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Negative for Francis

2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • ASIN: B000035X4L
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,735 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "alterethos" on December 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
It's as if there were no music. Just sound. And then there was melody. Rothko look as if they have discarded the clothing of expected structure, and once you've been seduced by the beautiful open-ness, Wham. Textures usually reserved for dark spaces; sounds only heard in the subconscious filmic moments of life. Song titles have no meaning, only "feel" and "movement". Like jazz but on another channel. If air could be seen, this would move it within our sight. Punk. pop, love, desire and need are all here. Negative For Francis pushes those buttons. Gently.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matt Inwood on December 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Like their namesake, Rothko are practitioners of a beautiful art. An abstract art. The track titles read like an inventory of painted canvases. These pieces even feel like paintings. Their's is an ambivalent territory, barren as it is full. Gloom with a gloss and torn silver linings. Whereas metaphors and posturing come easy, describing why this album is so effecting is actually quite hard work. It requires many listens. Rothko's music is one of self-imposed limitations. Yet what they yield from three bass guitars, a set of tape loops and some furtive amp-twiddling transcends expectation. 'Seventyseven A' and 'For Danny' are both backboned by a thick, heavy, almost double-bass sound, whereas 'Windows, Doors and Other Openings' acts itself out over a digeridoo-like backdrop. The pluck, strum, thrash and distortion of these few near-same instruments shouldn't make for the scope of music that it does. But there is a range in Rothko's sound that is at times orchestral, at other times little more than an acoustic soliloquoy. Stark and minimal sounds stand eerily alone or layer, and wash over and around other layers. Some of the pieces are so skeletal as to barely exist (the gloopy submarine pulse of album opener 'Doo', for example), others are much more fleshed out. Another band might have contrived the ice-cream van jingle of 'Halftones and Metatones' as a red-herring album-opener; here, it sits quite disturbingly between the beautiful 'Windows, Doors...' and 'For Danny', which in turn ebbs into the atmospheric swell of the title track, with its frantic wash of noise, halfway in, reminiscent of the stirring beauty of Mogwai's remix of their 'Fear Satan' track. Rothko have defined this territory for themselves: the album title perhaps self-consciously even hinting at the factoring of a blueprint. 'A Negative...' is their first painting and it is beautiful.
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