No Cities Left
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Best band at SxSW? Montreal's The Dears. -- Rolling Stone, April 2, 2004
Few bands were more potent than The Dears. -- Newsday
The Dears sound like Tindersticks, Belle & Sebastian and Blur at their most miserable, smoking Prozac... -- NME
Top Ten Artists to Watch - a breakthrough album has widescreen pop gems such as Lost in the Plot. -- Rolling Stone, September 2004
the enigmatic Murray Lightburn sounding like Marvin Gaye fronting the Smiths...are probably the best new band in the world -- New Musis Express, October 2004
Top Customer Reviews
Yes, I grew up listening to the Smiths and Blur and I love alot of Brit-pop. I think you can hear a 'lil bit 'o Morrissey in Murray's voice but I don't hear Damon Albarn. I can definately hear the differences and the music is not like either to me! The music is beautiful! There are all the normal instruments; guitar, bass, & drum as well as strings, synths, and the occasional horn. And there is a female and she spreads the love in her vocals. And I love how they play off each other vocally in a couple songs. As someone else mentioned, it DOES NOT have the wit of Morrissey or Mr. Albarn. But you know what, this is the Dears NOT Morrissey. He has a new album that is great as well, and if I want to listen to him then I'll pop that in. I hope these guys finally get some recognition and stop being compared to everyone else. I think if you are influenced by other great artists it will come through in your work somewhere. And I am SOOOOOOO glad that there is good music coming out of North America right now...Please support good bands like these and pull your heads out yo' *&$es trying to be cool...Beautiful and romantic music.
Largely the result of the financial support of the Canada Music Fund, The Dears is the Montreal-based musical brainchild of multi-talented Murray Lightburn. Formed in 1995, "No Cities Left" constituted the band's second full length album. The album has an overall dark feel that carries a certain level of anguish in Lightburn's storytelling, typically aided by atmospheres driven by his guitar, along with changes in tempo in most songs and the overpowering presence of mellotron-like sounding strings that accompany the band's work through most of the album.
The Dears meld in so many influences that you can get almost tired of identifying them... plus it really doesn't do much to do so, since they have already carved their own special niche that will probably serve as a deep influence for generations of musicians to come. For now, enjoy "No Cities Left" and the band's scheduled August 2006 release, a song of which you can enjoy through their MySpace page. It is impossible to argue: with The Dears you are in for a very special musical treat.
There is one thing I'd like to make clear, despite the fact that practically most reviewers have said that Montreal's `The Dears' second album harks back to the heady Britpop days of '95, this is incorrect.
Yes, lead singer Murray Lightburn sounds like a cross between Morrissey and Damon Albarn, and the lyrics do have a strong Morriseyean element to them, but this is where the comparison ends.
`No Cities Left' is one of the most richly textured album I have heard this year. Flutes, jazzy saxophones, cellos and in some cases choirs all manifest themselves in this record. Nothing Britpop here - not even `Lost in the Pop, the most `British' sounding track on the album remotely resembles Blur or Supergrass.
`No Cities Left' is a MASTERPIECE. Yes, in block letters. From the minute I finished listening to first song `We can Have it', I knew that this album would have a special endearing quality to it and I was 100% right. Each and every song conveys a certain emotion and like I said before, since the music is very rich and multi-layered you will discover something new and wonderful. Despite the fact that `No Cities Left' is over an hour long and practically every song exceeds the five minute mark it still flows and never outstays its welcome. Lyric-wise the album is great too, almost to the point of sounding like poetry. The listener is rewarded in many ways!
What else can I say about this album? Its great, its a classic, it's a testament to a strong and emerging Canadian scene, it is a sign of how one can write epic songs and not bore the listener its... oh for Christ sakes just buy the damn thing - you wont regret it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An engrossing and bittersweet Opus of sophisticated pop arrangements and heartfelt songwriting. The entire album succeeds as a whole - like a great 60's French Romance - while... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ikaris
Among the influx of hipster rock bands flooding the marketplace, The Dears breakout NCL rose above a typical brooding angularity to offer this modestly diverse set of elegant... Read morePublished on March 31, 2009 by IRate
I forgot that a friend had given me this album so I added it to my mp3 player and put it in the playlist. It's been playing with a mix of other bands on shuffle. Read morePublished on February 25, 2006 by librarygirl
The reason so many reviewers resort to comparing the music on this cd to the work of so many others is because influences are everywhere, and it's hard to discuss just what makes... Read morePublished on September 1, 2005 by Killer Pooh
The Dears "No Cities Left" is a haunting yet beautifully orchestrated album. It makes for a great listen when lying in bed in the dead of night, listening to the trees rustling... Read morePublished on July 3, 2005 by J. Leinbach
After hearing Lost in the Plot on a free compilation cd I was an immediate fan! Yes, Murray Lightburn has the voice of Damon Albarn and writes with the pen of Morrissey but... Read morePublished on May 12, 2005 by Ian D. Matthews
I admit to being a new fan of The Dears, but in all fairness to myslef, I am quite the fan. I had never heard of The Dears until seeing them when they opened for Keane up in... Read morePublished on April 7, 2005 by T. Reusch
If you're expecting an album with songs in the same vein as "we can have it" you'll be getting more than that from this album. Read morePublished on April 6, 2005 by Pete