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

Foxbase Alpha

Saint Etienne

1991

Wikipedia

Foxbase Alpha

Rating

2.99

Votes

3317

Reviews

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5

Felt like a mix of Massive Attack and Cocteau Twins. So basically I'm in love. Good to drive to btw.

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4

Never heard of these before but right up my street. Loved the ambient tracks, and the soundbites they drop in, not quite a 5, maybe a 4.5

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4

Loved this, a enjoyable mix of ambience and almost dancy eletronica. Quite alternative too. Would listen again!

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4

What a fun mix of electronic and house with r&b singing and pop structures. I abs love the vibe the album brings. Very underrated pop album from the UK props. 8/10

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4

Cool beats and samples make for a chill listen to work or relax to. Some euro club vibes at times mixed with light pop lyrics. Only love can beak your heart, Spring, people get real. 3.5

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4

Starting your album off with a cover? bold choice. Though its so transformational that its a nice setup for the rest of the album. Girl VII is infectious. I like Nothing Can Stop Us. Kiss And Make Up is fun as well.

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3

90s synth + 60s pop = this album. Atmospheric feel that is mostly pleasant and sometimes jarring. Inoffensive and safe. Best track: People Get Real.

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3

While I do like dance rock, synthpunk and electronic music in general, I've never gotten into house or trance music. I certainly enjoyed the vibe on a few songs but a lot of times it got a little too club for me. It wasn't unlistenable techno thumping though so I can appreciate their "club, without going too hard" sensibilities. I do enjoy a band finding success going against the grain though. Especially because I'm not a huge fan of the 90s Britpop scene. So way to stick it to them Saint Etienne.

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3

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Girl VII, Spring, Kiss and Make Up Cutting Edge: Carnt Sleep, People Get Real Overall Notes: Not at all what I expected based on the album cover and the reputation this album has. Was expecting some kind of twee pop stuff but it was actually some decent dance music instead. Don't understand the polarizing reviews of this album compared to something like Screamadelica getting rave reviews. I know it came after but I liked this one more. The first half was on a strong four trajectory, but it lost steam as it went along. Cut like 3 or 4 songs and it's a 4.

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2

This album was ok. Do I think that it is one of the 1001 albums that I must listen to before I died? No. It was an ok album.

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2

Not my thing but v groovy

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2

Bread pudding as croquembouche.

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5

Sarah Cracknell, Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley. What a legendary trio and everything they've ever touched is brilliant. This might be my favourite Saint Etienne album. Think it's been 4 years now since i saw them in Leamington doing their Foxbase Alpha tour. What a brilliant concert. Played this album from start to finish. It has the perfect balance of different genres. There's a bit of trip hop, dub, "britpop" (before it existed as a term) and electronic/dance/house. Also, it's got the best cover ever; Only love can break your heart. Fun fact: the girl featured on the album cover (not a part of the band) can also be seen in Pulps video for their song Babies. Oh, and if you haven't already, check out at least these albums by this very same band: So Tough, Sound Of Water, Tiger Bay and Good Humor.

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5

Muy bonito álbum, siento que desde que empezó la primera canción, tras el intro radiofónico, supe que esto era para mí. No conocía a Saint Etienne o al menos no consciente y este es un disco debut buenazo. También suena mucho a los 90 y de repente es ternura, de repente es etéreo, de repente es tranquilizante. Eso de poner canciones instrumentales por ahí intercaladas es un recurso que me gusta y "Stoned to Say the Least" me gustó, si bien creo que se descoloca un poco respecto al resto. Canciones fav: "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", "Wilson", "Girl VII", "Nothing Can Stop Us" y "Kiss and Make Up" <3. 9.5/10

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5

Me gustó bastante. La combinación del house con influencias del pop retro resulta tanto etérea como fácilmente consumible. Un disco conciliador entre los sonidos mainstream de épocas pasadas y la integración de los sonidos populares en la EDM noventera del rave. Tiene un buen balance entre las composiciones minimalistas y algunas más robustas con vocales incluso. Disfruté sobre todo la ondita techno-house de Stoned to say the Least y la vibra etérea de cualquier pop indie posterior a los 2000 meets 80s Madonna en Girl VII. Mood: Un día de buen humor y parsimonia.

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5

Loved it

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5

New to me. Enjoying this

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5

What a treat. I have to admit I was a fan, mostly stemming from this, their best album. Just a bunch of well-worn, perfect vibes.

