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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of the Possibilities of Sound!
It goes without saying that any mention of the term "shoegaze" immediately brings to mind the name of one band more than any other: My Bloody Valentine. Anyone with even a modicum of interest in alternative/indie pop music has no doubt at least heard of, if not heard, My Bloody Valentine's 1991 opus, "Loveless," an album that many critics and music fans consider to be the...
Published on April 30, 2003 by Rick Taylor

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not the whirlpool album you are familiar with
This is not the whirlpool album you may be familiar with. These are the original mixes produced by chapterhouse with the original engineers who recorded the material during 1990.

The whirlpool album most people are familiar with was remixed by ralph jezzard, robin gutherie, and john fryer and has a much more polished sound and better production value...
Published on November 11, 2009 by Scott D. Walmsley


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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of the Possibilities of Sound!, April 30, 2003
By 
Rick Taylor (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
It goes without saying that any mention of the term "shoegaze" immediately brings to mind the name of one band more than any other: My Bloody Valentine. Anyone with even a modicum of interest in alternative/indie pop music has no doubt at least heard of, if not heard, My Bloody Valentine's 1991 opus, "Loveless," an album that many critics and music fans consider to be the *definitive* shoegaze recording of all time and a landmark album in the history of pop music. Of course, all the critical and fan slobber is not without merit---"Loveless" is indeed a masterpiece, and in the horrifying possiblity that you haven't heard it, consider yourself officially ordered to drop everything you're doing and buy it right now!
But there is one problem with "Loveless." Yes, there actually *is* a problem with "Loveless." And that is this: MBV's musical apex has somehow succeeded in completely overshadowing several absolutely stunning albums of the shoegaze genre. I can't tell you just how frustrating it is to hear a music fan say something along these lines: "Well, as far as shoegaze goes, I have MBV's 'Loveless,' and since that album is clearly the benchmark of the genre, I don't need anything else or want to hear any other shoegaze albums."
This attitude makes no sense whatsoever. Imagine if this person had the same mindset about 60s guitar pop and only had "Sgt. Pepper" in his or her collection. That would mean this person would never hear "Pet Sounds," which is a frightening thought.
Well, let me just say this: If "Loveless" is the "Sgt. Pepper" of the shoegaze genre, than "Whirlpool" clearly is its "Pet Sounds." To put it succintly, "Whirlpool" is an amazing aural smorgasbord of swirling guitars, cascading keyboards, trancey and trippin' dance beats, atmospheric and angelic vocals, and waves upon waves of layered, ethereal effects that all add up to something that truly trancends the confines of pop music. And that's what is so great about it. Listening to this album in 2003, I am immediately reminded of the lack of imagination that is so prevalent in much of today's pop music. "Whirlpool" is the sound of four musicians pushing their talents and skills to the absolute limit.
There is almost a palpable feeling of urgency (as well as energy) on this recording, that stems from the excitement of breaking down sonic limitations that is very appealing.
Opening with the hyper-kinetic "Breather," Chapterhouse immediately establish themselves as a band with loads of inspired ideas, many of which are diametrically opposed to one another. And yet, as varying as these ideas are, the band somehow manage to coalesce these sounds into exciting music that gels completely. For example, "Breather" begins with an aggressively played, abrasive, yet still melodic, rock riff. On top of this riff we hear some very aggressive percussion in the form of almost violent-sounding tom rolls, cymbal crashes and a fast tempo. A lesser band would have seized these ideas and proceeded with an all-out 100% aggressive song complete with angry "shouts" or an aggressive vocal approach. But Chapterhouse goes in the opposite direction. When we finally do hear the vocals, it is a revelation. They are soft, gentle, yes, even beautiful. And the vocal phrasing itself is not fast, but slow---going in complete contrast against the aggressive backdrop of guitar and up-tempo drums. In addition, the sublime vocals are blanketed by some truly soothing sounding keyboards. From there we are treated to other interesting background sounds and effects, but you need to be a close listener to hear all of them. Repeated listens reveal that this music has been carefully written and executed---what initially seems just like indiscriminate background noise comes across later as being integral to the full spectrum of the band's sound.
While I love this album from start to finish, my absolute favorite track on here is "Pearl." It opens with a very unusual and distinctive chord melody played on a keyboard and then we hear a very cool sounding guitar come in and do an absolutely killer harmony part. Simply amazing. And from there, the track proceeds to mix some very interesting and quite groove-heavy dance beats with their trademark soft ethereal vocals and swirling guitars. Just a remarkable sonic achievement.
From this point in the album, Chapterhouse continue to gently sway back and forth between delicate, melancholic melodies and outright noise experimentation ("Autosleeper" is a perfect example of this).
I have to admit that it took me numerous listens to fully "get" this album, and even now, there are loads of little nuances that I'm still discovering. But because of this, I am always excited about going back and listening to this album again.
Recommended not just for fans of shoegaze, but for any music fans out there that are genuinely interested in sound experimentation, ambience, and some very nice melodies.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not the whirlpool album you are familiar with, November 11, 2009
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This is not the whirlpool album you may be familiar with. These are the original mixes produced by chapterhouse with the original engineers who recorded the material during 1990.

