The wikipedia article lists this album genre as "sophisti-pop" which gives you a good idea of what you're getting into. This is some of the most pretentious 80s crap ever. The lyrics are incoherent, the instrumentation is a disconnected mess, and the song structure is completely nonexistent. I almost gave this a star because the singer has a pretty good voice. But, no. It's not enough to save the album. It's like some some guys in a highschool drama club got really into Bowie and decided to give it a try "but, you know, let's make it ours, right? Let's get experimental." Luckily, the whole album is only 38 minutes long. Because it's utter trash.
This album is everything that's wrong with the music of the first half of the 80s. tuneless, wordy nonsense.
Incredibly well paced and measured; an excellent demonstration of restraint in pop music that is seldom seen. Rad.
This was a really cool album. Reminiscent of the albums we've heard from Prefab Sprout and Simple Minds, so it comes as no surprise to see this also labeled "sophisti-pop." I really dug the structure, seven pretty long songs that you can sink your teeth into is always nice. Some very interesting instrumental choices, too. Quite a few tracks on here I'll return to. Favorite tracks: From Rags to Riches, Stay, Tinseltown in the Rain, Heatwave. Album art: Not bad for a band photo, the framing and multicolored text is pretty nice. But nothing special. 4/5
Goddamn this is a smooth album, especially Heatwave. Very short. First album/artist so far I know nothing about, and glad I’ve now heard it.
The Blue Nile's debut album has a rather fascinating genesis. Scotland's Linn Electronics wanted a demo track to demonstrate the fidelity and versatility of their new recording console and tapped a struggling local trio, the Blue Nile, to provide it. Their effort was a deliberately disjunctive song called "A Walk Across the Rooftops." To demonstrate the recording equipment's dynamic range and clarity, the song was arranged most peculiarly, with vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, and full string and horn sections all appearing, but never at the same time. Linn liked the song so much that they formed a record label and bankrolled the recording of this full album. The seven lengthy tracks on A Walk Across the Rooftops all follow the model of the opener, with Paul Buchanan's rich voice at the center of near-symphonic arrangements that manage to sound lush and incredibly austere at the same time. The tempos are deadly slow, with the most upbeat track, "Tinseltown in the Rain," barely rising above a graceful saunter, and the inventive arrangements make extensive use of empty space. This was a popular album for demonstrating the lack of hiss and background noise in the then-new compact disc medium, but A Walk Across the Rooftops works even better as a piece of music than as a stereo demonstration record.
I found this album to be an unexpected delight. Languid, sparse, and with unconventional structures and arrangements. All these songs feel tinged with sadness or melancholy in a way that cultivates a very distinct mood. 3.5/5 Favourite track: "Easter Parade"
Not having heard of Blue Nile previous to listening to this album I didn't know what to expect. On first listen I struggled a bit to find a sense of how I felt about the album and ultimately found myself having to stop what I was doing and give it my full attention. Once I started to relax and really listen I began to be mesmerized by the sound. What is interesting is the music lacks the usual hooks that I look for but there was something romantic about the music that drew me in offset by the raw vocals. Somehow it works. I will definitely give more time to this album. Favorite song: Tinsel Town in the Rain
When the bass line plays on A Walk Across The Rooftops, I feel like David Lynch is saying hello from the set of Twin Peaks. There is no melody to this song, just seemingly disparate musical parts. The parts are clearly synced together, but there’s no constant beat. Strangely I like this about the song. There are several other parts of the album that feel similar, like everyone is playing the same song, but they all started at different times. It’s really difficult to pin down a description. There is order to it, not randomness. It just feels like the music is constantly throwing me off. Again, I somewhat like this aspect of the album because I’ve never quite heard anything like it. Another thing I like is the lead singer’s voice. When he says “heatwaaave” in Heatwave, I think it could be the music dictionary’s definition the quintessential 1980s pop sound. I don’t know, I instantly recognize the decade by this one word. Easter Parade is sleep inducing, not in a good way while the bass driven groove on Stay is quite enjoyable. I’ve written quite a bit of positive things about this album, but I didn’t download it. Much like the album itself, my thoughts above are disjointed from my overall feeling about it. In the end I don’t really like the album as much as this review might indicate, but I do appreciate its strange uniqueness.
