- Audio CD (April 26, 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Extra tracks
- Label: Savoy
- ASIN: B000C65Z6Q
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,806 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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Tales from Turnpike House
Audio CD | Extra Tracks
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Tales From Turnpike House
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2006 US pressing features two-bonus tracks over the single-disc Import version. Included for the initial pressing on this Savoy Jazz edition is a bonus sampler of other artists on the label. 2006.
If your first thought upon hearing of this release was "What the heck is British dance-lounge-pop act Saint Etienne doing on an American jazz label?," you are not alone. When you discover that the record in question is a full-on concept album and that David "Rock On" Essex is on the thing, you might wonder if the album might be sort of a muddled mess. And it is, though not in a bad way. Vocalist Sarah Cracknell sounds great throughout, but except for "Stars Above Us," the more straight ahead dance-pop songs fall a bit flat. But the rest is great, maybe even the band's best yet. More than half the songs (which offer slices of life in a housing project on the outskirts of London kind of like that famous Georges Perec book) do achieve an ideal of jet set sophistication. The songs pit house rhythms with sardonic name-dropping lyrics, vocal harmonies worthy of the Association with swooshy synthesizers, and big guitar riffs against whispered voices. It's swank! Mike McGonigal
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Top customer reviews
having said that, i was bit apprehensive about a new release, especially after the watered-down and somewhat uninspired 'finisterre' (which certainly did have its nice moments, to be sure). i stumbled across an advanced copy of the album and with a little trepidation stuck in my cd player. it's kind of like opening a present from grandma: you hope it's g.i. joe headquarters, but there's a slight chance it's smurf pajamas. after a few tracks i was convinced: saint etienne is back, and back with a vengeance. there are the obligatory dance floor stompers like 'good thing,' 'lightening strikes twice,' and the absolutely addictive 'stars above us' which challenges even the most rhythmically challenged to get out on the dance floor and give it a go (i'm sure it'll spawn a whole disc of remixes, too). and make no mistake: this isn't saint etienne 'doing kylie,' as so many have said. rather this is saint etienne doing kylie doing saint etienne. kylie's got nothing on lady crackers, kids. and well all know it. there's also the mozzer-esque 'marching orders for gary stead' straight from the t-rex school of glitter-glam pop which we've really not heard from the ets before.
these songs aside, the real strength of 'tales from turnpike house' lays in the softer, quieter songs. (here i go comparing apples and oranges) 'sun in my morning' with it's 'pet sounds' vocal harmonies (that 'tales from...' was inspired by 'smile' shouldn't come as any surprise), 'slow down at the castle,' and 'teenage winter' hearken back to the 'tiger bay' and 'he's on the phone' b-sides, particular 'i buy american records,' 'groveley road,' 'is it true,' and the exquisite 'the process' (arguably one of their finest moments). sarah, still glamorous as ever, sounds smooth as cinema seats (ok, that was bad, i admit it) and pete and bob have once again dipped into their magic hat of pop nostalgia and mixed it with just the right amount of contemporary flare.
in short, this isn't 'tiger bay' or 'so tough,' nor should it be. anyone wanting another one of those two albums needs to save up his or her money and buy a time machine. 'tales from turnpike house' reveals a new, rejuvenated, reinvigorated saint etienne -- confident, sassy, and passively cool-without entirely shedding the skin that made them so great and innovative in the first place.
saint etienne 2005 sees the band with one eye excitedly looking toward the future and the other looking lovingly at the past.
a stellar album. (and one note: the US version thankfully leaves off 'relocate,' one of the albums weaker tracks).
While it could remotely be excused from a band that has a contractual obligation to release 4 albums per year, Saint Etienne took 3 years to come up with this, and like "Tiger Bay" it is disposable - though the 3 singles (Stars Above Us, A Good Thing, Side Streets) from here are better than the singles from their 3rd, and most awful album from 1994.
While 3 singles from any bad could be considered a "success" even if the rest of the album is crap, it is unacceptable from a band like Saint Etienne.
It is NOT good return on your investment.
However, you can either get the singles from their subsequent compilation album "London Conversations", or just buy this album as the price has plummeted to just under 3 bucks.
Most recent customer reviews
They have had many UK hits with only 1 ever reaching the top 10 that was a track with Paul Van Dyk called Tell Me Why(the riddle) UK #7.Read more