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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Idlewild

Everything But The Girl

1988

Idlewild
Album Summary

Idlewild is the fourth studio album by British musical duo Everything but the Girl. It was released on 29 February 1988 by Blanco y Negro Records and Sire Records. The album was reissued in 2012 as a remastered two-disc deluxe set by Edsel Records.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.59

Votes

9514
Genres
Rock
Electronica
New Wave
Pop

Reviews

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Thu Mar 31 2022
1

I don't mean to sound cranky, but if we're concerned that this list might be a little heavy on the WASP entries, we can probably start the cutting here. Why in the world is this on the list? This sounds like something that would be playing in the candle section at a cider mill gift shop.

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Sun Aug 01 2021
1

I cannot put into words how much I hate this album. Muzak-like synths, awful violin parts, and lyrics dripping in cheese make this the worst examples of 80s indulgences

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Wed Aug 23 2023
1

This was, without a doubt, the worst album on here so far. I'd rather listen to the Smiths.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
2

Not what I was expecting at all. Boring middle of the road ballads - no thanks!

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Fri May 07 2021
1

Not great. Every song is pretty much the same boring track.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
1

I couldn't get through it. I have no idea why this would be included in this list. It was very boring and unsurprising to me.

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

I've never gone beyond Miss You (my regret) so was overjoyed to see this come up. And I loved Tracey Thorn's (unexpected) vocals & the songwriting of fellow #BarnetFC fan Ben Watt. I wish i'd listened to it 25 years ago, will revisit many times

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Wed Jun 08 2022
2

No idea why I had to listen to this album before I die. Not annoying but nothing special either.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
5

Beautifully melancholic album

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Mon Jan 04 2021
4

EBTG is one of the most talent and moving bands of our times. Tracey Thorn's voice is unbeatable, and the lyrics and music on this album are some of the best ever done by EBTG. It works for nearly every mood: if you're up, it can generate energy, and if you're relaxed it can smooth you out. 4/5

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Fri Jul 16 2021
4

Proof that looks can be deceiving - Ben Watt (the male half of Everything But the Girl) on the cover of this record with a pompadour and clutching flowers looks like a Great Value Morrissey, so I figured these two would sound like a poor man’s version of the Smiths, but Wikipedia classified them as “Sophisti-pop”. Pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this album, Tracey Thorn has an absolutely beautiful singing voice, and the additional musicians all felt complementary to the compositions rather than getting in their way. Definitely interested to explore more of this duo and the genre.

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Thu Jun 09 2022
4

This was a poppy, chilled out refresher after two albums I didn't get on with. Not my normal cup of tea, but Tracey Thorne's voice is unique and even over the sometimes sketchy drum machines it somehow works magic. There is a wonderful sense of space in the production that lets the songs breath.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
3

Tracey Thorns voice kills and production is nice. It's quite a pleasant listen overall but one probably needs to be in the relaxed horizontal position to maximize enjoyment of this record.

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Wed Aug 04 2021
3

Je vais profiter de la tribune que m'offre l'espace dédié à la critique de cet album finalement pas très intéressant pour vous partager un fait musical marquant de ma journée. Vous savez probablement que mon album préféré de ces dernières années n'est autre que Process de l'artiste Sampha. Alors que je pensais tout connaître de sa substance, la vignette d'une vidéo YouTube affichant la pochette de celui-ci interpella ma rétine. Le nom de la chanson en question m'était inconnu. Je cliquai donc sur celle-ci, puis écoutai cette douce mélopée. Quel moment exceptionnel… D'où pouvait bien provenir ce miracle ? Croyez-le ou non, ce morceau ainsi qu'un autre étaient tout simplement deux morceaux bonus de la version japonaise de l'album. La morale de cette histoire est la suivante : ne pensez jamais connaître quelque chose tant que vous ne l'avez pas vue dans sa version japonaise.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
2

All blurred into 1 boring song

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Wed Apr 20 2022
2

Some nice background music but all kind of blended into one

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Tue Sep 13 2022
2

I had a HARD time getting through this album. I have heard at least one song from Everything But the Girl - one of their singles from the 90s. I'm feeling less generous these days. It's harder to say that something is "okay". The tracks on Idlewild were uniform, and had too much of an "easy listening" style, getting into muzak territory. I don't know why this album is on the list. The sound was very late 80s. I would be very surprised if they were not playing an electronic keyboard trying to sound like a piano. Plus there was saxophone. I was bored.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
2

Smooth jazzzzzzz blows and so does this album. Homegirl has a great voice, but I feel like it's 1987, I'm stuck at a yacht club dinner and the most exiting thing are the clams.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
1

awful. I'd rather see dave lee travis play macbeth.

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Thu Jul 06 2023
1

If you would like to receive a call back and not lose your place in the queue, press two. Otherwise, please stay on the line and an operator will be with you shortly.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

This album was so good, I enjoyed every single song. My favourites were Goodbye Sunday and Blue Moon Rose.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

What is this? Soul? R&B? Pop? - Whatever it is, I like it. I only knew Everything But The Girld by name before, so this album is quite a discovery for me. It's a very laid back affair, the arrangements are top notch and not too rooted in the 80s. The singer has a great voice, and the songs are very good too. What's not to like? 4.5/5

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Surprisingly enjoyable album to have in the background

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Soothing sound. Gave me good vibes.