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5

Way better than expected. Great production, lots of color.

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5

Where have you been all my life? Music to soothe the savage beast.

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5

Normally music from this era sounds to me like it is missing soemthing, but this was qctually great. Fun beats, just the right track length, interesting all the way through

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4

Euphoric french house/downtempo electronic. Deep grooves that never overstay their welcome and a siren of a singer. Transcendent.

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4

Calming listen

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4

Trip-hop

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4

Fun listen.

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4

Vibessss

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4

Lovely stuff 👌

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4

I loved this album especially ‘would you like some sweets willy’ but it’s not a 5

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4

Me gustó, muy variadito y un mood como alegre (?) me dieron ganas de bailar y así.

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4

Surprisingly good, at the end it started faltering but it had a really interesting sound and I enjoyed it

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4

Fantastic rainy day album. Only love can break your heart. I feel that. Good stuff, getting added to my listening rotation for sure. Probably wouldn't have ever found it without this. GIVE ME MORE FLUTE, ya know?

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4

Solid European vibes. Easy to work to. Interesting vocal choices, intriguing decisions on the clips used between songs.

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4

I listened to this years ago and found it disappointing and boring. Now I like it.

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4

Don’t know what genre it is, but it’s so good.

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4

wikipedia said "trip-hop" and that was correct

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4

This is a great album, i could see me playing it in the background while cleaning or painting or something, very soothing, very catchy. I recalled a couple of the songs and loved the overall sound of the album

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4

really very good

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4

Quite enjoyed the relaxed vibe

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4

Loved this! Well outside the sort of thing I would have searched for and that’s why I love this generator! Really cool, laid back chilled tunes! Definitely to be bought! I’ll recommend to everyone and they’ll get even sicker of me than normal but it’s only fair! Tremendous album!

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4

7/10 fav track: Only love can break your heart

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4

Very interesting album, very fun and enjoyable to listen to. Now what I imagined it would sound like looking at the Album cover

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4

Great, but I feel like I'm too stupid to be able to tell what "good" is. One minute felt like elevator music and the next felt like the ancestor to the Jet Set Radio soundtrack.

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4

I've heard the name Saint Etienne, but I had to look it up to see if it was a single person or a band. I enjoyed the recommendation. The album sounded different than stuff I would normally listen to, but with some overlap to music that I choose to listen to. "People Get Real" and "London Belongs to Me" were the tracks that stood out most as something I would listen to again. Perhaps the difficulty in trying to decide if I would play this album again is a sign that I should bump this album up above a simple "it was okay." There wasn't anything that I wanted to skip, and I am a little curious if there is anything more I might discover on a second listen.

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4

Smooth indie pop, nice to listen

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4

Ret fint pop album med lækker lyd. Kan dog gort tendere til kedeligt. Men kunne måske vokse på en

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4

It's an easy listen nit to bad

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4

Muito bom!

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4

I liked this album its smooth and beautifully produced. The dance tracks are infectious and the slower tracks are compelling. 3.75 🌟

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4

Superb

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4

Groovy stuff

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4

very good trip hop album, good melodies, interesting vibe, nice vocal, it reminds me of other good bands of this genre

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4

For some reason I thought Saint Etienne were Belle & Sebastien-adjacent twee guitar pop, so I was quite surprised to hear a downtempo electro album. Yeah, I can get on with this. Probably would have enjoyed discovering this in the early 2000s quite a lot. Fave track - "Stoned to Say the Least", perhaps. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" is a tune too, and I think the only track I'd heard before...

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4

Lo-fi-ish but from an earlier time.

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4

Enjoy

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4

First 4 songs have a lot of talking, but the rest of the album is excellent electronica.

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4

rimelig fedt

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4

Ekta Saint Etienne. Pínu skrýtin en með skemmtilegt flæði.

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4

Pleasant pop

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4

Sampled music, only knew 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' but theres some good other songs here. Liked.

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3

3.5 stars

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3

Catch parts but not a fan of dance music

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3

Good vibes.

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3

Where is the 3.5 star?

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3

nice, but kind of forgettable in the end.

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3

I knew "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" without knowing this band or album. Sounds of its era - dub, triphop influences. Repetitive bass lines and organ. Can hear lots of variety of influences. Wanted to like it more than I actually did.

