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White Bread Black Beer


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Audio CD, July 25, 2006
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$35.00
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Vinyl, Import, January 1, 2007
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$35.00 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by scosum and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With the release of White Bread Black Beer, the first Scritti Politti offering in seven years, Green Gartside experiments with lush Beach Boys-style harmonies and Beatles-esque melodies, subtly subverting them with touches of hip hop and reggae. Gartside once again offers instantly embraceable, pure-pop pleasure. If you plunge beneath these shimmering surfaces, however, you'll discover greater challenges and richer rewards--reservoirs of feeling and layers of meaning residing within Gartside's carefully arranged lyrics.

Amazon.com

If you haven't listened to Scritti Politti's Cupid & Psyche '85 lately, you may be shocked at how well it holds up. With the hyper-literate songwriting chops of XTC and a fluffy electronic sheen that remains highly influential, the damn thing is better than it ever was, filled with impossible sweetness and glistening pop songs that were--despite the helium lightness of Green Gartside's voice--deceptively ballsy. 20 years later, White Bread Black Beer flaunts many of the same qualities. Gartside may be in his 50s, but he's still pure High Fructose with his candy-colored saccharine tones, linguistic non-sequiturs (see "The Boom Boom Bap") and sweet--but blunt--atheism ("After Six"). Beer completely ditches the strong hip-hop influence of SP's last "comeback" album, 1999's Anomie & Bonhomie and replaces it with quieter, softer textures and ballads. Then again, the whole thing was recorded in the back room of Gartside's Hackney apartment so maybe he just lacked the production oomph to jazz it up properly. Not that it matters; Beer might be a relatively hushed and less exuberant record, but it's unmistakably Scritti Politti, bursting with a twinkling, bright likeability that makes us grateful for anything Gartside manages to release. --Matthew Cooke

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. The Boom Boom Bap 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. No Fine Lines 1:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Snow in Sun 3:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Cooking 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Throw 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Dr. Abernathy 6:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. After Six 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Petrococadollar 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. E Eleventh Nuts 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Window Wide Open 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Road to No Regret 3:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Locked 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Mrs. Hughes 5:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Robin Hood 3:10$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 25, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000G1QXOK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,716 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

This isn't a close comparison.
ILikeAmazon
The songs are strong, ranging from traditionally structured pop to short bursts of minimalist soundscape.
Steven E. Wilson
Since discovering this album 3 months ago it is rapidly become one of my all-time favourites.
Good album lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andy on June 29, 2006
Format: Audio CD
OK, first of all, this album is very different from everything that came before, so don't expect a repeat of earlier formulae. Almost every song here could fall under a different genre, but it all holds together like a concept album, though it isn't one in the typical sense. Some of you will be pleased to hear that there's no RAP on this one. In fact, there are no guest vocalists at all. Though this album is very different from earlier albums, the good news is that there is enough familiarity in Green's voice and lyrical style, that this is still instantly recognizable as being Scritti Politti. Amazon's editorial review for the US release draws comparisons to The Beatles (I don't hear it myself) and The Beach Boys (definitely, on a couple of tracks), but I think it might be more appropriate to compare it to...Simon and Garfunkel (believe it or not...and I mean this in the best way possible).

Supposedly, this album was recorded in Green's home studio. You could have fooled me--The production quality is superb and lush and polished to a mirror finish. The vocals are mixed way-up-front, which works so well since Green's vocals and harmonies are so strong. Many pop singers couldn't get away with being mixed that loud, but Green's breathy, childlike voice belies a strength and agility, and a great understanding of harmony and layering. Just to be clear here: Green sings almost the entire album in layers of self-harmony (or doubled at the very least) and it sounds fantastic. The music is all top-notch. It's mostly acoustic, but there are some electronics, and they are used tastefully, and to great effect.

The album starts a little lukewarm with two downtempo tunes; nice but not eyebrow-raisers.
Read more ›
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Brady on January 8, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Make no mistake, this is not your Mother's Scritti Politti. Gone - if not especially missed - are the super-glossy, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Fairlight arrangements and the frantic, frenetic dance beats of the mid-Eighties. But what remains unchanged is what makes this album so special. Gorgeous, lushly arranged multi-tracked vocals, smart ( but not smarmy ) lyrics and a batch of particularly strong songs all come together to make what is without a doubt the best pop album of the last year. Most of these songs float along on little more than gently strummed acoustic guitar and very deftly programmed, subtle electronic textures. Purposely lo-fi, the spartan instrumentation makes the vocals and lyrics stand out that much more. Several tracks remind me of opening up a jewel box - simple but incredibly melodic keyboard lines married to Green Gartside's ethereal and eternally young, sweet-sounding falsetto. A very few songs here approach anything sounding "modern" - the opening track "The Boom Boom Bap" features impossibly deep bass and a rhythm somewhere between minimalist hip-hop and dub reggae. "After Six" could be a Gorillaz track if they had a better lyricist and knew when to quit. And "Dr. Abernathy" rocks just a *little* bit. Apparently self-produced at home, " White Bread, Black Beer" has very obvious touchstones in the already mentioned Beach Boys ( the vocal harmonies ) and the Beatles ( the lyrics and melodies ). I also hear the dub productions of Lee Perry here, in that there is a real clear, clean space in the mix. Not every available spot on the tape is covered with sound, and what you DON'T hear is as important as what you DO hear.Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kerrick A. Felts on September 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been a huge fan of Green since hearing EP'S so long ago. So needless to say I think this collection of songs is without a doubt very enjoyable! After the first listen, I thought, that was not what I expected, very laid back!! Upon further ventures into his new disc, all I can think of is, WOW, these are beautiful songs!! He has come up with some of the most, for lack of a better word, "PRETTY" sondscapes I've heard,well,forever! I'm not kidding!! I challenge anyone to give an open mind to this recording and not be moved. NOT GUSHING, but for my money this is what music is all about. The songs are all so textured, it makes me happy to know someone is out there who is willing to go deeper into his heart and soul to create such passion in mere minutes! Keep doing what you feel like doing Green Gartside, and I'll keep buying it!! Get this Music and you'll have years of great thoughts and I hope, inspiration for more peace in your lives. GET this DISC!!! I know I feel a whole lot better with WHITE BREAD BLACK BEER in my life. Thank You for your time.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Wilson on July 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Being one that was disappointed by Anomie & Bonhomie I was a little weary of laying down money for a new Scritti album. After reading the reviews that described a stripped down, homegrown sound (Green recorded this one in his small home studio) my curiousity was peaked and I took a chance. I am so glad that I did! Though I've only listened to it once all the way through I'm pretty sure that this is the best thing that Scritti has ever put out.

Gartside has boiled his sound down to the very essence of what makes him great. The minimal production and instrumentation put the focus on his glorious voice allowing his vocal arrangements to soar.

The songs are strong, ranging from traditionally structured pop to short bursts of minimalist soundscape. While some songs consist of only lush vocals and poetry over a sound canvas, others are fully realized pop masterworks that take you in one direction for three or four minutes before veering off suddenly into another world for the last minute of the song - sometimes seeming to be two or three songs rolled into one!

To some this may seem like a departure for Scritti. If you listen with an open mind you will find that it's really not that far from Cupid or Provision. It's just that the glossy layers of the onion have been peeled back to reveal the core of what makes this band great - incredibly tasty pop songs, clever word play, and a beautiful, beautiful voice.

Don't let this one get away.
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Does the "White Bread Black Beer" cd provide lyrics in the insert?
yes.
Oct 18, 2009 by Mark W. Kane |  See all 2 posts
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