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The Fallen Aristocracy EP

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 31, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Magnificent debut release from new Danish trio Northern Portrait who are ready to take the world by storm with one of the strongest singles released by Matinée to date! The release has all the makings of a modern pop classic and, according to somebody in the know, will shake the indiepop world to its very foundations. The band lists indie legends The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Housemartins among its influences and they certainly should appeal to fans of these and other classic pop groups plus contemporary favorites like Math and Physics Club too.

Lead track Crazy is the one that got the band noticed when it appeared on a newly-christened Myspace page late last summer. Written and recorded in a four-hour time frame which marked the beginning of Northern Portrait, the song was completed intuitively with absolutely nothing prepared until guitars plugged in. A mix of acoustic and electric Rickenbackers, the guitars jangle in all the right places recalling Smiths classics like This Charming Man , and the vocals fit the music perfectly. It s a hit!

A Quiet Night In Copenhagen is the first of three additional tracks on the EP and sets the bar pretty high with more jangling guitars, nice tempo changes and other instrumentation. Short and to the point, the song is a fairly universal tale of a kind of voluntary outsiderism. Waiting For A Chance is a bit slower and recalls the brightness of The Trash Can Sinatras or The Sundays if they had a male singer. The song features more of the characteristic Northern Portrait guitar sounds plus some nice keyboards. Final track The Fallen Aristocracy is an ode to all romantics bittersweet, but definitely more sweet than bitter. Using glockenspiel in addition to guitars, the song bounces along nicely and just might make the case of saving the strongest track for last.

This debut demonstrates amazing promise for a new band and leads one to wonder if the b-sides are this good just what does Northern Portrait have in store for its debut album?

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 31, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matinee Recordings
  • ASIN: B0016DI958
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,393,181 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Over the years many bands have tried to duplicate the Smiths sound and style, and Northern Portrait might be the best at it. The vocals sound so much like Morrissey its somewhat erie. From the first seconds of "crazy" you'll be transported back to the mid 80s heyday of jangle pop. This cd can go either way for you. One you'll will delighted to hear a quality imitation of one of your favorite bands, or you'll be annoyed to no end because Northern Portrait doesn't do enough to create an unique sound of their own.
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Format: Audio CD
It's hard to review EPs. This album only has 4 songs, but they pique my interest. Like the other reviewer said, Northern Portrait sounds A LOT like the Smiths, and the singer sounds more like Morrissey than any other singer I've ever heard besides Morrissey. Obviously, there's a tribute kind of thing going on, which would be obvious even if you just looked at the cover art. It's an enjoyable album-- 12 minutes of pretty, soothing music. Northern Portrait seem a little more relaxed than the Smiths, but they'll definitely need to tap into their own flavor to sustain a full-length album. Which I would definitely like to check out!
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