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Thu May 13 2021
4

Late 80's ballads, subtle instruments, and smooth vocals. Great easy listening.

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Sat May 08 2021
4

Interesting album from a band and genre that I had never heard before. Sophisti-pop? Anyway, really smooth chord progressions and love the 80's love ballads. Singers voice really pleasant with unique jazz-pop sound. Favorite Tracks: Love is Here Where I Live, Oxford Street, Lonesome for a Place I Know

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Wed Aug 25 2021
4

This one convinced me a lot more than the other album of theirs on here. Not sure why and not willing to investigate.

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Thu Dec 02 2021
4

This was a weird one for sure. Not that the contents are weird, but it is definitely from a subgenre of pop that I have almost no experience with. That being said, with no frame of reference, these songs sounded really good. The arrangements were very minimal, but still sounding very full and making the album sound very complete. Quality group of songs from front to back, although not really my genre and so not something I would ever find myself returning to.

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Sun Jul 04 2021
2

Middle of the road lounge tunes

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Fri Jul 16 2021
2

Way too stuck in its own time.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
2

Earnest to a fault. Like, definitely too earnest for me, urghhhhhh... also so very late 80s/early 90s sounding. Her voice is clearly the star of this show, but it's just generically good to me, not my thing at all. It's competent, but I couldn't get through it.

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Wed Nov 08 2023
2

First half is OK but a bit boring and unoriginal. I don't want to talk about it is the only song I would characterise as "good". By the second half every song just seems to blend together and drag on. Don't really understand why this is a "must listen before you die".

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Wed Jun 23 2021
1

incredibly boring. would not listen again.

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Tue May 30 2023
1

Kinda bland and forgettable though I love their voices. Forgive me.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
1

I liked their very early stuff (pared down arrangements with guitar and Tracy's voice) but then they decided to get into smooth 80s sophistipop and added jazzy instruments and arrangements they lost me. Weirdly enough they reinvented themselves again into an electro dance band. Sheesh, some people are never happy...

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Sun Jun 11 2023
1

With the first notes of this album I thought that this was a curious opener to an album. Slow processed guitar and a typical 80's ballad with some cheesy lyrics. Then the synth like violins started swelling up in the background and it all turned to kitsch. Unfortunately the album went downhill after that. What an atrocity.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
1

I'm beginning to wonder who chose these albums to listen to before you die. I didn't expect to like every album but hoped to at least get an idea of why people liked different genres or thought particular artists were the best thing in the world. There are some albums that have done this to me but then there are albums like this. I didn't listen to this back in the day and I can't imagine I would ever listen to this album by choice again. It isn't bad (unlike some albums by my favourite artists) but it is just so dull.

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Wed Nov 01 2023
1

Honestly pretty boring lol This is what I’d expect to hear in a small clothing store targeted to women above 50

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Very nice! I haven't heard a lot of these lady's 80s ballads.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Really nostalgic and wistful 80s, with a great lingering pace throughout.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

tight as fuck - 9/10 loved the diversity of the instrumentals

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

This was a find for me. Never listened to this band before, and I absolutely loved it.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
5

What a relief! After what feels like weeks of rubbish, at last a lovely noise. No-one could possibly not like this, it's just so inoffensive. Slightly jazz-tinged, no standout tracks, they are all of an equal high quality. Marvellous saturday-morning music.

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Wed Apr 19 2023
5

One of the best albums I’ve ever heard.

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Wed Sep 20 2023
5

Beautiful and gorgeous and a great invitation to plough into the back catalog. Perfect.

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Thu Oct 12 2023
5

This was wonderful. This is a band I definitely missed out on in the 80s and I am so happy to hear them now. Certainly a playlist add!

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

Beautiful album, really relaxing and nice voice 4/5

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Mon May 24 2021
4

Good, but not my kind of music

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

Yeah. This is far better than the last few albums on the list. I never really listened to EBTG back then, but they were pleasant enough backing music when someone else played them. This persuades me that I should listen to them more.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Lovely songs & a sweet voice. Like it a lot.

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

Tracy's voice always makes the day

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Wed Mar 09 2022
4

Ranges from electronica to folk/country, quite nice all around.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
4

Mjög ljúf og róleg plata. Tracey Thorn er með svo fallega rödd.

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Wed May 18 2022
4

Really smooth. I'd definitely listen to this one again.

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Wed May 25 2022
4

first listen real nice sounds, definitely some 70s voicings, the chords kept me interested

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

Pretty and sleepy. Maybe worth another listen some other time. 7/10

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Fri Jul 15 2022
4

7/10. Good album, consistently enjoyable

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

From before they hit the US!

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

This is music to get romantic with. Like Led Zepplin IV in Fast Times but better

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

Found myself caught up in the first track cover of 'I don't want to talk about it'. Loved the presentation throughout.

