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Places Like This

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This six-piece outfit of musical chameleons has developed a reputation for sensational live shows and a large, loyal fan base. They hit the ground running with their third record - ten songs of instantly lovable pop brilliance, fizzing with electrical currents, channeling calypso rhythms and tropical flavors with lashings of percussion a-go-go. Pop effervescence hasn't sounded this fresh in ages.

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The latest by the Australia-based Architecture in Helsinki bristles with the excitement of multicontinental and diverse cultural celebrations. Calypso rhythms shimmy through electronic washes, while rock beats and folkish melodies dance the night away. With primary writer Cameron Bird, as well as other members, living or having lived in various places around the globe, this is not altogether surprising. Their offbeat, Dadaist sensibilities are still a key identifier, as Bird delivers such lines as "You forgot to tell me I was gonna grow my hair long" with both utter commitment and bubbling glee. Any lyrical idiosyncrasies are more than matched by musical ones, though they never seem anything less than natural. Warm and inviting avant-gardists, this band's inventiveness always comes across as natural--they continue to endure and grow precisely because of this virtue. Surrealist singalongs, psychedelic nursery rhymes, and angular rockers make for a healthy mix from beginning to end. --David Greenberger
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polyvinyl Records
  • ASIN: B000SM7QYI
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,992 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 15, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Warning: Architecture in Helsinki are no longer twee. Whether this upsets you will depend on whether you like twee pop or not.

Admittedly, there are some twee moments in "Places Like This," and the whole album is colourful, sunny and catchy. But the Aussie band is rocking a more funky, rock'n'roll sound in their third album -- while it's not as winning or cohesive as their previous work, it is still entertainingly crazy and colourful electro-island-funk-rock.

It opens with what sounds like firecrackers exploding (or a keyboard dying a violent death), and segues quickly into a funky-electronic rocker ("So imagine the change/we spoke, it filled the air/so with the north-reflected southern light..."). But things really get going in the colourful calypso-pop of "Heart It Races," with its nonsensical lyrics about knotted laces and winter tans.

The songs that follow are a bit less funky -- electro/horn/dancepop, rollicking guitar melodies, strange ambient raps, and a bubbling song called "Underwater." Things get a little unhinged by the plodding, thumping "Lazy (Lazy)," but the band pulls things back together with sunny island pop of "Nothing's Wrong" and colourful rock of "The Same Old Innocence."

I can only assume that the new more electro-rocky sound is what prompted two members of the band to depart last year. While the first two albums Architecture in Helsinki made were just fun, frolicksome sunny pop, "Places Like This" explores a whole different kind of music than before -- sunny indie-rockers are woven in as well. It has some slack moments, but the overall confection is more fun than not.
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this album forever, but I still listen to it. I love Architecture in Helsinki . I'll listen to almost anything they throw at me. I have to admit, at first a lot of these songs didn't really capture me, but I've listened to them further and I really like them now. I would have to say that it's not everyone's cup of tea.
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By Andrea on October 29, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you like music that is a little weird and electronic (though far from EDM or dubstep), this is for you. I can listen to Do the Whirlwind on repeat for hours, but the rest of the album is awesome too.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw this band perform on IFC after the Henry Rollins Show a few weeks ago and I really liked their unique sound. Honestly, I bought this album because it was the cheapest of the bunch and I had only heard 2 songs so I didn't know what to expect. I was actually pretty impressed. The band is like the B-52's meet They Might Be Giants, it's good fun music. I recommend this band to anyone who likes light-hearted indie rock
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Format: Audio CD
I had heard of this band before but never took too much interest... I recently bought a CD lot on Ebay and this CD was on there... The potential is there, but I was very put off buy the blatant mess these guys are making... changing things up every 20 seconds, using all kinds of instruments (ALL OF THEM)! changing melodies, vocals, everything! The songs aren't memorable at all and end up being much more annoying than pleasurable. I came on here to see how liked this album was by their fans and apparently most people agree that this album is erratic when compared to the bands previous releases. So I will definitely give them a chance and check out those albums because, as I said, the potential is very evident!
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Call me crazy, but I was never that big of a fan of Architecture in Helsinki. I'm a pretty big fan of indie pop and all, but the group's approach to the genre was always very freeform and schizophrenic. In other words, their albums could always go in any direction at any time. While that can often lead to pleasant surprises, Architecture in Helsinki just never really pulled it off, in my opinion. Add in the fact that their music lacked structure and oftentimes seemed improvised (even if it wasn't), and I just couldn't help but be disappointed. Still, any self-respecting indie pop fan can find a gem or two hidden amongst the confusion. For me, "Imaginary Ordinary" and "The Owls Go" stood out as really solid tracks. More importantly, they gave me enough of a reason to check out "Places Like This," and much to my surprise, I'm thoroughly impressed with what I've heard.

The group takes a huge step forward in their sound on "Places Like This," no doubt in adjustment to the loss of two members. The sound is clear, it's more rock and less pop. That's not such a bad thing, however, as Architecture in Helsinki's crazy approach to making music is actually more suited to rock music than twee any day! The result is something that feels fresh and unexplored. Of course, the band still has a very improvisational sound. Lyrics are carelessly flung at the microphone and out of your speakers, layers upon layers of scattered guitars and keyboards rarely bond into a cohesive sound, but it all feels raw and exciting!

"Red Turned White" starts the album off with exactly that! Cameron Bird doesn't hesitate at delivering the vocals, clearly saying "I just don't give a f***" without ever actually saying it.
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