Another band I never heard of!. Wikipedia says these guys are art pop or synth pop, and that feels pretty accurate. I wasn’t a big fan of the singer’s voice, but as always that is just a taste thing. The first track, which was also the title track, really drew me in. It had a very minimal feel, with the different instruments coming in one at a time. I wonder if this is where Spoon got the idea from. I loved both the tone of the bass, and the bass lines themselves, especially in the songs that were more musically spare where it could shine. The way the bass line hit in the title track reminded me a little bit of the way it comes in in Beck’s Soldier Jane, satisfyingly filling a rift in the song that you didn’t even know was there. Of the seven songs on this album, only 2-3 were in that sparse groovy style, with the others feeling too slow for my taste, or too much like other 80’s synth music. I would recommend listening to that title track, but not much else. As for belonging on this list, well, they don’t seem to be very well known, or very influential, or very consistent, to my ear. I think the list could have done without it. My personal enjoyment: 2/5 Did it belong on this list: 2/5
There's something about this album that makes me think of one of the best, if not THE best 80's movie, Brazil. s. I imagine that this must be one of those albums that was right for it's time, but out of place in any other. Released in 1984, Communism was on high, the Berlin wall was still a thing, Gordon Gekko / Michael Milken was selling junk bonds on Wall Street and we were in the middle of the Reagan years. Perhaps it's the Reagan connection, but the word 'bureaucracy' is a good descriptor word for A Walk Across the Rooftops. There's a lot of busy work here, but you never get anywhere with this album. It's like you keep jumping through hoops because you're programed to think 'if I just listen a little more I'm sure I'll find something interesting.' This album I'm sure was considered intellectual and avant garde when it was released. It's just oozing with the 'you're not smart enough to understand this music' vibe, but I don't think there's much here to consider. The underlying music is incredibly repetitive, I found myself wondering if maybe some of this was repurposed for use in Roblox games, and the singing doesn't contribute much. Sometimes his voice sounds like he's either yawning while singing or taking their last breath before dying and neither are dramatic. I haven't seen Brazil in probably 30+ years, but I suddenly want to rewatch in hopes that it hasn't aged as much as this album.
The Blue Who? I was dreading another very dated 80s album filled with synth. Turned out it was worse than that. "A Walk Across the Rooftops" did provide some brief glimpses of hope, with the incorporation of real piano and real strings, along with a funky baseline. But then came "Tinseltown in the Rain," which might be my least favorite song of this experiment so far. After tight 2 minute songs from Loretta Lynn the other day, the 5-6 minute songs here were agonizingly long. It's possible have good longer songs, that are dynamic and shift and change throughout. That's not what this was. They just droned on. And on.
This is just amazing… so much emotion and feel. It’s a lesson in less-is-more…. Just a wonderfully crafted album from start to finish!
Actually pretty enjoyable and I didn't immediately recognize the artist, but it sounds so familiar! Such a smooth voice. 4.5
Awesome ambiance music I really did not expect it and loved it
Everything good from the 80s IMO
Post New Wave, synth Soul, obra despojada de adornos. Hija de su tiempo suena sin embargo atemporal, para nada envejecida y muy actual. Se alarga en desarrollos. Muy bueno.
Short and sweet. Totally my shit.
Love the atmosphere here. Very unique and detailed sound. Headphone ride.
This was something really unique, I'm not sure how to classify the genre on it. Totally new to me and a welcome find.
Pop dream fun
This is wild. Bridging the gap between 70s Fripp, and 80s Talking Heads off-beat mellow weirdness. Really good, but best for a rainy work day morning.
it wasn't mediocre, but it wasn't my favorite. i'd never heard of them, and was apprehensive - but ultimately, i enjoyed this one.
surprisingly loved this album. i'm not huge on synth music, but it had a few banger tracks on it, and it was a cool listen to, very chill.
Like a more calm talking heads. Did not like the beginning of track one and I dreaded the rest. But then I got hooked! Very enjoyable, and I’ll definitely be revisiting.
This was a really relaxing listen, I enjoyed most of the songs and felt like I was listening to 80’s soft rock but it was unique enough to stand on its own. Very short and sweet
Aangename verrassing, al kende ik al wel een paar nummers. Een van mijn all time favourites is Let's go out tonight, maar dat staat op een andere plaat. Later prachtig uitgevoerd door Craig Armstrong en de zanger van The Blue Nile. Gaat dat luisteren! Nu houd ik op met m'n loftuitingen.
