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

Foxbase Alpha

Saint Etienne

1991

Foxbase Alpha

Album Summary

Foxbase Alpha is the debut studio album by English band Saint Etienne, released on 16 September 1991 by Heavenly Recordings.The album was recorded in a style which drew on the club culture and house music of the time, but also incorporates the group's characteristic love of 1960s pop, with tracks also bridged by samples from films or by short songs. At the time of recording, Sarah Cracknell was not fully part of the group, and as a result she does not sing on "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", which is sung by Moira Lambert. Foxbase Alpha was on the short list of nominees for the 1992 Mercury Prize. It was accompanied by several successful singles, including "Nothing Can Stop Us". The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3

Votes

4805

Genres

  • Pop
  • Electronica
  • Indie
Reviews
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Fri Jan 29 2021
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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Thu Aug 04 2022
5

Classic UK electronic pop album from the early nineties just like Screamadelica (1991) or The White Room (1992) or Blue Lines (1991) or Morning Dove White (1993). Has Saint Etienne ever made a bad album? (Tiger Bay should be on the list as well, and last year's I've Been Trying To Tell You was one of the best albums from 2022.) 5*, some favourite songs: She's The One and Like A Swallow. Apparently "Dazzle Ships" was a big inspiration for the album, but as always there are plenty of other music references as well (after all, Bob Stanley's "Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop" (2013) is one of the best books about popular music ever).

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

Love it! So quirky, joyful and upbeat, such intelligent use of the most obscure samples.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

The beginning of my love affair with Saint Etienne. A band that encompasses London and my years living there. House & club culture meets the sixties delivering epic coolness. This band make me happy every time I listen to them.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
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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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

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

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Sat Jul 24 2021
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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Sun Aug 22 2021
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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Wed Sep 08 2021
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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Wed Dec 01 2021
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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Wed Jul 13 2022
4

Well I am very impressed by this. Having heard this, I wonder why dub indie wasn't a bigger subgenre. The bassy, echoey production against Sarah Cracknell's none more Felt Records voice is a lovely contrast (and one I didn't think happened until the late 90s). It also zips past faster than its 50 minutes would suggest. Like a dubby bubble bath.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

"Foxbase Alpha" is the debut album from the English band Saint Etienne although their name was taken from the French football team AS Saint-Étienne. Their style of music is described as a combination of club culture and house music with 1960's pop. That's fair enough. I also heard elements of trip hop, straight-forward pop and similarities in certain songs to bands such as New Order, Everything But The Girl and Spandau Ballet. The band cited OMD's "Dazzle Ship" as a major influence. The band consists of Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs both on the synthesizers and other instruments and Sarah Cracknell who would eventually become a full-time band member and vocalist during the recording. This is a pretty good album and at times great. One of its strengths was kind of changing tempos and beats over the album length. I think if the music would have stayed with same beat it would have gotten quite boring. It was on the short list for the 1982 UK Mercury Prize for best album. The album begins with a TV or radio show or movie dialogue in French and the song "This is Radio Etienne." This leads into their cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." An interesting cover choice but it works. They changed the time to 4/4 (more fast paced) from the orginal Waltz and also the chord progression. It is defintely more poppy. A driving piano and Moira Lambert was the lead singer, not Sarah Cracknell at this point. A first -half album highlight is "Girl VII" with its bongos and other percussion. The first heavier dance-oriented song on the album. Sarah Cracknell's vocals give it a dreamy atmosphere which is common on a lot of these songs. I Iiked the album second half better than the first. "People Get Real" reminded me a lot of New Order. A nice pop song and melody. A softer dance beat. "Nothing Can Stop Us" was the third album single and is the most soulful song on the album. It also has a great groove and is a happy sounding song. It samples Dusty Springfield's "I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face." "Kiss and Make Up" was the second single. Another cover...this time of a Field Mice song. I guess piano-driven house music is an apt description. A weird synth start. A great dance-pop beat. Cracknell's sultry vocals. Probably my favorite song on the album. Saint Etienne was much bigger in the UK than the US. I had not heard them much. I enjoyed this album and will give some of their other albums a listen. I liked their variety kind of within their own style and their musical influences are bands that I am a fan of.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
4

Fun, fun, fun. They don’t make ‘em like this any more. Mainly because it’s not worth the hassle of clearing that many samples these days. I really like the juggling of pop sophistication with other, more down-home, pop culture references. An excellent pop album. Only ‘Swallow’, which seemed to really go against the prevailing mood and was a little jarring to these ears in context, stopped this being a full 5 stars.

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Tue Oct 06 2020
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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Mon Jan 18 2021
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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Sat May 08 2021
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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Mon Mar 08 2021
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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Mon May 17 2021
2

Not my thing but v groovy

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Thu May 20 2021
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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Mon Jul 26 2021
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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Fri Oct 08 2021
2

Bread pudding as croquembouche.

