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Albums Of The Year 2011 CE
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Popel Vooje
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Re: Albums Of The Year 2011 CE
Dec 27, 2011, 15:32
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:
Popel Vooje wrote:


But ... if I had to choose an overall favourite, I think the one that would just see off the competition would be "I a Moon" by North Sea Radio Orchestra. Not sure what musical category it fits into (which is always a good thing, IMO) - whether it's neo-chamber music or English folk that's been augmented with orchestral arrangments - although I can hear faint echoes of the early, pre-electronic High Llamas, Frank Zappa's "Lumpy Gravy", Vashti Bunyan, Nick Drake's "Five Leaves Left" and William D. Drake's various projects outside of the Cardiacs (which isn't so surprising as he frequently moonlights with them on keyboards). Nonetheless, despite its intricacies it's certainly not prog rock, as it has no rock elements whatsoever.


Yeah, it's a fine album and their best so far, I think; less twee than previous outings. Have you heard William D Drake's own album of this year, The Rising of the Lights? Flawed, but has some absolutely sublime moments.




Yes, I have - and it's rather lovely, IMO, except for the odd occasion where his obvious classical training overrides accessibility. I'm not surprised that his music has taken a turn towards the pastoral - even as early as the mid-80s he released a cassette with Tim and Sarah Smith of the Cardiacs (under the name "Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Mr. Drake") which was evidently his handiwork for the most part, and sounds like a primitive dry run for both his solo albums and the NSRA (he ws already adsapting poems like Andrew Marvell's "The Garden" to music back then).

And yes, you're right - "I a Moon" is their best album. I think the fact that many of the lyrics are about Tim Smith's tragic illness renders the songs too emotinally raw to be twee.
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