The whirlpool album most people are familiar with was remixed by ralph jezzard, robin gutherie, and john fryer and has a much more polished sound and better production value.

This version of whirlpool sounds much more raw and almost demo sounding at times. I would say it sounds more like the EP singles that came out before the album. Is it good? Not really. Is it bad? Not really. Is it worth owning? If you are a die hard chapterhouse fan and want to own everything they have ever put out like I do then I would recommend picking it up for sure...just to hear what a difference can be made in the final mixing stage.

The track "thrasher" is actually just the song "satin safe" with a different name...it is not a `never before released' rare track. the ambient version of "something more" is actually the original EP single version with the drums removed...it is not the version that robin gutherie re-recorded for the more popular version of whirlpool. The cover of the beatles' song "rain" is a slightly different mix but it is nice to have it on CD if you don't own "rownderbout" or the original EP single it was on.

The extended version of guilt is nothing special...just an extended noisy middle section, and treasure is a little longer here as well. But there are times where the poor sound quality spoils the experience and the drums sound like Tupperware containers...

But like I said...if you love chapterhouse and want everything then I recommend picking it up. If you are new to chapterhouse I recommend ordering whirlpool from the cherry red records website because the original pressing had some problems so they repressed it again with corrections and you don't know for sure if you are getting the good or bad one if you order it from somewhere else.

The original bad pressing has the single version of "something more" while the new corrected re-pressing contains the robin gutherie version. The original pressing has some issues in that some of the tracks have the same bit rate as MP3s. The repressed version corrected this problem.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EDIT...Don't sell your old copy just yet..., October 20, 2006
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This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
EDIT!!!!
I apparently have been the only reviewer on this reissue and appologize for saying how great the reissue is. I just found out from another site that the reissue is acutally an exact copy off of mp3s, meaning in a sense what bootleggers do, not what a major label company usually does. Meaning the original cd has is actually better quality then this reissue. The bonus tracks were an added bonus and have good quality to them, but dont sell your old copy just yet. Cherry Red Records heard some complaints by reviewers so they may reissue this again with hopefully better quality.

However, for now if your a first time buyer of the album, you may want this for the bonus tracks, since they are from the 1st 3 Ep's: Freefall, Sunburst, and Pearl (tracks 10-16).

However, though I enjoy all of the tracks, be warned that 10-14 sound a little different compared to the normal feel of the album since they were created before this album from the 1st 2 Ep's. The last two tracks, 15-16, are more like the original album because they were from the EP that was made the same year as this. The booklet also includes lyrics of the songs and has pictures of there EP's.

This is a great album by a great shoegaze band. Anyone into My Bloody Valeninte, Boo Radleys, Bowery Electric, Lush, Slowdive, and many others of this kind will like this. Just be aware that the reissue of the original cd is in worse quality, not better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't order this version, September 2, 2008
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This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
i ordered this expensive version of whirlpool and they sent me the old 2006 'cherry red records' version instead. i let amazon know about the mistake. i sent the cd back to them and they said they were going to send me the correct one. they then sent me the exact same 2006 release AGAIN.

the sound quality is sub par. it is a very old pressing of the album which omits the lush album version of my favorite song "something more" and replaces it with an old single version (hard rocking) of "something more".

when they sent it to me the second time i realized im not going to win this one so i asked them to refund me the diference between the expensive one i ordered and the cheap $18.99 one they also advertise. they refunded my money and my dealings with amazon were very cool i must admit. but i still didn't get what i wanted.

i ended up contacting "cherry red records" and told them of my problem. they were aware of the problem with the original pressing and have since corrected the problem. they sent me a brand new copy of whirlpool in the mail with a stamped envelope to return the old copy...free of charge.

the copy cherry red records sent me was of a much better sound quality and the song "something more" was the correct album version...not the old rocker single version.

i would sugest that you don't order it from amazon but instead order it directly from cherry red records instead. then you will be asured you are getting the proper pressing.