Enjoyed this and being introduced to a new genre: ambient soft rock.
Some arresting melodies and lyrical flourishes made this a fascinating listen and I expect it will grow in my estimation on future listens.
A Walk Across the Rooftops really slowed my day down, as the members of Blue Nile strikes a good balance between sparse arrangements and raw vocals to great effect. The lyrics can be painful and bleak, but A Walk Across the Rooftops never loses steam. It's definitely an album I'll be returning to. Fav Tracks: "Automobile Noise", "A Walk Across The Rooftops" and "Tinseltown in the Rain"
Rating: 7/10 Best songs: A walk across the rooftops, Heatwave
Some lines are super sticky
Was not familiar with this band, but I did recognise the single Tinseltown in the Rain. Pretty good, but did not capture me enough for a top tier rating.
A fun album, not what I usually listen to, but pleasant background music.
Un mini clàssic per descobrir. Barreja del new pop elegantot i classicista d'uns ABC, amb el synth pop més seriós i fins i tot tocs del pop arty de The The. Cançons com 'Stay' reivindiquen la seva rellevància i tot ell és una obra per continuar recuperant de tant en tant
Interesting album. Strong atmosphere
A bit like Bowie, but less exciting
Такое надо слушать, когда на улице дождь
Todella mielenkiintoinen uusi tuttavuus. Tykkäsin kovasti levyn tunnelmasta ja äänimaailmasta. Biisien laatu ei ihan riitä korkeampaan arvosanaan mutta täytyy pitää tämä nimi mielessä.
Never heard this before, but it was pretty good music. Not too intrusive, but perfect for the early evening.
This reminded me of the band Talk Talk a lot. Complicated, well-produced pop music. The song structures are something I haven’t really heard before. I like the first half of this record quite a bit. And Hoo boy those basslines. Favorite song: A Walk Across The Rooftops Least favorite song: Easter Parade
I liked it for a bit, then the content and execution fell a bit flat. Lyrics are too cheesy for me but it sounds alright.
I was really hoping to enjoy this, but it ended up feeling more like nothing than I expected. It's intentionally obtuse and repetitive in a way that doesn't bode well for anyone that isn't looking for exactly that. Walk Across the Rooftops is probably the best song off the album, but apparently Tinseltown in the Rain is their most popular song? Kinda weird if you ask me.
Good album. Electronic sounds are great, reminds me of the depressing sounds of New order.
Grand. Seemingly simple but not, sophisticated pop. Almost a 5.
Can't say I loved it, but it seemed unique, and I liked the deadpan moodiness of it, an entanglement of cynicism and beauty. Enough to pique my interest anyway.
Ok. Not bad, but not my favorite. Bass is pretty badass.
A beautifully picturesque album. Synths are my jam. Tinseltown in the Rain is glorious. Falters in the middle. "Are we rich or are we poor, does it matter anymore?" 6/10
Too 80s and too ballady for me, but I think the lead singer has a great voice.
ehhhhhhh, this is a cool defy genre kind of piece, but its just not my vibe. From Rags to Riches is weird and cool. meh just not my style
Yllätyin positiivisesti. Laulajasta tulee mieleen semmoinen köyhän miehen Roger Daltrey. Biisit nyt ehkä vähän höttöä, mutta taustalla menee. Yllätys2,5->3.
I quite enjoyed this. Some nice 80s numbers in there. Sounded quite a lot like bands such as Prefab Sprout and Orange Juice...not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.
Tinseltown in the Rain heb ik altijd al een prachtig nummer gevonden, en die sfeer wordt doorgetrokken op dit hele album.
Really liked this. Would go back
1 nummer kende ik al, dat is een mooie klassieker. De rest viel wat tegen, maar toch prima album
A little different but ok
Interesting but all very similar.
This was very enjoyable! Sometimes I felt as if the vocals were a bit shadowed by the overbearing instrumentals, but other than that it was perfectly fine.
Great little drifter
Nothing bad, but nothing great either. Somewhat forgettable really.
me hizo pensar en la escuela de frankfurt???!?!