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

I fell in love with Tracey & Ben via their debut EBTG album, Eden. Idlewild is their 4th album and one of their best. My original vinyl has 11 tracks, all penned by the couple. My cd of the album, however, contains an extra track, which opens the record. It’s their cover of the Crazy Horse classic, I Don’t Want To Talk About It, which had charted for Rod Stewart in 1977. The EBTG version is to die for. Tracey Thorn has a voice made to sing about broken hearts. The album hangs together so well. Sophisticated, to say the least, it’s a great listen.

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Sun Oct 23 2022
4

Melodic and listenable…akin to Indigo Gorls in the realm of pop-folk vibe.

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Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Voice is really nice. Album bit the samey but I think 4 stars is fair

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Mon Nov 28 2022
4

Simply put, it is elegant, it is graceful, it is enjoyable for the most part. Didn’t like The Night I Heard Caruso, but everything else was great. 4/5

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Wed Jan 18 2023
4

I enjoyed this way more than I expected

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Fri Mar 03 2023
4

So the band name is EXTREMELY misleading cuz there def is a girl in the band and she sings most of the songs like wtf (shes even on the cover SMH my head). Album was pretty cool, too. 7/10

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Sun Apr 30 2023
4

I like it, it's charming in its own quiet way

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Wed May 10 2023
4

Can listen to this all day, and works in multiple setting. Tracey Thorn’s voice is a thing of beauty, fluid and strong, just ideal for ballads and mid-tempo cuts. A few near-classics of this genre. So many lovely organic touches – combo of guitar, organ and bongos on “Lonesome for a Place,” sax on “Tears All Over Town” – that suggest they didn’t have to all light-dancey-trancey in the future. Will return to this to more regular rotation in the future. If it’s not quite one for the ages, it’s perfect lazy summer afternoons, peaceful Sunday mornings, springtime cocktail hours, etc. etc. 3.65 > 4

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Mon May 15 2023
4

That was an adorable album. Nice and gentle but still interesting. I liked it a lot.

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Sun May 21 2023
4

This is the classic Everything But The Girl. Serene beauty

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Quite enjoyable. Never head of them before

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Wed Sep 27 2023
4

Me gustó el sonido, las intervenciones del saxo, la voz súper calma, todo suena armonioso, no sé si destaque como para una lista como está, pero no tendría problema en volver a escucharlo

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Sat Oct 28 2023
4

Pues muy bonico. Sobre todo la primera canción. I Don't Want to Talk About It.

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

Very nice! Like Sade crossed with the Pretenders

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Fri Nov 03 2023
4

having knowing nothing about this group or any of their songs I was expecting nothing good, but I was pleasantly surprised. makes great use of the 80's sounds, a nice variety of music, almost like city pop in some places.

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Sun Nov 05 2023
4

This is a really nice album. Tracey Thorn has a lovely voice, the songs are very gentle and overall a good piece of work.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
4

Very chill, low energy vibes. Good album to have for easy listening background noise, but it still holds if you're actually listening too

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Sun Nov 19 2023
4

Mooi gezongen, verrassend tof eigenlijk

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Sat Dec 02 2023
4

Melancolia adocicada pela vocal e batidas.

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Wed Jan 03 2024
4

Good album! After listening, I was shocked to see how poorly this album is rated, I don’t understand the hate.

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Sun Jan 14 2024
4

Heard that Prefab Sprout magic in there.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
4

Nice - never heard of the group but it has a nice sound.

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Thu Jan 18 2024
4

Was a breath of fresh air in college radio days. Still sounds light and airy, and perfectly lovely most of the time, if a bit sleepy in the middle. One gets arguments about its slightness but feels lightly elevated. “Goodbye Sunday” is a long-forgotten old fave and a seriously underrated track. Interesting that such modest beginnings ended in clubby success on a global scale. The modesty was more effective. Basically smooth jazz, with skilled vocals from a singer with a lovely, lovely voice, one of the best of late 20th century. 3.6 > 4

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Fri Jan 19 2024
4

Nice smooth jazz pop! Had not heard this album and was pleasantly surprised.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

Weird but nice voice, pretty good album. 7.5/10

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

7/10 - Interesting but not fantastic. I liked the vibe of the songs but they were not fitting my mood.

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Wed Jan 24 2024
4

reading the wikipedia and its talking ab how the lyrics are more like short stories than pop songs w/ choruses... not super catchy bc of that but I very much enjoy the mellow energy and think the singing and music flows nicely, feel like listening again would make me like it more? I think this makes for excellent background music but in the sense that I want to listen to this as I am living... like I think it has much more redeeming qualities than the other albums I've thought of as background music (like the others feel like background music bc they aren't interesting enough to be listening music), it feels intentionally curated or sum, like a nice dinner to this sounds so classy chic, and as Kats would say, very much romantic. Also the perfect amount of stimulation for me to do homework while listening. also also, lydllwild is a place a bit north of San Diego and its mayor is a dog (https://www.mayormax.com/index.htm -- I've met him and Miley's met him too!) super awesome place for some hiking and just hanging out, ik this is called Idlewild but the association is there and brings more good energy. 8.5/10

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