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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2003
This is great stuff, folks. Lilting, sweet melodies. Painstakingly gorgeous, simple but surprising arrangements. Sharply etched, distinctive songs. Smart lyrics that, like the best, steer clear of the maudlin or predictable, embrace the absurd or surreal with heart and resonance (think Dylan's "Desolation Row"), and leaven the warmly emotional tone of the songs with wit and grit. Tone- and arrangement-wise, it's not unlike Beck's over-praised "Sea Change", but where that one veers into lugubrious, self-pitying monotony, this one just sparkles with intelligence, craft and heart, not to mention a tongue that one suspects -- but couldn't quite say for sure -- is lodged just slightly in cheek. A delightful record.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2000
I first heard this band a few years ago and was blown away by their innovative musical arrangements and compelling lyrics. I listened to their first record, "you Were A Diamond" no less than a million times and therefore was anxiously awaiting a new release. "Your Favorite Music" is a stellar follow up. The songs are simultaneously melancholy and hopeful. The title track is lush and swelling, while songs like "Exercise" are almost giddy. Cellist Jason Glasser does some amazing things on this record, and Eef Barzelay's voice is downright delicious. "Bread" might be the song I love the most, simply because it is straight up beautiful. Their cover of "Donna" usurps the original, if thats possible. Buy this record.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2000
YFM falls into many categories - most noteably the avant pop world. Don't let the country twang fool you, there's more than beats the ear to this band. Beautiful, quirky and thoroughly refreshing lyrics - laced with subtle melodies and samples make this a great summer "open the screen door honey, let's sit out on the porch" type record. i saw 'em live - and they can rock too! check out the richie valens cover of "donna" and their "excercise" and "your favorite music." quite dynamic. i just wish they'd record the version of Sonic Youth's "schizophrenia" they do. wow.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2001
Oft compared to Will Oldham and Palace, Clem Snide - a band named after a character in William Burrough's "Naked Lunch" - have absorbed influences so fully on their second CD Your Favorite Music that they're damn near imperceptible now. "Alt-country" they began, but country is now what they are. Eef Barzelay, singer and songwriter, trots out 11 gems (and one cover of Richie Valens' "Donna") that quietly make themselves felt with their finely calibrated observations and sonic verities. Minor stuff, for sure, but that's in Barzelay's small-in-scope subject matter here, not overall talent. Standouts among equals: the funny-wise answer songs for clueless bastards everywhere, "I Love the Unknown", and the saddest song about loving sad songs, "Your Favorite Music", which both betrays and fulfills itself with the sound of a child's laughter under a yearning violin solo.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2000
In this album, the band has gotten a lot more pointed. The lyrical irony and sentimentality have become interwoven in a very complex way. Glasser's expiremental sound clips and instrumentation give a weirdly avant-garde flavor to something that might otherwise be simple country melodies. Songs like Sweet Mother Russia and African Friend have a quirky homespun quality while grappling with things much larger than at first seems evident. Although they sound nothing like them, their innovative style of playing and lyrical sophistication remind me of what the Talking Heads once were. All in all, completely excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2002
After taking a short trip through an independant label (tractor music), Clem Snide is back with their album Your Favorite Music. Definitely a must-buy for Clem Snide fans!!! I bought their following one, The Ghost of Fashion and loved it and felt I had to have everything. I was not disappointed in the results. Exercise is one of the best songs I've heard in a long long time. Messiah Complex Blues is wonderful! Definitely influences from old artists such as Bob Dylan in some of these songs. Definitely a must have (or at least try)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2001
This CD is gorgeous! I was 30 seconds into the first track (The Dairy Queen) when I realized I had a new favorite band. Lush, orchestral, twangy and sublime. I haven't been this turned on by a "new" band in quite some time. Their first CD "YOU WERE A DIAMOND" is great, too. Mistreated by a stupid major label, they've returned to indie-land where they belong. Hopefully, their new label with treat them with the respect they deserve! Do yourself a favor and buy this NOW!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Somehow Clem Snide manages to make music that's both sad and sorrowful and yet is uplifting and makes you feel better when you feel crappy.

It kinda reminds me of Beck's "Sea Change" with how slow and sad and country tinged it sounds yet its lightened by a wry, "what can you do?" sense of humor that creates a light at the end of the tunnel.

Also, it'll give indie purists a mild dose of real, true country music (not to be confused with that godawful modern radio slop they're calling "country" these days), especially "Messiah Complex Blues" which is the best country song I've heard in a while.

But what really makes this album shine is the melodies. They take a while to show themselves because the pacing of the music is so slow but the vocal lines really stick to you.

So good job, Clem Snide, you made one good album with "Your Favorite Music." If you're going through some heartache, this CD will help you.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2000
I heard this band by accident last week. Clem Snide was opening for a friend's band. I was so impressed that I bought the CD right on the spot from Clem Snide's singer.
The CD, Your Favorite Music, is a beauty. The lyrics are intelligent, somewhat melancholic, but ultimately triumphant. It's difficult to pigeonhole them, but imagine an unpretentious Counting Crows-like band comprised of sensitive young men playing acoustic instruments on a porch shack somewhere in Alabama. They've somehow tapped into the deep, beating, if stuttering, pulse of America.
A definite must-hear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2000
What can I say. The last time I was so love in with a cd was when Galaxie 500 released On Fire. I takes awhile to warm up to, but its worth the effort and is of course more subdued. Best tracks: Dairy Queen, Loneliness Finds Her Own Way and Messiah Complex Blues. Just Great. My favorite cd of 2000.
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