Nothing stood out to me, only listened to disc 1
It was cool, although it was a bit of a tough listen. I really like how experimental the album felt. There were a lot of things I've heard, but so much that I haven't heard before. As a result, I feel like I'd listen to it when I'm in a mood for inspiration. What I really found interesting was how jazzy the instrumentals got while keeping this mellow atmosphere, which at times really peaked my interest while at other times, felt challenging. I only saved a few songs that really caught me, I think it was just the singles.
Eh, was okay. seemed generic to me personally.
I rather like this. Its definitely got some Bowie & Peter Gabriel influence, which could never be a bad thing to me. And I get hits of David Grey’s self-produced White Ladder, which I had on repeat for a while in the 90s. Some of the synth & sequencer sounds are a bit dated. But the sound is complex, the mood is contemplative, and the overall feel is sophisticated w/o being full of itself. I likely would have liked it more had I discovered in in the 80s, but I look forward to giving it some more time to grow on me and analyze it further.
Enjoyed this album. Not as good as pulp. Short listen
First track was just musical anxiety, 1/5 Rest of the album was decent enough, 3/5
not my thing
It was alright,
its alright, nothing special though
A solid 3. Great bass lines in the first few songs, this is a trend that I seem to really like
Pretty, moody, melancholy songs. A rainy day album. I remember when this album came out. It seemed tonally out of place with what was going on in music at the time, but has aged really well. It sounds rather timeless now. The pace is mostly slow and lingering, which some people will not like. It has elegant, deceptively simple-seeming compositions, full of layered sounds and experimentation with percussion and electronic noise. I've visited this album a few times over the years and it never really clicked with me until today. I enjoyed listening to it. Fave Songs: Heat Wave, Automobile Noise, Tinseltown in the Rain
I've always found this a nice but also a bit boring album (some songs and the way of singing remind me of slow Peter Gabriel songs). Hats, the follow-up album is quite a bit better.
More influence. The album seems to have been lauded for its clean and atmospheric production, perhaps a sign of the digital times creeping forth in an analogue world. One or two tracks stood out. I think the problem with influential albums is that to fully appreciate them, it requires digging into history, to know the context of things at the time the album was released. And that takes time. Ain't nobody got time for that. And sometimes, all the history books in the world just aren't the same as having lived through it in the first place.
The album is essentially a proof-of-concept, sketches for their later work. What we have is an establishment of The Blue Nile's aesthetic: meticulous, melancholy and songs given space to breathe. However, one can also criticise the mildly haywire arrangements. Also, one can find The Blue Nile generally overproduced and a touch too cold to love. I have spent the evening listening to this and their follow-up, 1989's Hats. Hats is obviously the better album, and I am puzzled as to why it wasn't the book's choice for their Blue Nile album. That said, two Blue Nile albums are a bit too much for one evening. I can grasp the appeal, but I can't concur that The Blue Nile are one of the great forgotten groups of the 1980s.
Vellydende og godt mixet pop rock. Bliver dog lide kedelig i længden og er lige lovlig langson
56 A walk across the rooftops - The Blue Nile 7 tracks. I'm surprised I have never heard of them as this was released in 1984. 1st impression is I love the music but not the vocals. Maybe it will grow on me, (it didn't), There are hints, (musically & in the writing), of Deacon Blue, (a compliment), but the vocals just don't fit. Put a different vocalist on this & it could be great, (but isn't). 3/5
I adore their followup album, Hats. This one not so much.
Fills the same niche as sleepy-time 80s easy listening Bowie. The vocals are calm and soft, the lyrics are shoe-gazey and poppy. At it's best when it combines these with hard snares and bells. It's hard to get excited about it, but it's not bad and is actively good in some places. Good - Stay, Heatwave. Bad - Tinseltown in Rain Artwork - Sets the mood of the album. The black and off-white suggest a deceptive simplicity. The men are staring at something I can't see, interested in something I can't quite lock down and that is how I feel listening to the album. It feels as if there is a great deal just out of reach from me.
Never heard of this band before - interesting album, happy to listen to it while working
The singer sounds a bit like David Byrne, which is good.
Not my jam.
Hard to get into that one although I loved that base right at the start of the album.
