martedì 24 novembre 2009

The Candyskins "Death Of A Minor T.V. Celebrity"





Il mondo del pop ha sempre bisogno di eroi sfortunati, di onestissimi lavoratori che continuano a sfornare ottimi album, grandi melodie, pregevolissimi lavori, ma chissà perchè il successo, i titoloni dei giornali, le groupies più calde, vannosempre ad altri gruppi. Beh, a me i Candyskins hanno sempre dato questa impressione. Bravissimi nel loro power pop, chitarre e melodie, capaci di farti saltare man anche di farti ocmmuove con grandi ballate, eppure mai troppo lodati, considerati e ricordati come avrebbero meritato. Beh, sono qui per questo! (1998 Velvet Records)


On their fourth album, and first American release in five years, the Candyskins deliver driven pop melodies that are fun to sing along with, but also portray a consistent theme throughout the eleven original tracks. Easily labeled as "Brit Pop," this Oxford, England quintet plays sweet, energetic power-pop with a British feel.
Leading off with "Feed It," their first single, which is gaining good-sized airplay across the nation, this upbeat, infectious number showers you with sing-along lines and inspirational lyrics. However, its inspiration is less than happy. Written after the Heaven's Gate incident, the pop rock feel of the song hardly even hints at the tragic event. It just goes to show the songwriting sophistication and ideas that help make this (and every) song one that is open to the listeners' translation, regardless of what event 'actually' inspired the lyrics.
Quieting down a bit, and leaving the amped-up hooks at the door, the title track shows the band in a new light. Led by an acoustic guitar and piano, the rhythm section softly walks along with the rest of the band. The vocals are the main draw, releasing serious ideas with a first hand perspective. Even as Nick Cope (lead vocals) is seemingly singing about a man who tied helium balloons to his lawn chair for attention, the lyrics hint at other possibilities and emotions. Several angles possible, none being the 'right' way to look at the song, they wrap you up as you come up with your own interpretations.
Even though they can get a lot of feeling into a toned down, soft number, the fun lies in their upbeat, jumpy pop melodies. And, that's exactly what "Somewhere Under London" will bring to you. More hooks, more guitar driven steam, and a bouncy rhythm section help propel this pop-charged ditty to the front of your mind. Mixing in soft spots, they draw you in and then step on the distortion pedals -- cranking out some heavy hooks.
Always mixing a serious message under the happy hooks, "Teenage Suicide" deals with controversy, heavy-handed emotions, and cries for help right from the get go. Arguably the emotional high of the album, and near the top when it comes to infectious-ness, the Candyskins have no problem wrapping you up as the story unfolds. "And everybody wants to hide, from a teenage suicide. And everybody wants a ride, from the teenage suicide," the lyrics that you'll find yourself singing along with during the chorus, keep you clinging to hope that the story will turn out positive. Mixed with unforgettable hooks, a potent mix of emotions and melodies drill this song right to your heart.
Ending with "Going Nowhere," the band finishes off with spacey, Brit-Pop number that, although not nearly as infectious as some of the high points on this album, helps finish off any lose ends and brings the album to a comfortable stop.
Previously not a fan of Brit-Pop, The Candyskins have broken any stereotypes I previously had on the genre. Delicious melodies, sharp images, and realism make their passionate pop songs come to life. Gone for five years, the wait seems to have been worth it. I'll give this disc an A-. (Alex Steininger - http://www.inmusicwetrust.com/)



Do you like Oasis?
Well . . . do you?
That’s all you have to ask yourself. The success of Oasis has produced many sound-alikes, The Candyskins being one of the best of them.
But don’t think this means The Candyskins are a completely unoriginal band with no sense of identity. There are points within their new album, Death of a Minor TV Celebrity, that they achieve a sense of themselves. Take, for example, the name of the album. It’s creative. . . that would be a start, right?
Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. This probably stems from my unbridled hate for Oasis (please don’t throw anything at me or send me hate mail, all you die-hard groupies) and I can’t stand unoriginality (can anyone tell the difference between the song "All For You" by Sister Hazel and any Blues Traveler song? Seriously). So many Brit-pop bands fall into this rut. But there is light at the end of this tunnel. Remember Radiohead’s Pablo Honey? They broke out of their "Pixie sound-alike" rut and have achieved sounds beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. See? If fellow Oxfordite Thom Yorke and the crew can. . .
One great aspect of this album is it’s emotion. Unlike other recordings, these lyrics and wafty vocals drip with emotion and sincerity (a good example of this is their song "Songbird"). The song "Feed It" sounds especially like Oasis on the vocals, but the lyrics ("If you want it / you’ve got / you feed it / you love it / you say that / you need it, etc.) are catchy and hip-- everybody loves a good song to sing along to. (WARNING: Don’t get confused! The very first note of the song sounds like "Margaritaville" by Jimmy Buffet.)
"Death of a Minor TV Celebrity" is a very promising ballad, and probably one of the most promising tracks on the album. The vocals are appropriately reminiscent of Oasis (not a blatant copy), and the back-up piano work is beautiful and flowing.
So, are you?
An Oasis fan, I mean?
My advice? Watch for the Candyskins in the future. They plan to tour the US soon, and the live shows are supposed to be their forte. Their present work looks very promising, so any future albums will certainly be welcome.
Hey, who knows how long Oasis is going to last? (Tiffany Funk - http://www.music-critic.com/)

- Feed It
- It's a Sign
- Death of a Minor TV Celebrity
- Loser Friendly
- Swimming Pool
- Somewhere Under London
- A Song
- Songbird
- Teenage Suicide
- Friday Night, Saturday Morning
- Going Nowhere

THE CANDYSKINS

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