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Oblivion With Bells


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Audio CD, October 16, 2007
$16.44
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$16.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ato Records
  • ASIN: B000VKKUHM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,880 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Crocodile
2. Beautiful Burnout
3. Holding The Moth
4. To Heal
5. Ring Road
6. Glam Bucket
7. Boy, Boy, Boy
8. Cuddle BUnny vs. The Celtic Villages
9. Faxed Invitation
10. Good Morning Cockerel
11. Best Mamgu Ever

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Underworld released their last album "A Hundred Days off " no one thought it would be nearly 2000 days until the next one arrived. It hasn't been a case of lazing around in the Essex countryside though as the last 5 years have thrown up the 1992-2002 anthology album, two major film scores (Anthony Mingellas' "Breaking and Entering" and Danny Boyles' 2007 "Sunshine"), a selfpublished typographic journal "In The Belly of Saint Paul", a series of pioneering digital-only releases, internet- radio broadcasts, a groundbreaking live web-tv broadcast and gig in partnership with Apple and Frankfurts' techno giants Cocoon and countless gigs around the world. During all of this action Rick and Karl, with the aid of trusty laptops, a couple of home studios, Abbey Roads' legendary facilities and a Pig Shed, have been carefully developing ideas for the new album "Oblivion with Bells", an album that was finally completed in a flurry of activity and excitement in spring 2007. True to form Underworld tread their own path through modern electronic music tipping a nod to current sounds, styles and production techniques but never afraid to let their song writing and musicianship shine out in this digital world. "Oblivion with Bells" draws heavily on Rick and Karls' vast array of musical influences (Nick Drake, Def Mix, Ricardo Villalobos, Can, James Holden, Eno) and experiences performing worldwide to create a truly unique Underworld journey. The album kicks off like Saturday night with Sven V„th, Simian Mobile Disco and Frankie Knuckles all fighting to get on the decks, then takes you over the flat fields of rural Essex, through Kings Cross with its olympic dreams and piss stained alleys, ending blessed out in a hidden cove in Ibiza. Epic techno nestles next to frail acoustics, beatific prose next to sharp urban observation, amazing sound texturing mixed with mobile phone recordings, rarely has the Underworld palette been so rich.

Amazon.com

After a five-year hiatus, Underworld return with an album that draws from across their past. With a mix of aggression and sunshine, they calculate syncopated, ricocheted beats against cleanly delineated textures and circumscribed melodies that have the cool of the 1980s New Romantic movement from which they originally sprang as Freur. Kraftwerk is in the DNA of their sound, but they've moved well past that, incorporating elements of hip-hop and industrial music into the mix. I wonder if Underworld's later mix of poetic spoken-word songs affected Brian Eno's recent work with poetry and music, because the influence seems to have boomeranged back in the vocal cadences of tracks such as "Ring Road." Like some of Eno's work, Karl Hyde's frequently treated, monotone talk-singing vocals could have been time-shifted from a beat-poetry reading of the early '60s. The only thing missing is the bongos. When his voice is processed, it merges as part of the sound field, but when his voice is relatively unaltered, as on "Good Morning Cockerel," it just becomes tedious. The best tracks on Oblivion with Bells are also the most ambitious. "Crocodile" has some lovely, almost Gregorian harmonies, while "Beautiful Burnout" is an epic journey with broad synthesizer chords sweeping by like headlights before segueing into a joyfully ritualistic electro-percussion tribal workout. But after that pair of opening tracks, you have to wait until the very last piece, a long, trancey bit of psychedelic drift called "The Best Mamgu Ever," to hear something more than unformed melodies and unstrung ideas. Underworld can reach higher ground. --John Diliberto

Customer Reviews

I just... would it have killed them to add a few percussion lines?
R. Trousdale
Beaucoup Fish was a strong record, and to me, 100 Days Off was simply good, far from great.
Paul Orndorff
I highly recommend this CD if you are even at least a partial fan of the "Fab 3".
John C. Asbury

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Groove Holmes on October 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Now don't get me wrong. I love this band. In fact I flew to New York a few weeks ago see them live as they only played a few dates in the US. I spent hundreds on airfare and hotels and such to finally see one of their legendary live sets. They were my second to last "holy grail" of bands that I need to see live. Now I only need to see Kraftwerk in concert and I'll be happy.

And they did not disappoint at all. It was awesome. They played nearly all the songs I wanted to hear. I was able to get this album a bit early because I pre-ordered it from a link they showed on screen after the show. And I got a cool T-Shirt to boot. Needless to say, I am a fan and I was super super excited to get this one.

