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on May 29, 2012
Hello fellow Saint Etienne fans.

YES the wait has been way too long for this stellar album to come out - but if you wait 5 more seconds, the rewards are great.

There are TWO versions of this album available for download. Nearly the same price. Be sure yours is the 25 Track Deluxe Edition with Digital Booklet. For a half buck less, you merely get the standard album, no digital booklet.

OK, the booklet is not much to write home about. Just some pictures of some doorways around London, a lovely shot of the band (looking dapper and beautiful as always) and a lyrics page. The real treat is the remix album. Remix albums can either be essential (Prince, Big Country, New Order), dreadful (Lady Gaga) or inessential (Radiohead's The King of Limbs remix). I am not sure where this one will land, but for 50 extra cents, it's all butter to me.

Just like Sarah Cracknell's creamy, dreamy voice - oh how I missed her, that posh, soothing soprano and her dazzling closet of cocktail dresses. Pinky out, cocktail to lips, relax and let Sarah delight you with tales (spoken and sung) about the importance of music in her life.

This album will take a while to fully absorb, but don't wait for me or anyone else. While it is only ten bucks - grab it now and enjoy.
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on May 30, 2012
This is a great album! I wasnt expecting this at all to be honest. After Tales From Turnpike House mellower entry in their catalog, I thought they would sort of follow that one up with something similar. Don't get me wrong, Turnpike House had some really nice songs, but most of the songs were pretty soft & gentle tunes without a whole lot of boldness or experimenting going on. It was kind of an easy going Saint Etienne CD! But Words & Music completely changes course with some incredible catchy songs, with great hooks, danceable, techno, with the unique trademark sounds from their older albums also added in. A lot of experimenting going on actually, changing things up from song to song. All of it so catchy and a pleasure to listen to. The first half dozen times I've played this CD I've just gotten lost in the journey. Sarah's vocals and the great productions and instrumentation just glides along and never gets boring. The album also has a depth like the other reviewer said you cannot grasp it during the first listen but with repeated plays you appreciate it more and more! The album has a complexity to it that will probably make it an enjoyable listen for a long time to come. To me the songwriting is just better this time, they've had 7 years to work on it and it's just a real treat! 5 stars all the way!!!
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on July 18, 2012
The best cult pop band of all time releases a career peak album. Now will they follow suit and follow in the foot steps of bands like Japan, Janes Addiction and Failure and call it a day after reaching such a high creative peak?. Only time will tell. I will say if they do, I want to thank Bob, Pete and Sarah for creating not only one of the best albums of 2012 but probably my favorite pop album of the last five years or so.

I have to wonder. Granted, the band has never got it's due. See the success of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen and listen to Saint Etienne's first three records and shake your head. Second, pop artists in their late 40s shouldn't be able to come up with such a great concept. SE have crafted not only a very creative concept album about the importance of music in people's life. But every song on the album is stellar. some like "DJ" are among the best the band has written. Even the songs that on the surface don't appear so great on the first listen grab you by the throat on subsequent repeats. And I find myself repeatedly playing this album quite a bit.

And to top it all of, this band is pretty clever. Not only do they raise the bar on "kitchen sink" melodrama that shows the band still worships Scott Walker albums 1 through 4. They reference other bands, their own music, and their own lyrics to their own songs. Like I said pretty clever for the worlds greatest cult pop band. Even the album cover showing "streets made of song titles" is just really ridiculously clever.

So I would say, this is a must have album for people in their late 30's to late 40's who grew up on glam rock and British new wave. If the first song on this marvel, called "Over The Boarder" doesn't choke you up a bit complete with a lyric and music nod to New Order, then I would say pass on this. But let me repeat, on the first song, Saint Etienne know how to reference the importance of Blue Monday being the music score to many a teenagers' heart-broken melodramas. Like I said, clever band.

And one more thing, can some label please release a non-digital format of this thing stateside! Import prices kinda suck you know.

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on July 13, 2012
Outstanding 2012 release from a longtime source of wonderful main reason for writing this is to include the details for the double disc UK import version since I cannot find a specific listing for that (at the moment). Enjoy!

