Customer Reviews: Schubert Dip
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on February 19, 1999
Ah, how the early summer of 1991 boded well...a new British Invasion seemed in the offing, what with Jesus Jones' "Right Here, Right Now" and EMF's "Unbelievable" flooding American airwaves. While the Manchester-based Jesus Jones definitely had a catchy hit with "Right Here", their album came up a bit short on material to surround it. Not so with the cider-chugging lads from the Forest of Dean: "Schubert Dip" is one of the single catchiest (and most overlooked) albums of the decade. From the sirens that announce "Children" (the album's opening track) to the chugging guitar/synthesizer-fuelled ending to "Longtime", this is a sonic trip abandon. The use of sampling is remarkable--samples ranging from Andrew Dice Clay to Bert and Ernie to a recitation of T.S. Eliot add additional character to the incredible fusion of guitar riffs over disco-like beats. While "Unbelievable" is the stand-out track on here (as it is one of the stand-out songs of the decade!), no song on this album is less than good. For a time, some of us thought that these guys would be the next big thing from the UK...attaining success on the Oasis level...but grunge moved in and EMF got looked over. An EP and a second album would come out, but they invariably lacked the creativity of "Schubert Dip", and would lead to EMF being dropped by their label in the US...but for those who can remember this band and for those too young to remember (heck, even those who ignored them!), this is a ride worth taking. (It is also among the five best albums ever to work out to). So there, my two cents, hope you give it a shot!
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on May 17, 2006
About a year ago I decided to go visit some nearby pawn shops to look for a drum set. While I didn't find the drum set, I noticed that this CD was pretty much ubiquitous throughout the stores. I later noticed it for (re) sale at Goodwill and decided to give the album another listen to see why people hate it so much and are so willing to sell it.

Frankly, I don't really get it. Half the album sounds exactly like "Unbelievable" so it seems like the people who bought it after hearing that single (probably like 90%) would like the rest of the material. It's great, poppy-as-hell, alt-dance music. I listened to it again today and noticed all the layering that they did. In a way that's similar to an album which gets slightly better reviews but is still slightly controversial, "Smile" by Brian Wilson, hooks and themes are repeated throughout the CD. Some call this repetitive. I agree, however, in the way that it's presented it is really quite creative. I think EMF sort of broke the mold for pop acts at the time and are still more or less an oddity that deserves real attention. For all you naysayers, give this CD another chance, preferably on a large stereo so you can hear all the layers. I'm just hoping that someday it gets produced as a 5.1 DVD audio, I think it would be a great candidate for that format.
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on October 25, 1999
EMF will always be remembered for Unbelievable(track 6). This is rather unfortunate as even though Unbelievable is a great song, it's not even the best song on this album, much less their later albums. This is the album that sealed the band's fate. After a "perfect" pop album like this, EMF found it impossible to break out and become the heavier, electro-metal band they seemed to prefer to be. Some clues of the direction they seemed to want to go in are on display in the wonderful "Long Summer Days" which is the hardest song on the album. But dance is the word of the day, and I can't see many people not wanting to dance to virtually every song on Schubert Dip. I recommend you give this album a listen if you want to hear how dance music really should be, want to remember the days before grunge, or just want to hear some really good tunes.
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on September 19, 2001
The only thing that keeps this underground breakthrough album from getting five stars is that waste of three and a half minutes that they call "Admit It."
So the whole thing isn't "Unbelievable".......THANK GOD! Although far from the depth of Stigma, this album boasts its fair share of political, social, and theological statements, even though it does throw in a few dancy pop numbers. This album, along with Jesus Jones' early recordings, was the precursor to the massive grunge movement around 1992 and '93. It opened the door from the big hair and teen idols and focused on music and lyrics rather than putting on a show and creating a persona. Granted, they didn't dive into that frame of mind as deeply as Pearl Jam or Nirvana, but they certainly set the world up for what it was about to encounter.
Years later, EMF's influence can been seen reemerging in bands like Coldplay, Travis, and Radiohead's newer material. This album certainly deserves at least a nod as an influence in shaping music history.
As for the music itself: very simple and common chord progressions but played in a new (for the time) and innovative manner. The songs flow very well from one to another, especially the first three which are hard to seperate. There are some chilling and some comical samples placed at just the right moments. There's a proper mixture of "lovesongs," "break-up songs," and more serious and consequential political tracks.
Schubert Dip is not an epic, life-changing, ground-breaking album, nor is it a happy-go-lucky, feel-good pop bonanza, It's just five talented and frustrated musicians trying to put something different out there--something with a little meat and little significance. They succeeded. It's one of those albums that you can play over and over again for hours........and after a while you kinda get used to "Admit It."
If for nothing else, get this album for "Girl of an Age," "Travelling Not Running," and "Longtime."
Definitely check out their second full-lenght ablum Stigma.
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on November 6, 2011
James Atkin (lead singer) must have the worst girlfriend of all time. From "When will you admit ... that you do bad things to me" to "You said to much, and what you said it was a lie" and other tortured stories from "when I'm with you"... At least his flat-toned semi-rapping is unique; perhaps other singers thought such singing was below them, but it works here.

Not big on the variety, those 'mad funkers' make up for it with originality. Well, if not 'originality', then, at least they are interesting. They come up with intriguing melodies and add a splash of many styles in the one song.

'Schubert Dip' succeeds because it is simple and effective, although they do have a problem with meshing the lyrics and vocals into the songs. This would only get worse on the subsequent 'Stigma'.

But they don't have a problem writing hooks. 'Girl of an age' is a gorgeous song, 'Children' feels like the heralding of something new, 'Travelling not running' is eerie while 'When you're mine' is perfect pop. The other stuff is of varying quality but mostly good. Rating 3 1/2.
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on November 11, 2015
This album brings back good and bad memories for me but with that aside and almost 25 years later this album stands up on its own merit. Caught somewhere in between Big Audio Dynamite and New Order, this music was what was happening in England right before Grunge hit.

Great Album
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on November 7, 2015
Description should say EXPLICIT LYRICS. I had to edit a couple of the tracks. Longtime had extra music at the end, including strong profanity. I believe had some low-volume strong profanity at the beginning of the track. I owned the tape years ago, and don't recall hearing any of this on the tape. Fortunately Audacity makes it really easy to edit the downloaded MP3.
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on February 20, 2001
This album is alright, although its certainly nothing great or ground-breaking. The first half especially is bland and sounds like the lesser material that was released in the late 80's/early 90's era. Then the second half kicks off with the hit single "Unbelievable" which is of course the song that made us buy this album in the first place. The next few songs aren't quite so catchy in comparison, but they offer up some pretty nice synth chords delivered in accordance to the mid-tempo dance beat that resonates throughout most of this release. Now the last song, "Longtime" is nothing short of a hidden gem. It took me a few listenings to discover it, but now I like it much better than the famous, yet overplayed aforementioned hit. This song has the best sounding vocals and an excellent synth hook! If you're willing to buy a rather sub-par album for a few really great songs, be sure to listen for it!
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on June 5, 2013
It's a shame that only one track from this album got all the radio play. On of my fav. albums ever. Not a bad spot on it.
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on August 17, 2000
I have this cd for nearly 10 years and I still enjoy it as much as the very first day I heard the hit Unbelievable. It's a refreshing music, it makes you feel happy inside and you can only think in singing and dancing! Following albums, Stigma and Cha Cha Cha are really desapointing, both far away of this first album, definitely my favorite of the decade in pop music. Did you see them live at those days? wowww!!!
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