there is no way to tell by just looking at the cover wether you have the new better pressing. but if you look on the bottom of the cd you want to check and see that the code numbers (really small print)read as follows...TC2159. if it says anything else...you have the defective copy. cherry red records were very professional in correcting this mistake for me.

my suggestion would be to only purchase it from the record company itself. there are so many old defective copies out there for sale at various internet sellers. the only way you will be gaurenteed that you are getting the right one is to deal directly with cherry red records.

sorry amazon. i am not trying to diss you. i am very happy with the service you give me all the time. but in this case i have no choice but to bring this to the attention of die hard fans of chapterhouse who are looking for the real deal and the corrected pressing.

with all that aside...i must say the correct version i finally recieved from cherry red records was wonderful. it brought back so many memories. chapterhouse has always been one of my favorite bands. it was so nice to have all the b sides on the disc as well and the liner notes are amazing.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars possibly defective, September 2, 2008
This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
this version of whirlpool is most likely the defective pressing that was released in 2006. cherry red records has since fixed the problem and reissued it. but you can only be sure you are getting the correct version if you order it directly from cherry red rcords.

the sound quality of this release is sub par. it is a very old pressing of the album which omits the lush album version of my favorite song "something more" and replaces it with an old single version (hard rocking) of "something more".

i ended up contacting "cherry red records" and told them of my problem. they were aware of the problem with the original pressing and have since corrected the problem. they sent me a brand new copy of whirlpool in the mail with a stamped envelope to return the old copy...free of charge.

the copy cherry red records sent me was of a much better sound quality and the song "something more" was the correct album version...not the old rocker single version.

i would sugest that you don't order it from amazon but instead order it directly from cherry red records instead. then you will be assured you are getting the proper pressing.

there is no way to tell by just looking at the cover wether you have the new better pressing. but if you look on the bottom of the cd you want to check and see that the code numbers (really small print)read as follows...TC2159. if it says anything else...you have the defective copy. cherry red records were very professional in correcting this mistake for me.

my suggestion would be to only purchase it from the record company itself. there are so many old defective copies out there for sale at various internet sellers. the only way you will be gaurenteed that you are getting the right one is to deal directly with cherry red records.

sorry amazon. i am not trying to diss you. i am very happy with the service you give me all the time. but in this case i have no choice but to bring this to the attention of die hard fans of chapterhouse who are looking for the real deal and the corrected pressing.

with all that aside...i must say the correct version i finally recieved from cherry red records was wonderful. it brought back so many memories. chapterhouse has always been one of my favorite bands. it was so nice to have all the b sides on the disc as well and the liner notes are amazing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shoegaze classic, February 22, 2013
By 
Eric "seric26" (Somerville, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
This is one of the great albums from the original era of shoegaze. Which is back again, and not just because "m b v" just came out. Chapterhouse were short-lived (like a lot of the original greats), but this album still holds up, with no filler and many memorable tracks. While they're not in the Slowdive/MBV/Lush range, they're definitely proudly among the second tier like Swervedriver, Catherine Wheel or Pale Saints. There's a dreamy comfort to their hooks, and titles like "Pearl," "Treasure," or "Mesmerise?" All true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you kidding?, February 21, 2013
I went to the farthest regions of outer space with this album. No joke. The early '90s were a wash of Brit pop and this album was nestled nicely in the upper echelons of audio enlightenment. Get schooled, son!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Defective Deshmective, it's all in your perspective., September 14, 2009
This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
As a Ride, Catherine Wheel, Stone Roses, Charlatans UK fan, I'm pissed I never stumbled across Chapterhouse. I have a vague recollection of Falling Down possibly having airplay on KROQ in Southern California, as well as vague recollection of the band name; until I heard Pearl and Breather on [...]. In fact the whole Shoegaze term was something I never heard of either. Showing my age & ignorance perhaps...but having no pre-conceptions of past CD content or recording qualities, I can't recommend this CD any more...a phenomenal listen! Each song has a different feel from the other, weaving through a variety of styles, as described in the jacket, allowing the listener to imagine being a fly on the wall at the moment of recording.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic!, February 18, 2014
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This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
One of my favorite shoegaze albums of all time! It's great to have a physical copy of such a masterpiece. This has all the classics of Chapterhouse, including my favorites: Falling Down and Satin Safe!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, January 21, 2008
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This review is from: Whirlpool (Audio CD)
One of my favorite albums from the early 90's. Originally had it on tape. This edition has bonus songs from earlier releases. Great find!
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Whirlpool
Whirlpool by Chapterhouse (Audio CD - 2006)
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