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3

J’aime ce genre d’electro keyboard etc. Mais j’ai eu meilleur dans cette liste. 3.5

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3

ok! buenaaa

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3

weird beginning but overall liked it

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3

3.2 - Vaporous and sunny house pop, with lots of 90s tropes - crackly record sound, house drum tracks, light female vocals. Think of a souvenir shop in a European beach town, or sitting by the pool on Fire Island.

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3

Enjoyable bass lines and vibes. Nothing to shout about and had a few misses but enjoyable all the same

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3

House pop. Solid 3, nothing can stop us now is rad. Not my bag

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3

Was a fan. Pretty chill music, great to listen to during work. Thought the shoutout to Countdown was pretty funny (start of 'Stoned to say the least').

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3

It's ok. Got a good beat. I can dance to it.

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3

sounded to me like Madonna slightly.

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3

I don't listen to dance music, but this is fun, and I enjoy the mix of spoken word and sung lyrics. Sarah Cracknell's voice is GREAT. Not the kind of music I turn to normally, so nice to have a chance to give it a listen.

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3

Nice album

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3

v indie

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3

Chill dance house vibes

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3

Decent background music and some recognisable hits

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3

It was... inoffensive. Billed as "trip-hop", I found it less atmospheric than others in the genre I've liked, with a few high points. Pretty good samples though.

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3

Anime closing music

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3

Some nice pop tracks but not many that stand out and grab your attention. Faded into background music for the most part but definitely not bad

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3

Mysig vibe! Det känns som man är på semester, på någon slags resort och problemen i livet är väldigt få. Väldigt mellow elektroniskt tycks fungera rätt väl för mig. Det är dock inte något som kommer kvala i vardagslyssningen tror jag, utan kommer kanske mer användas som en flyktväg, en väg in i paradiset där problemen av vardagen inte finns. Men även sånt behövs. Bäst: "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"

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3

Niet echt tijd gehad om goed te luisteren. Was wel oke maar niks bijzonder imo.

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3

- good background music, cool bass - repetitive beats (apart from like the swallow) - doesn't feel like it's pushing the buck that far, wondering why it's in the top 1001?

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3

Refreshing house music enjoyable to dance or study to. I enjoy the 60s aesthetic combined with synth. My favorite tracks were "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", "Carnt Sleep", "Spring", "Nothing Can Stop Me Now", and "Kiss and Make Up".

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3

A curious opening, unexpected but refreshing. Strong ace of base vibes with an airy twist. Mildly repetitive lyrics but not unpleasant. Suitable for including in an operating theatre playlist with elements for everyone to enjoy. Unusual interim tracks that left a little to be desired, definitely needs to be listened to in track order to feel the flow. Pairs well with an espresso but not a good combination with a more stiff drink.

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3

I listened to a lot of this kind of danceable British indie but never turned on to this. Noticeable dub influence a big plus.

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3

Nice, chill Sunday listen 👌

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3

A lovely chilled vibe, perfect for a sunny Sunday morning. Would revisit

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3

Dance. Tranquilo.

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3

The cover of Neil Young's 'Only Love can break your heart' is a brilliant fusion of classic 60's folk rock and 90's acid house. The rest of the album doesn't quite hit the same heights but is still an enjoyable listen.

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3

From the cover I thought this was going to be some kind of twee.pop, so I was kind of surprised as I started to listen. It's a nice collection of chill dance beats coupled with a pleasant voice. Nothing against this one.

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3

Ik had hier nog nooit van gehoord. Weer eens iets anders. Geinig.

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3

Niet onprettig en luistert lekker weg. Maar als je me nu vraagt om uit te leggen wat dit precies was, dan gaat me dat niet zo 1-2-3 lukken.

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3

Ik vond dit verrassend leuk. Kende het helemaal niet, maar goeie sfeer.

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3

Leuk, maar 'vergeetbaar'!

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3

Just ok tbh

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3

Everything about this album is just okay. Started out pretty strong but songs just started to sound the same before long. Not amazing not bad l. Just okay.

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3

It was OK - very of its time and felt like a bit of an in-joke in places.

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3

coole intro, en ook een zeer goed achtergrondalbum, zeker iets dat ik wil onthouden

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3

goed voor achtergrond met een paar nummers de die aandacht grijpen. Must listen? nou ik zou iets anders opzetten op men sterfbed

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3

This was better than Smoker's delight, in terms of background music. It also offered just enough to be more than background music. However will I be reaching for it often? No, I will not.