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Thu Nov 05 2020
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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Wed Mar 10 2021
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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Wed Mar 10 2021
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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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

Loved it

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

New to me. Enjoying this

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Thu Aug 05 2021
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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Fri Nov 12 2021
5

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

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

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

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Sun Mar 20 2022
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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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

The 2k French triphop sound this album has is soooo dope. I live for "Kiss and Make Up". Gonna make that my alarm for a while, actually ;3;

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Thu Oct 20 2022
5

A fun sexy time. New contender for “just play it on loop”

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

I didn't know this group and I really enjoyed it.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

I absolutely adore this album. Such a cool mix of 60s pop with trip hop and dub influences. The Neil Young cover is next level too.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
4

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

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Thu Oct 15 2020
4

Calming listen

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Fri Jan 29 2021
4

Trip-hop

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

Fun listen.

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Sat Mar 27 2021
4

Vibessss

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

Lovely stuff 👌

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

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

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Wed Mar 10 2021
4

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

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Tue May 25 2021
4

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

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Tue Jun 15 2021
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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Fri May 14 2021
4

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

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

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

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Tue Jul 27 2021
4

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

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

wikipedia said "trip-hop" and that was correct

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Fri Aug 06 2021
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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Fri Aug 13 2021
4

really very good

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Tue Aug 17 2021
4

Quite enjoyed the relaxed vibe

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Sat Aug 28 2021
4

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

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Mon Aug 30 2021
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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Thu Sep 02 2021
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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Fri Sep 03 2021
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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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Smooth indie pop, nice to listen

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Wed Oct 20 2021
4

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

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Wed Oct 27 2021
4

It's an easy listen nit to bad

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Thu Jan 06 2022
4

Muito bom!

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Sun Jan 09 2022
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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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

Superb

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

Groovy stuff

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Wed Feb 09 2022
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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Wed Feb 16 2022
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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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

Lo-fi-ish but from an earlier time.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
4

Enjoy

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Thu Mar 10 2022
4

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

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Wed Mar 16 2022
4

rimelig fedt

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Sun Apr 17 2022
4

Ekta Saint Etienne. Pínu skrýtin en með skemmtilegt flæði.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
4

Pleasant pop

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Wed May 11 2022
4

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

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Wed Jun 22 2022
4

Alternative dancetrip hop. Francesa. Está chulo.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

This was pretty interesting. Something I hadn't heard before.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

ok

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Wed Jul 27 2022
4

Overall 7/10 Only Love Can Break Your Heart 10/10

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Wed Aug 31 2022
4

Interesante. Chill.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

This was an enjoyable listen - reminding me of something I’d hear in a cool lounge… nice dance vibe with a retro feeling that I quite liked. Great to have on while I went about my routine!

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

A nice mellow groove.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
4

This was nice to listen to. Good accompaniment for working.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

Aw yeah, this is my jam. The vibes of this really take me back. Big nostalgia feels with this one. And it's so great to finally know who did that song I've heard a billion times and stuck in my brains but I never knew who it was (Only Love Can Break Your Heart)

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

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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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

Swwwwaaaggboss

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

I have thus one on vinyl. I don't love it as much as I used to do. Nothing can Stop us is ace. The retro feel stop it aging. Is is twee at times by the melancholy balances it out. Though it was going to be a 3 but I've fallen in love with it again. 4.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
4

Fy så tajt! visste att ajg skulle älska detta när jag väl gav det 1 chans.

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Mon Jan 04 2021
3

3.5 stars

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

Catch parts but not a fan of dance music

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Wed Jun 16 2021
3

Good vibes.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
3

Where is the 3.5 star?

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Wed Feb 24 2021
3

nice, but kind of forgettable in the end.

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Fri Jul 16 2021
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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Sat May 08 2021
3

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

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Wed Feb 10 2021
3

ok! buenaaa

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Fri Apr 30 2021
3

weird beginning but overall liked it

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Thu Apr 22 2021
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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Tue Jul 06 2021
3

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

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Thu Feb 18 2021
3

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

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Tue Mar 30 2021
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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Sun May 09 2021
3

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

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Thu Apr 15 2021
3

sounded to me like Madonna slightly.

