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Culture Of Fear Original recording reissued, Double LP

4.4 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Double LP, June 28, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 release, the sixth album from the Electronic/DJ duo. While never being pinned down stylistically but retaining a signature sound altogether, Culture Of Fear is just like all the rest. That is if you're counting on smart, consciously-centered music still bestowing plenty of appeal on the average listener. But the main difference is the energy. Culture of Fear's sophisticated lounge sound invites anyone and everyone to feel the music. It's only when you get past the satisfying, digestible shell of COF that you realize they really are feeding you vegetables under the table. Listening to this album is like cruising over a freshly paved side road with the blemishes and potholes representing anxiety and premonitions out of sight and out of mind. With more than enough justifications to feel paranoid and fearful in 2011, the future doesn't seem so scary when Thievery Corporation is interpreting it, at least not this time around.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 28, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Double LP
  • Label: ESL Music
  • ASIN: B0050I2OKG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,366 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I started listening to Thievery Corp several years ago with the Mirror Conspiracy and Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi. Those works are hard to match and were the signature works of these artists IMO. So it's pointless to always compare the newest work to the signature works, as people are prone to do in every musical field. People didn't like Pink Floyd's Division Bell that much because it wasn't Meddle or Dark Side of the Moon. To me that's a pointless exercise. Look at each work on its own merits based on what you like. Sometimes it's great to get a familiar sound (with new instruments and details and arrangements) from the same artist, almost comforting. Sometimes it disappoints. Just depends on you and want you expect to happen.

For me, I didn't particularly like the last couple studio albums. I ended up buying 2 or 3 tracks from each and thought perhaps that was the best was past. But I have to say, after just a couple hours of listening to it, I really love this new album. It's familiar enough in the sound and musical themes (equal parts electronic chill, Marley-hop, and eerie female vocals) to bring me into that comfort zone I've been missing. (I liked Cosmic but parts of it felt over the top or too frantic or... something. Just didn't feel like Thievery to me.) But Fear is also new enough and interesting enough that I can really appreciate the new twists and feel how it flows together. There are parts in certain tracks that even remind me of old Pink Floyd or Doors instrumental riffs. It just speaks to me.

This isn't a collection of iconic sounds to sell records; this is a whole and possibly my second favorite Thievery work among everything they've done. I have a feeling I'll like it more the more I listen to it. Definitely worth the download.
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By RP on July 2, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a huge TC fan, and pre-ordered this CD. A *very* strong first two songs (powerful/groovy beats, cool sound effects, smart hip-hop lyrics) push the envelope of TC's creativity and range. There's also some fun reggae/dub sprinkled throughout the album.

Unfortunately, these highlights are offset by otherwise generic-sounding, uninspired, and somewhat redundant (compare Amazon's sample tracks #7 & #11, for example) sounds that dominate the rest of the album.

Overall, a decent electronica album, but for long-time TC fans who have set the bar high, I'd say nothing too innovative or exciting beyond approximately half the tracks.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yes,finally an album which is alive from these guys.
This is also my 7th album (i never abandonded the band) from Thievery and as soon as the first beat hits you'll get familiar sound, which is upbeat spacey and groovy. The good news is they are able to maintain that feel through the entire album with ups and downs. Overall, if you never heard this band before this is a good album to start with. If you been around for a while, then you'll have fun with Culture of Fear.
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Format: Audio CD
The first comparison that comes to my mind is thier DJ Kicks disk. This cd reminds me of that set a lot and I love it. Thievery went gangsta and political on 'Cosmic Game' and 'Radio Retaliation' which I am not complaining about at all. I actually saw them live 5 times in that time period and they killed it every time. Culture Of Fear reminds me of older Thievery, not as 'aggressive', quite pretty and melodic and overall just a great album.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As with most people on here, it seems like everyone's been a fan of Thievery's for a long, long time. I think this new album 'Culture Of Fear' is fine, but it just doesn't really blow me away.

Culture Of Fear seems to be right on the cusp of being amazing. The songs all sound good/ good beats/ good vibe to them. But a lot of them don't really seem to ever take it that next level that I always (perhaps unfairly) expect them to take it to. On a lot of the songs I felt like a little something extra was just missing. I can't say that the entire album is very memorable to be honest.

I'm not saying this is by any means a bad album. On the contrary, it's definitely good and it's a lot better than most stuff you can buy nowadays. I just think this won't be a classic that I'll still be jones'ing to listen to several years from now, like most of their other material. For the true collectors and completionists, of course this is a must-purchase. For new listeners, I'm not 100% sold on this one.
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Format: Audio CD
Overview:

Culture of Fear is great. It took a few listens to really to get into it, but it is on par with the other great Thievery, original material albums (e.g. Mirror Consipiracy, Richest Man in Babylon, Cosmic Game). The female vocalist that does a majority of the vocals is just terriffic. The bass lines thoughout the CD are just killing. I'm not really a rap fan, but the one rap song (title track) was well done. The horns in the background are quite nice. There are not as much reggae and world touches as some of the more recent albums, but they are still there. For me the two keys to this album are the fantastic bass lines throughout and the female vocals. The 2nd half of the album is sooo much better than the first.

Song Highlights:

Tower Seven: For the two plus minutes or so this seems like a dreamy trance piece that doesn't go anywhere. Then out of nowhere they segue with a nice Asian keyboard lick and the bass kicks in. From here on out its a killer spacy trance sequence. I think when Thievery fans look back at this album, this track will be remembered as a classic. So smooth, but never too smooth.

Safar: So pretty. Middle Eastern sounding with pretty vocals that could be Russian, or Middle Eastern, I don't know. The only thing wrong with this song is its too short.

Free: Again the vocals kill, and the background music does too. Very dreamy, very "Massive Attack"-ish. Nice lyrics, reminds me of the first song from Babylon, but better.

I don't understand how Thievery fans critized this album. I think the last albums were just so good and people forget they get better with each listen.
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