths, and music legends The Smiths


"Pure and unabashed pop bliss" --Filter

"A gorgeous pop album, to say the least." --Under the Radar

"The band's finest year, with 10 succinct tunes that artfully blend the musical signifiers of the 60's with clever songwriting." --Paste

Customer Reviews

This is a terrific album, brimming with lovely, poppy melodies and poignant lyrics.
Mike Morone
On this album, as well as on each prior record, Camera Obscura blends all of the best aspects of music, past and present, together to make a sheer listener's delight.
Album is amazing, the song James has to be one of the most beautifully heartbreaking songs I've ever heard in my life.
John Conno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By monte on April 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
After their last album "Let's Get Out Of The Country" achieved breakthrough-of-sorts status thanks to an exceptional lead single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken", the Glasgow indie band now finds itself on the legendary, seminal 4AD label.
The renowned Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen - whose past credits - Peter Bjorn And John, The Concretes, Ed Harcourt - give one an idea of the richly textured soundscapes he can co-create - is back for his second outing with the band, building on the dense production introduced on their third album, which is purely and simply about love.
It starts in a resolutely non-maudlin mode. The upbeat Phil Spector-esque "French Navy", the opening track, is 60s pop with strings, and a vocal echo that lends itself so well to Tracyanne Campbell's voice, sending it ethereal. At times it reminds me of Canadian Jann Arden and American Natalie Merchant of 10,00 Maniacs. The bittersweet song is typical of Campbell's oeuvre in that it's unspeakably lovely, but so delicate it doesn't live long in the memory. Her soft Glaswegian accent and soft, nasal tones suit the fragility and juvenility of a 'he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not' sentimentality.
Elsewhere, there's a blissful summery quality to "The Sweetest Thing", while the country-ish "Away With Murder" showcases the singer's fondness for kitchen-sink realism.
"How many times have you told me you want to die?" she sings. "How many times have you told me that you've tried?". Rarely have lines as sombre been wrapped in a package as pretty.
The Glaswegian outfit deliver their finest outing, with seductive songs such as "Careless Love", sweeping strings and Tracyanne Campbell evoking the spirit of The Shangri-Las over thumping drums on the title track.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By tmonnn on April 21, 2009
Format: Audio CD
An eagerly anticipated album for those of us who have overdone it listening to Let's Get out of This Country. More uptempo than its predecessor, maybe a bit more of a Country flavor here and there. Eloquent, sometimes playful songs of heartache, loss and lonliness. A nostalgic and dreamlike musical atmosphere brought about in part by classic use of reverb and a warm, retro organ sound. Wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on May 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Camera Obscura is good at what they do. Fans of the band and even casual listeners can easily attest to this after the magnum opus that was 06's Let's Get Out Of This Country, where frontwoman Tracyanne Campbell and fellow Scots bandmates gave themselves over to Lloyd Cole and looked very much like the successors to Belle & Sebastian's eminently catchy brand of twee-pop. It becomes clear right out of the gate that, with My Maudlin Career, their success has in no way put a damper on their talents - Campbell still has that slightly accented purr down pat, a sexy and sweet mix between Jenny Lewis and Victoria Bergsman, and the band's orchestrated `60s pop/folk keeps chugging cheerfully along no matter how downcast Campbell sounds.

And make no mistake about it; My Maudlin Career is a darker record than Country, although you wouldn't know it from the delightful opener and first single "French Navy." Where countrymen Belle & Sebastian made their mark via clever turns of phrase and sly, smart lyrical conventions, Camera Obscura are romantics at heart, using a bouncy string-backed beat to frame convictions of love like "I was waiting to be struck by lightning / waiting for somebody exciting" before bursting into a four-on-the-floor chorus replete with arching, ascending strings as a yearning Campbell sings "I wanted to control it / but love, I couldn't hold it." It's the catchiest, most straightforward song on the record, the band's corollary to Country's excellent "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken." Obscura's well-toned pop hooks are sunk even deeper on the following "The Sweetest Thing," where the contrast between Campbell's heartsick lyrics and the upbeat, sing-a-long chorus is highlighted and makes a deceptively simple song into a thing of tragic beauty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hine on May 4, 2009
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Camera Obscura are back. Working again with producer Jari Haapalainen. Picking up pretty much where they left off. Single "French Navy" starts in a dusty library, where Tracyanne Campbell sings "I was waiting to be struck by lightning/Waiting for somebody exciting/Like you." In the world of Camera Obscura, of course, love is impossible to control and you don't have to be called Lloyd to break somebody's heart. "The Sweetest Thing" is a girl-group ballad with a Scottish accent. Title track "My Maudlin Career" sounds like a throwback ("I'm not a child I know/We're not going steady...") to the classic "Teenager" from breakout album "Underachievers Please Try Harder" ("You're not a teenager/So don't act like one..."). It seems perhaps MY MAUDLIN CAREER is not about reflecting sentimentally on the career of global twee-pop superstars. It's about the folly of wishing and hoping in dusty libraries -- and the after effects of being struck by romantic lightning. Of course, being an international recording artist might come into play too. "Let's Get Out of the Country" may have been a great career move. But it means that former lovers are left behind in "Other Towns & Cities." Hotel rooms make a great place to get truly maudlin ("Drinking whisky reminds me of you... Who's holding you tonight?") The sun comes up again (in Mexico City) on bouncy final track "Honey in the Sun." If you enjoyed getting out of the country with these Glaswegians last time around, you'll be delighted to rejoin the band on its musical journey.
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