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3

Generic. Easy listening for students.

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3

Interesting proto-trip-hop like album. It is perfectly good music, but didn't sway me one way or the other. The layering in some of the songs is quite fantastic though.

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3

I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this one. It's always refreshing to get an album that is completely new to you. Anyway, I thought this album was decent. Started out interesting enough, although it gets a bit boring by the end. I kind of dig stuff like this from time to time. Nothing particularly stands out, though. It does have a nice flow and stays consistent. Would you like some sweets, Willy? out of 10.

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3

Looks very 60's but is actually early 90's. This is the debut album of an english club music group. Lovely vocals float over synth, sampled loops, drum machines, etc. Highly produced but nice enough as cool mood music. I imagine Don Draper's second wife, Megan, low energy dancing with a drink in her hand.

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3

I love her cover of Neil Young. And some of the ambient tracks were okay....some weren't.

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3

groovy baby

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3

Not even sure what genre this music is, but it was very interesting 3/5

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3

Didn't love it but also didn't hate it! Interesting sound.

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3

At times, Ethereal, and others, Exhausted.

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3

Snatches of brilliance abound here - Only Love Can Break Your Heart turns Neil Young’s dirge into a celebratory moment of recovering from heartbreak catharsis and Nothing Can Stop Us is a charming and uplifting warm and mellifluous track. However, there are also snatches of odd cuts and movie samples to no seeming purpose - it all feels like padding which infuriate where instead you could imagine a glorious electronic song cycle.

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3

punky and fun! euro. possible 4? eh. 3.

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3

3.5

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3

Huh. Can't say I loved it, but there were a few enjoyable tracks, at least. Faves: "Spring" and "She's the One". All were at least solid, but I can't say there were a ton of standouts, or that I'd relisten. Still, worth your time for sure. 3 stars from me.

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3

Happy background music

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3

OK - Neil Young cover is one track I would listen to again.

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3

It's pretty daring starting your album with a Neil Young cover, but it's a fun one! Unfortunately, for me, the album just continues without reaching any heights or standout songs. Sarah Cracknells voice makes it a pleasurable listen. A bit like a less dark and more easy-going poppy Portishead. It's really not a bad album and I didn't mind the 3 full listens, but it has not opened any deeper sound or feeling. A 3,5* album

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3

I liked this but couldn’t find it on streaming so listened on YouTube with ad breaks and not the best sound! Enjoyed it enough that I might look to get hold of my own copy.

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2

Album I'd put on if I had a coffee shop as unassuming noise. Boring.

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2

Not much of a dance fan, but There were times when I heard the food stuff here. Loved the opening track, rest was forgettable, but I also fully recognize listening on a Sunday morning is not even close to the intended venue. I was in the shower eyes closed listening to ‘stoned to say the least’ and could definitely feel the club trance that may happen if you were grooving and on drugs listening to this. I’m sure it’s much better in those contexts.

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2

It was interesting? Not really my thing though

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2

Started so well...

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2

Didnt really hold my attention. Each song had little bits where I thought it would turn around but none ever got there

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2

Strange French slow whisper music?

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2

This is just so entirely not my cup of tea. The English are so fucking hit or miss, nothing in between. Just so stupidly precious and unnecessary. 2 stars because it's more tolerable than Anthrax.

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2

This album seemed to go on forever. It faded to the background quickly and stayed there. Some of the samples were fun. The uptempo beats and major chords made for a nice background listen. But, didn’t really standout for me.

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2

To quote Nina Simone, I'd rather go blind.

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2

Legalzin mas nada chocante

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2

I'm like 4 days behind so its probably time to rate this - didn't love it, didn't hate it, a 2 seems fair. I just listened to the whole thing for the third (?) time not realizing that it was on shuffle - can't tell if that helped or hurt this rating. Perhaps catching up on albums will give me some semblance of a dopamine rush, fingers crossed

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2

dull

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2

It wasn´t terrible, but after a while you just get bored by it.

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2

I can see the appeal, but not doing much for me. Leans a little too heavy into early 90’s r’n’b for my tastes thus far. Gets better as it goes along, especially when it hits the 4/4. Definitely some cool things going on here, I’d be open to re-evaluating it at some point

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2

Eh, I didn’t hate it but there wasn’t much to like either. It’s like modern telephone hood music.