But Oblivion With Bells is a departure for Underworld. It is "slooww" to say the least. I actually fast forwarded through tracks, which I would have never guessed me ever doing. Virtually nothing happens on tracks 8,9, and 10. Seriously, nothing. Thankfully a "token" beat comes in for the last track. I have since gone back and listened a couple more times since. And it has grown on me. But there are few beats to be heard on this record.

This is the album I would have expected Smith and Hyde to make after Darren Emerson departed. But with A Hundred days Off they kept the energy going from Beaucoup Fish and Second Toughest. It still had some fast, mean tracks like Dinosaur Adventure 3D.

But Oblivion is slowed down. Way down. Don't be fooled by Crocodiles. It is the non representative single. And it flows right into Beautiful Burnout nicely. But the beats and hooks are quite minimal. Almost like loops for Hyde to speak over. Nothing terribly innovative really.

Oblivion has nice sounds, great production and the expected stream of conscious Karl Hyde lyrics.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pixel Modern on October 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
After reading the first four reviews for this album, I decided that I wanted to hear the album for myself before making the purchase. Underworld's MySpace page gives you the opportunity to hear the complete tracks. My take, as a happy owner of seven commercial CDs that the lads have put out, is that I want to continue to experience their growth. I'll start with four stars. But who knows, through repeated listenings I may even decide that Oblivion... is my new five star favorite. Yes, it's ambient and experimental; and yes, you can tell it's Underworld. Sometimes, going along for a ride to a new destination yields knowledge for those open enough to make the trip without prior judgments.
I just bought the album. Wouldn't an artist that cranked out the same 'ol stuff, year after year, be stuck in a rut anyway? The nature of the universe is change, and I'm looking forward to regularly listening to how Underworld evolves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By M. Valdes II on January 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
As most reviewers seem to agree, this is not something one might expect from Underworld; Darren's absence can definitely be felt. However, like SOME reviewers have allowed, I listened multiple times and it grew on me; I can honestly say I'm proud to chalk this one up as a fine release. Yes, the familiar Underworld energy may be all but missing; you won't find your "Pearls Girl" breakout here, but it doesn't translate as laziness or forced ideas; rather it comes across as a departure into more relaxed, soulful territory. Think of this album as the ringing in your ears after an amazing explosion, the echo of the thunder following a blinding bolt of lightning or the grey snow after nuclear fallout, the requiem for Darren Emerson. There's a ton to be appreciated here and I'm a lot happier to see the new Underworld duo trying new things rather than simply trying to repeat past successes with only two-thirds the ingredients; they seem to recognize that they're not the same anymore, so why should their music be the same? I think Underworld fans would have been more disappointed to have gotten this album and found tried ideas mimicked and mocked by the lack of the Emerson influence or an aging group clinging desperately to a failing career by essentially aping itself. Take this for what it is; leave it in perspective as the latest installment in a vast, amazing career of a group that has given its fans so much, and I honestly think you'll come to enjoy it and appreciate it for it's own merits. Personal highlights: "Beautiful Burnout" and "Glam Bucket." Enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul Orndorff on October 17, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I have been a tremendous fan of Underworld since the Cowgirl/Dark Train EP hit shelves all the way back in 1992 or so. To compare this new output with Dubnobass or Second Toughest is simply not fair. When has a band put together a string of 2 successive albums like that? Beaucoup Fish was a strong record, and to me, 100 Days Off was simply good, far from great.

This new record is a retreat from the pounding club beats, and why not? These 2 guys are pushing 50 and scoring movie soundtracks now. Whom is left to please? I would imagine the average age of some club kid is too young to even know Underworld and their greatness. There is no reason to appeal to kids 30+ years their junior.

The waves of synths on this record is simply incredible. Think a long and protracted session of Cups and you have this record. The usual stream of nonsense from Karl is present, accept this time you can hear it. This is a marked improvement from 100 Days and, to a longtime fan like myself, a graceful way to age for this pair.
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the amazon reviewer is a moron
Ok, I have to take back my previous post and admit that I gave a knee-jerk reaction. I listened to this several more times on a better audio system, and it suddenly leapt out at me and made sense. This is Underworld's best release overall, and certainly their most mature. The sequencing and... Read More
Oct 19, 2007 by Alex |  See all 3 posts
Japanese release available in the US?
Well, I thank God that I've got a good netwerk of friends in Japan at the moment, cuz there's no way that I'm gonna buy this album without the bonus track! I got the Breaking and Entering sound track while I was in Japan and the riverrun bonus 'JAL to Tokyo' was sooo worth it! I'd say 'JAL' is... Read More
Sep 18, 2007 by Sean F. O'mara |  See all 2 posts
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