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My Maudlin Career

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 21, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As the title suggests, their new album shares with the listener an affectionate wit and a melancholy tendency towards life's daily routines and relationships. Yet it also boasts and expands on the affected pop elements explored on their breakout album, "Let's Get Out Of This Country". It's no wonder Camera Obscura are often mentioned in the same sentences as fellow Scots Belle & Sebastian, indie rock faves The Lucksmiths, and music legends The Smiths

Review

"Pure and unabashed pop bliss" --Filter

"A gorgeous pop album, to say the least." --Under the Radar

"The band's finest year, with 10 succinct tunes that artfully blend the musical signifiers of the 60's with clever songwriting." --Paste
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 4AD
  • ASIN: B001T46U32
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After their last album "Let's Get Out Of The Country" achieved breakthrough-of-sorts status thanks to an exceptional lead single, "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken", the Glasgow indie band now finds itself on the legendary, seminal 4AD label.
The renowned Swedish producer Jari Haapalainen - whose past credits - Peter Bjorn And John, The Concretes, Ed Harcourt - give one an idea of the richly textured soundscapes he can co-create - is back for his second outing with the band, building on the dense production introduced on their third album, which is purely and simply about love.
It starts in a resolutely non-maudlin mode. The upbeat Phil Spector-esque "French Navy", the opening track, is 60s pop with strings, and a vocal echo that lends itself so well to Tracyanne Campbell's voice, sending it ethereal. At times it reminds me of Canadian Jann Arden and American Natalie Merchant of 10,00 Maniacs. The bittersweet song is typical of Campbell's oeuvre in that it's unspeakably lovely, but so delicate it doesn't live long in the memory. Her soft Glaswegian accent and soft, nasal tones suit the fragility and juvenility of a 'he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not' sentimentality.
Elsewhere, there's a blissful summery quality to "The Sweetest Thing", while the country-ish "Away With Murder" showcases the singer's fondness for kitchen-sink realism.
"How many times have you told me you want to die?" she sings. "How many times have you told me that you've tried?". Rarely have lines as sombre been wrapped in a package as pretty.
The Glaswegian outfit deliver their finest outing, with seductive songs such as "Careless Love", sweeping strings and Tracyanne Campbell evoking the spirit of The Shangri-Las over thumping drums on the title track.
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An eagerly anticipated album for those of us who have overdone it listening to Let's Get out of This Country. More uptempo than its predecessor, maybe a bit more of a Country flavor here and there. Eloquent, sometimes playful songs of heartache, loss and lonliness. A nostalgic and dreamlike musical atmosphere brought about in part by classic use of reverb and a warm, retro organ sound. Wonderful.
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I have to say that after stumbling upon a music video by this group by accident a few months ago, I've fallen in love with these guys, their music is just incredible! Now I don't say this lightly, I've been around and heard a LOT of music over the years, and Camera Obscura rates up there with the best of them in my opinion. I mean it's so rare to listen to an album and discover that I love almost every song on the album, and then to find that the same can be said for every one of their albums. I have to say I can't remember feeling that way about any group since the Beatles, and while I'm not in any way comparing C.O to the Fab Four, lol, I am saying that it's is not often that you find a group that puts so much quality work/music into a release.

Sad to say, it's a terrible shame that in todays music industry a band out of Scotland just isn't going to get any airtime on the pop-stations and what a loss that is for those of us on this side of the pond. Their music has a quality and depth to the writing, composition and arrangement that is a refreshing pleasure compared to all the stripped down, unoriginal, American Idol flash-in-the-pan pop groups a lot of people are hooked on these days, plus I love the fact that Camera Obscura's music is both new, yet captures perfectly retro sounds from the 60's and 70's and spans a broad spectrum from rock to country, all while sounding completely original. Give them a listen and you won't be sorry!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Camera Obscura originally captured my attention in April 2009 when I heard the title track of this album on a video segment on Good Morning America a few days prior to its release. Every track on "My Maudlin Career" is different, making it impossible to choose a favorite, yet all share the same retro pop flavor that keeps one coming back for more. On this album, as well as on each prior record, Camera Obscura blends all of the best aspects of music, past and present, together to make a sheer listener's delight. Do not hesitate; purchase "My Maudlin Career" NOW!
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Format: Audio CD
Camera Obscura is good at what they do. Fans of the band and even casual listeners can easily attest to this after the magnum opus that was 06's Let's Get Out Of This Country, where frontwoman Tracyanne Campbell and fellow Scots bandmates gave themselves over to Lloyd Cole and looked very much like the successors to Belle & Sebastian's eminently catchy brand of twee-pop. It becomes clear right out of the gate that, with My Maudlin Career, their success has in no way put a damper on their talents - Campbell still has that slightly accented purr down pat, a sexy and sweet mix between Jenny Lewis and Victoria Bergsman, and the band's orchestrated `60s pop/folk keeps chugging cheerfully along no matter how downcast Campbell sounds.

And make no mistake about it; My Maudlin Career is a darker record than Country, although you wouldn't know it from the delightful opener and first single "French Navy." Where countrymen Belle & Sebastian made their mark via clever turns of phrase and sly, smart lyrical conventions, Camera Obscura are romantics at heart, using a bouncy string-backed beat to frame convictions of love like "I was waiting to be struck by lightning / waiting for somebody exciting" before bursting into a four-on-the-floor chorus replete with arching, ascending strings as a yearning Campbell sings "I wanted to control it / but love, I couldn't hold it." It's the catchiest, most straightforward song on the record, the band's corollary to Country's excellent "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken." Obscura's well-toned pop hooks are sunk even deeper on the following "The Sweetest Thing," where the contrast between Campbell's heartsick lyrics and the upbeat, sing-a-long chorus is highlighted and makes a deceptively simple song into a thing of tragic beauty.
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