Disc 1
1. Over the Border
2. I've Got Your Music
3. Heading For the Fair
4. Last Days of Disco
5. Tonight
6. Answer Song
7. Record Doctor
8. Popular
9. 25 Years
10. DJ
11. When I Was Seventeen
12. I Threw it All Away
13. Haunted Jukebox

Disc 2
1. Tonight (Two Bears Remix)
2. Last Days of Disco (Erol Alkan Remix)
3. DJ (Stay+ Remix)
4. I've Got Your Music (Golden Filter Remix)
5. Popular (Tom Middleton Cosmos Remix)
6. Heading For The Fair (The Time And Space Machine Waltzer Remix)
7. Tonight (Club Clique Remix)
8. Answer Song (White Horses Remix)
9. Haunted Jukebox (Summer Camp Remix)
10. I've Got Your Music (Kisses Remix)
11. DJ (Muddyloop Remix)
12. Last Days of Disco (Beat Connection Remix)
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on September 21, 2012
Saint Etienne never fails to deliver top drawer music to its fans. Words and Music find Saint Etienne in a pensive but dance pop mood. The musical arrangements are catchy and every song melds into each other beautifully. If I had to pick a favorite track (which I loathe to do with this release)it would be the opener "Over the Border" which really sets the environment for the rest of the disc as lead singer Sarah Cracknell talk-sings waxing nostalgic about old records,bands,record stores she misses.I can certainly relate! The lead single "Tonight" is great dance pop as is the dreamy "DJ" which will make you swoon is another favorite.The album is tight thematically and musically. The deluxe edition provides a collection of remixes which are a total delight and fit perfectly never compromising the overall feel of "Words & Music". This is Saint Etienne's most accessible album and its a damn shame that the world or more specifically the top ten is not sophisticated enough to appreciate this awesome band and its finest release.
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on August 31, 2012
As soon as I hear her, I just want to go right back to the days of the summer of love sometime in the mid-90's and take a bucket load of Ecstacy and wig out in the belief that she loves me, that life loves me and that I love life and all is great in the world but with a reality-check tinge of sadness about it all knowing in the back of my mind that out there, in the world, there is nothing but memories and reminiscences and how things used to be and what made all of it feel good for me. Thanks Sarah. Thank you St Etienne.
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on September 22, 2012
I was about to order the deluxe 2-CD edition of this one, but I saw the single disc for at a good price at a shop in Bangkok recently, so my decision was made. Hmm, I still may splurge for that double package before the year is out. Anyway, this new album sounds fabulous. Comfort food for the ears. They pretty much sound the same, and to me that's a good thing. I don't want a band like this experimenting with hip-hop beats or any other trendy crap. I just want good pop songs with dance beats, and that's what we've got here. Saint Etienne have been such a consistenly good band over the years, and fans of their previous albums should enjoy this one too. It's such a pleasure to hear a band sounding this good, and sounding like they are enjoying what they are doing; making music for the sheer pleasure that it gives them ... and us listeners. And I love a lot of the lyrical content too, further proof that these band members are also big music fans. Long live Saint Etienne!
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on July 27, 2013
I discovered Saint Etienne quite late on when I bought the wonderful 'Boxette' retrospective. After a long break, they are back with this fantastic album. There is not a dud track on it.

The album opens with the sublime 'Over the Border' on which Sarah's silky smooth voice perfectly evokes the feelings you had when you were young and discovered music for the first time.
Other highlights include the impossible not to dance to 'I've Got Your Music' (find the video also, it's great), the mid-tempo 'Last Days of Disco', which is perfect chill-out music and, of course, 'DJ' which has to rank as one of the pop songs of the year.

Seriously, if you don't know Saint Etienne, give this a go, it's fantastic, innovative yet traditional, immaculately produced and an essential purchase for fans of great music.

Pop music for adults, buy it.
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VINE VOICEon July 5, 2012
After the delightful Tales From Turnpike House, it has been a painful wait for the next project out of this legendary band. Most of the songs on the album are pure pop gems that are guaranteed to make you want to get up and dance, and they carry the band's signature: maudlin, reflective lyrics, catchy hooks, elaborate engineering and sublime, velvety vocals.
If you were only going to buy one Saint Etienne album, I would recommend the Smash the System compilation instead. But if you're already familiar with the band, this album is a must have. The guys and Sarah are back in rare form!
[Edit] In his comment Larry Davis recommends London Conversations instead of "Smash the System." Good call.
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on March 9, 2014
Found this group while reading a book. I love it when I find great music from texts. I do enjoy the songs everyone else enjoys, but further enjoy the remixes. Ranging from lounge and house to downbeat edm as per my preferences. Cheers!
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