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Thu Apr 22 2021
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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Sun Apr 18 2021
3

Nice album

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Sat Apr 17 2021
3

v indie

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Thu Jun 24 2021
3

Chill dance house vibes

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Thu May 13 2021
3

Decent background music and some recognisable hits

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Fri Jun 25 2021
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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Wed May 19 2021
3

Anime closing music

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Fri Jun 04 2021
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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Thu Jul 15 2021
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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Sat May 15 2021
3

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

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Tue Jun 08 2021
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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Sun May 23 2021
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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Tue Jun 08 2021
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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Thu Jun 17 2021
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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Mon Jul 26 2021
3

Nice, chill Sunday listen 👌

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Mon Jul 26 2021
3

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

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Mon Jul 26 2021
3

Dance. Tranquilo.

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Tue Jul 27 2021
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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Wed Jul 28 2021
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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Thu Jul 29 2021
3

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

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Thu Jul 29 2021
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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Thu Jul 29 2021
3

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

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Thu Jul 29 2021
3

Leuk, maar 'vergeetbaar'!

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Fri Jul 30 2021
3

Just ok tbh

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Tue Aug 10 2021
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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Wed Oct 06 2021
3

1991, британский поп, дебютный альбом. Смесь танцевальной музыки, электроники и попа - на выходе лаунж, который можно включать в кафешках. Лучший трек: Only love can break your heart (кавер на Нила Янга).

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Wed Oct 27 2021
3

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

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Wed Nov 03 2021
3

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

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Wed Nov 03 2021
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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Thu Nov 04 2021
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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Sun Nov 21 2021
3

Generic. Easy listening for students.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
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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Wed Dec 08 2021
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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Wed Dec 15 2021
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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Thu Dec 23 2021
3

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

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Wed Jan 26 2022
3

above average thin jungle-y 90s club hits with some French Cocateau Twins-esque singing + maybe a little too many radio samples. 2nd half feels a bit stronger than the 1st

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Thu Feb 10 2022
3

groovy baby

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Thu Feb 24 2022
3

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

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Thu Feb 24 2022
3

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

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Fri Feb 25 2022
3

At times, Ethereal, and others, Exhausted.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
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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Fri Mar 11 2022
3

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

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Wed Mar 30 2022
3

3.5

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Fri Apr 01 2022
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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Thu Apr 07 2022
3

Happy background music

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Wed Apr 13 2022
3

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

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Mon May 02 2022
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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Mon May 23 2022
3

Nice one.

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Mon May 23 2022
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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Fri May 27 2022
3

This album was quite enjoyable. I found it reminiscent of Portishead, except with a light and poppy sound where they are dark and ethereal, like the other side of the coin. I liked their selection of samples and inclusion of radio/film dialogue in a couple sections. I did not particularly like the Neil Young cover, surprised it is their top song. The vocals are too far back in the mix, the bass is too forward and the rhythm is kind of clunky. All the other songs I thoroughly enjoyed and overall found this to be quite a soothing album. Fav Tracks: Carnt Sleep, Nothing Can Stop Us

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Sun May 29 2022
3

This was a fun French album. Nice easy listening and not awful bike ride music either. Only love can break your heart stood out

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Sun May 29 2022
3

It was alright, liked a few songs.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
3

Meh… if I could give this album 2 1/2 stars, I would, but since I can’t, I will give it three because I liked it more than I disliked it.

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Fri Jun 03 2022
3

"Foxbase Alpha" is steeped in a strange flavour of nostalgia: we hear radio broadcasts, old 1960s film samples, the quiz show "Countdown" and more. It's a fun concept for an album: create a strange world existing in between the stuffy post-war generation and the raved up optimism of the early 90s. But it doesn't always fly. We begin with a radio announcer's anthem, bursting out its fanfare several times in succession before giving way to an inspired house-style cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". It's one of the most esoteric introductions to 1991 I've ever heard. This opening is Saint Etienne's most well-known track and for good reason- it really does work and lovingly evokes the time it was made in. The other hit was "Nothing Can Stop Us" (apparently there's a version out there with Kylie on vocals) which is similarly enjoyable for its immediacy. Elsewhere we range from decent downbeat club tracks ("She's the One") to syrupy, cringeworthy pop ("London Belongs To Me"). Then there's "Stoned to Say the Least", which stretches its repeated bassline to breaking point over nearly eight minutes, while "Wilson"'s "would you like some sweets, Willy?/Come on Auntie, we'll miss the bus!" is one of the most grating samples I've ever heard and I'm banishing it to my nightmares after hearing this. I'm not exaggerating when I say it nearly tanked the whole thing. It's all alright in the end, though, as "Like the Swallow" feels like a worthy tribute to the album as a whole: sometimes boring, but always evocative, pretty, and strange.

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Wed Jun 22 2022
3

Dance alternativo. Ni fu ni fa.

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Fri Jun 24 2022
3

beta

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Fri Jun 24 2022
3

Foxbase Beta.

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Mon Jul 04 2022
3

Not crazy about it but it was fine. Decent beats are kind of fun, but I prefer some other artists. 6/10

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Tue Jul 05 2022
3

Cute left-of-centre dance-y, pop album. Fun but slight.