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2

Like when I went to raves. Only worse.

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2

That's a no from me, Dog.

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2

Did not care for it, singer was ok

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2

not for me.

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2

Boring

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2

Not my type of music for now

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2

She's the One e Nothing Can Stop Us, talvez Like the Swallow também. Mas só. Num álbum de 15 faixas...

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2

It's like early 90s alternative dance music I guess...not bad but forgettable.

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2

all filler no killer

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2

Music for student bedwetters- hot singer with not so hot tunes. Every time I thought it was getting better something rubbish would come along. Not irredeemable but will never be back. 1991 - what a year for music

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2

Bizarre album.

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2

een beekje

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2

Ok pre listen thoughts: generally, anything with a French name (unless actually French) will be hipsters, but beyond that, I can't tell. The cover art isn't any particular genre trope. All the song names are in English so yeah, wankers/hipsters. Ok it's cruisy dance-ish music. Doesn't really go anywhere - I can't imagine anyone getting excited about this. aaaaand 45min later I'd pretty much forgotten it was playing. It's not awful, it's just a complete non-event. 2/5.

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2

not totally sure why this is here. it isn't bad or anything, its actually pretty decent lofi/electronic music 2.5

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2

Erg slap popalbum

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2

14th September 2021 Listened through the day while at home home. Gym, baby driver, quiet day. I quite enjoyed this, I like the mixing of 90s indie with dance beats. A couple of good tunes in here.

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2

Eh.

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2

Mild generic stuff.

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2

Drifts past like a gorgeous fluffy cloud, and is roughly as consequential.

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2

Not in the mood. Especially after Smokers Delight. Maybe a 3 on a good day.

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2

Ok background music

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2

Eh. No need to listen to it.

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2

somewhat enjoyable but forgettable

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2

Al final todas suenan igual

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2

Interesting euro vibe. Didn't get into it

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2

Interesting grunge dive. Can’t help but feel they aped nirvana a bit.

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2

Nice

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2

Aggressively mediocre. This list looks worse every day.

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2

Nogal traag en repetitief. Heeft wat weg van een minder goede versie van 'massive attack'. Het kon me niet bekoren, maar net niet moeten doorworstelen. Kan oké dienen als achtergrondmuziek, maar niets meer

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2

Carn't sleep put me to sleep. Started skipping tracks. Why am I getting house albums? Give me something that rocks or I'm out of here.

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2

The singles bopped a bit, and Like the Swallow was at least interesting, but the rest of the album was so damn boring.

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2

Trip-hop, alternativ dance, House vibes, god vokal

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2

Felt like this may have been more popular when it was released compared to now. Really only enjoyed maybe a couple songs. Other than that didn’t find it too interesting. There were glimpses of pretty good pop dogs but none that stood out. 4.0/10

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2

This easy-listening album full of chill alternative dance music is the debut album from English band Saint Etienne. The band drew inspiration from the house music scene that was exploding at the time, and combined it with their love of 60's pop. This resulted in fun, bopping beats accompanied by the beautiful voices of either Sarah Cracknell or Moira Lambert. I enjoyed listening to this album, but none of the songs really stuck out to me as amazing. The pop genre can be pretty predictable which leaves me wanting more excitement.

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2

Individually, I like the dance beats and indie pop, but I'm very uncertain as to the success of the pairing. Disappointing in that I thought this would be right up my street

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2

französische Lieder die man gut im Hintergrund laufen lassen kann

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2

Meh

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1

I was confused and bored by electro/pop/house/trance what british nonsense

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1

i liked a few songs but it felt like a bore listening to the album

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1

Mal

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1

I'm not versed enough in electronic music to know if or why this album is significant. I do know the first track sounded like a not-so-great mashup of Neil Young and Ace of Base. Things got better after that, but not remarkably better. There were moments that got locked in a fun, sunny groove. The singer's voice is not what I'm looking for in a poppy dancy music experience. Maybe we'll all hear this album again at a very mellow outdoor post-pandemic rave. Probably not. D

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1

Fucking awful. Complete shit.

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1

Did not enjoy, very repetitive and boring.

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1

Hasn’t aged very well Awful … vapid … tedious

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1

Uninteresting indie dance(?) music. Some sampling. Some tracks make a nice background "chill" vibe. *yawn*

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1

Couple okay songs. Most of the album just fell flat for me.

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