Absolutely not in the right mood for this. Hungover, hot, busy, traffic. The strings were nice and I can see how it would have made an impact in the late 80’s, but it just wasn’t for me today.
80s pop. Seemed fine. Didn't grab me. A bit low tempo and one-paced.
OK 80's arty-pop. Some nice melodies and tunes but the singer sounds like an out of tune Peter Gabriel.
Relic of the 80s which tbh should stay there. Pretty pedestrian and dry
All a bit meh
Didn't hate it, but quite a challenging listen. 5/10
Ei vastenmielistä kuunneltavaa, mutta ei tästä oikein jäänyt mitään käteen.
2.5 if I could
Never understood the fuss around The Blue Nile.
Ekassa kappaleessa heräsi mielenkiinto erityisesti erottuvan bassottelun kautta, mutta jotenkin sen jälkeen tasaista puuroa. Ihan kiva mutta ei tarttunut eväitä Jarkan biisilaukkuun.
The eponymous leadoff track for this album was originally conceived by an electronics company to demonstrate the capabilities of their new recording console, but after the fact, it was deemed successful enough to justify commissioning an entire album in the same style. They weren't wrong. It turns out the strategy of purposely including a wide range of dynamics and timbres with lots of space results in fairly listenable music. It helps that there are no truly ugly synths here, and a decent variety of instrumentation. Okay, I spoke too soon. The further along in the album you go, the uglier the synths and drum machines get. But the weakest link here is the songwriting. The melodies and compositions are bland and instantly forgettable at best, and at worst are actively unpleasant. Still, A Walk Across The Rooftops is conceptually interesting and considering it came out in 1984, one of the nadirs of popular music, it could have been a lot worse.
nije moja SOLJA CAJA
War da was? Okay, 2-3 Lieder fangen an, wie ein The Police Song. Nur leider singt dann kein Sting.
It was ok
Nooit van gehoord. Nummer 1 en 2 zijn goed, 4 ok en de rest matig. De kwaliteit van de nummers is niet hoog genoeg om op deze lijst voor te komen.
Too ambient and dreamy for me, reminded me of Bowie b-sides.
Did nothing for me
Nah. Couldn’t get into it.
This is a bit of a chore to get through. I can kind of understand why it might be on the list. It's an interesting sound... very 80's sounding to my ears... but from what little I read about this album it might have pioneered this sound. So it was definitely influential. Interesting, but not something I necessarily enjoyed or would revisit.
Sounds like the 80s, nothing special
Begenmedim, eksiklikler surekli hissettiriyor kendini
I do often wonder what passed through the curator's mind when they picked the albums comprising this collection.
Mournful and boring. Every song outlives its welcome.
Smooth and sophisticated, but also flacid and lacking energy.
An interesting 80s art pop album, with a pretty good lead singer. I can see how it was overlooked at the time, there's no real 'hits' here, and it was a bit too chill ans musically disjointed at times. I did enjoy a few of the tracks though, especially 'Stay' which has a great baseline.
Not a style of music I care for
Eh, a bit slow for me. Not my thing.
The whole time it was playing I just wanted it to stop. Best track: Tinseltown in the Rain
Not my favourite. Stay is the standout for me. Feels like this album would have been well suited as music in The Wire
this is boring to me :shrug emoji:
Lo intenté, me gusta mucho ese acento escocés como el de mis queridos The Twilight Sad, pero el disco es insoportable.
Kasarimenoa... Tää on vähän niinku Depeche mode, paitsi että ei ole hyviä biisejä. Laahaavaa menoa ja onko tää laulaja nyt ihan varmasti vireessä?
Veel te kabbelend. Kwam niet over.
Ei jatkoon. Ensimmäisestä biisistä vois antaa toisen tähden päälle, mutta pysytään kuitenkin 1/5 arvostelussa.
If their aim was to keep their artistic identity anonymous for the duration, this is a masterpiece.
It’s not even that I had a bad time listening to that. I love me some synth and bass heavy 80s sounds. It’s just WHY should I have listened to this before I die? Literally what am I discovering by listening to this? What impossible sound did they bring into existence? Why?
Super boring. Sounds like a whole album of the most boring Police song ever.
Didn't stand the test of time, too eighties for my taste
WOW. Can’t believe I actually hated one. This was nearly insufferably boring.