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Buzzle Bee

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 2000
$7.99 $4.98
Vinyl, October 23, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's probably critical overkill to point out that the High Llamas are the prime inheritors of the lush soundscapes that Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach perfected (each in his own way) during the '60s and early '70s. On the other hand, it's also abundantly obvious that the English quartet never seems to tire of mining Bacharach's hits and Wilson's masterworks -- namely Pet Sounds and the SMiLE album -- for new ideas. Buzzle Bee might just be the group's most out-there production yet, as the Llamas churn out eight tracks full of gorgeous symphonic pop arrangements and aloof, lazy melodies that dart in and out of all kinds of studio tinkering. If this is, in fact, something Wilson and Bacharach would have made, they would have had to have made it while under the influence of some very potent psychedelics. Still, too much of it sounds like background buzz, the sort of stuff that Wilson rightly left on the cutting room floor during the Pet Sounds sessions. What would be really interesting is if these guys struck some sort of sitcom-worthy bargain with their heroes: the Llamas would teach Wilson and Bacharach to be hip, if those two would lend the Llamas some hooks. ~ Christian Hoard, Rovi

For many, Sean O'Hagen--the bright-eyed retro-pop connoisseur who's recorded since the early '90s under the tag of the High Llamas--has never topped the elaborate 1994 psychedelic masterpiece Gideon Gaye. Like close contemporaries the Boo Radleys, there's a lingering suspicion that O'Hagen is a desperately undervalued pop voice, but it's difficult to herald Buzzle Bee. With guest backing vocals from Mary Hansen of occasional collaborators Stereolab and all the retro psychedelic influences fixed in place, O'Hagen's muse shows signs of being irritatingly inflexible. While this doesn't quite bring the Bacharach-gone-Krautrock space fairytale of "New Broadway" crashing to earth, it does leave this album's more prosaic moments--such as the exercise in easy-listening tedium that is "Sleeping Spray"--trampling through the same old leafy glades without any clear direction. More ideas, please. --Louis Pattison

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Product details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Drag City
  • ASIN: B000051763
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,629 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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July 5, 2014
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
November 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
2 people found this helpful
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November 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
5 people found this helpful
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December 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
November 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
November 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One person found this helpful
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