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Sun Jul 17 2022
3

fine, euro-poppy upbeat stuff

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Fri Jul 29 2022
3

Didn't love it, but they get an extra point bc of having a song called stoned to say the least lmao. Maybe stoned this album is better

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Sun Jul 31 2022
3

Great album, but unfortunately not entirely to my taste, but despite that this is absolutely deserving of at least a 3.

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Thu Aug 04 2022
3

Nice sound, some catchy tunes but also tedious at times

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Thu Aug 11 2022
3

Cool dance music

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Fri Aug 19 2022
3

Chill, retro synthpop.

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Thu Aug 25 2022
3

Dreamy and warm

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Sun Aug 28 2022
3

An okay album from what I remember. It kinda of was just background noise on my morning walk.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
3

rilassante, particolare.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
3

I liked this well enough. It kind of faded into the background, but I think it was supposed to, to some extent. I was impressed that it was from 1991, as I would have guessed it came some years later. I'm going to give it credit for really helping to create a sound that was later often imitated in the late 90s.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
3

Pleasant enough but meh.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
3

I’ve never heard of this band but they were cool

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

good easy listening music

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Wed Sep 21 2022
3

Love the album and its title, looks like an iconic poster. The music itself is decently great though it can get a bit tiring after a while. One of the more happy trip hop albums I've heard. Their cover of Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a highlight and one of the best covers I've heard for a while.

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Wed Sep 28 2022
3

Not bad. Got better as it went along. I did think it was a bit uneven though.

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Thu Sep 29 2022
3

Decent dance music. ”Nothing Can Stop Us” is great

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Thu Sep 29 2022
3

Easy to listen to and enjoy. Nothing complex, just simple goodness. I like their version of Only Love Can Break Your Heart. 3/5

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Thu Sep 29 2022
3

In the '90s, electronica was trying hard to sound like hip-hop. It made many new subgenres. And of course, not all of them worked.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
3

Kinda nice

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Fri Oct 14 2022
3

I found this album to be chill and easy to listen to, but the majority of the tracks are in my opinion small steps above the background rhythms one might find on a synthesizer organ. If not for a few decent tracks, I would have gone to 2.

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Thu Oct 20 2022
3

Another cooky sample party that is fun at times

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Fri Oct 21 2022
3

Atmospheric tones

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Wed Oct 26 2022
3

Light and airy, a precursor to Air and late 90’s early 2000 electronic

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Wed Nov 02 2022
3

A vaguely EDM album which seems about 20 years ahead of its time.

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Thu Nov 03 2022
3

I really like the sound of the album and I guess St Etienne may have influenced a lot of the 00's dream pop acts like Beach House or indie pop acts like The Radio Dept. But it's a bit long and a bit too unfocused when it comes to song writing. It's an OK experience and the influentialness is definitely showing.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
3

Pretty interesting house/pop album. I could feel the vibes.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
3

I loved this album when it was originally released. Girl VII was my gateway to London as I started to explore the city in the early 90's. Saint Etienne managed to make Kennington, Silvertown and Tooting Graveny sound glamourous. It's lost a little of the appeal over the years. It still has a nice slouch feel without ever being seedy. Some of the samples get on your tits after a while.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
3

I always like Saint Etienne's music: it never knocks me off my chair, but it's always pleasant and relaxing. And that goes a long way! P.S. Their 2021 album, I've Been Trying to Tell You, is quite good, too.

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Thu Nov 24 2022
3

Fun album! I liked Spring, Nothing can stop us and Carnt Sleep. Some of the lyrics were a bit repetitive and the housy things were not really my thing. I think I might come back to it though, it might grow on me

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Fri Nov 25 2022
3

The Saint Etienne stop on the sample music train is one tethered to time but quite attractive in its dubby way. It doesn't present as a lost classic and the influence seems to have waned, but the sounds are still here, a little overstuffed.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
3

Ok techno album, enjoyed the listen, not probably going to listen again

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Thu Dec 01 2022
3

Lovely and spritely

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Thu Dec 01 2022
3

An album with flashes of trip-hop mastery, but certain tracks caused it to fall from a 4 to a 3. Solid for a debut album.

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Mon Dec 05 2022
3

A lovely bit of British whimsy.

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Fri Sep 18 2020
2

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

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Mon Jan 18 2021
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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Mon Mar 29 2021
2

It was interesting? Not really my thing though

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Thu Apr 01 2021
2

Started so well...

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Sun Jan 17 2021
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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Thu Feb 18 2021
2

Strange French slow whisper music?

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Thu May 20 2021
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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Tue Apr 27 2021
2

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

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