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Days Run Away [Import]

House of Love Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 18.39
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Pop Achievement! March 26 2005
By John P. Lennon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After The House of Love left Creation and moved to the Fontana label in 1990, I lost interest in the band. They became over-produced and began to sound as if another mega-super-labels (Phonogram/Polygram) attempt to create (sic) a major Pop icon. As usual, when corporates stick their hand in the broth, the project failed because of a missing ingredient, the publics interest. The original HOL had an amazing clean sound that originally turned on so many early fans, but as with most other rock and roll stories, the band was consumed by big business and the original vision was lost and the band faded away. Many fans felt this band should have been huge, like in the Radiohead, Oasis vein, but it wasn't to be.

Now, the original line-up has returned and has issued Days Run Away. Without sounding too presumptuous, I think this is an incredible Pop album. Though only 10 songs and 37 minutes long, this is some of the most amazing and fresh pop sounding music that I've heard in ages. If only the local Mega-Rock radio station (WCCC) would drop its funereal Rap-Metal format and start playing Rock music like this, then new fans can discover this new fresh sounding music. I love it, but I refuse to catagorize it or try to describe what it sounds like, because I feel that naming sound alike artists or bands would pidgeon-hole this unique sounding band too much. Guitars, bass, and drums are the intruments used and musical and song writing talent (by frontman Guy Chadwick) is all you need to know.

Days Run Away is reminiscent of the bands Creation label days but also reveals a more experienced song writer in Mr. Chadwick. Right now only the UK pressing is available. Don't wait for a US release. Don't download it. Go buy it.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hell Froze Over Jan. 2 2006
By T40T - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The acrimonious split between Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers was one of the worst in rock and roll history. Not only did Guy kick Terry out of the band, he actually kicked him out of the back of a moving van. People thought there was no chance in hell that they'd ever get back together. Well, people thought wrong.

First, a few corrections.

1) No, not everyone thinks that the first House of Love album is the best. That album has some fantastic stuff, as was the case with a lot of their Creation output. But in my book, the second self titled full length album, often referred to as "The Butterfly Album" or "Fontana," is superior. It's one of my favorite albums ever, and I probably have over 1,000 at this point.

On that album, you've got "The Beatles and the Stones," "Shake and Crawl," "I Don't Know Why I Love You," "Someone's Got to Love You," "In a Room," "Blind," and "Se Dest."

Of those songs, only "I Don't Know Why I Love You" is the only one with bombastic production values. It's a huge anthem in this version, but to get the subtleties of the structure, listen to Ivy's beautiful acoustic cover. It was basically designed to work as a great hit pop song, and it was enough to suck me in when I first heard it on the unfortunately now defunct "progressive" "college" pre-"alternative" WHFS radio station in Washington, D.C.

The rest of my favorites off the album have some of the absolutely clearest production I've ever heard. Yes, they've got lots of layers and interesting guitar effects here and there, but otherwise, I've never heard such attention to detail anywhere in music. On most of these tracks, you can hear every tap and brush on the drums and every subtle, delicate, intricate guitar pattern. Much more stripped down than most of their earlier stuff. Most of it is slow and quiet. "In a Room" with its apt repeated lyrics "I can't slow down" is one of the most infectious and energetic up tempo songs I've ever heard.

2) It was not the record company that changed their sound. It was Guy Chadwick and his perfectionism. In this period, Chadwick was almost as bad as Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine. It took them 2 or 3 years to put that album out. I'm sure a record company would have wanted them to put an album out as fast as possible. And before settling on that album, they had an entire album's worth of mostly great stuff. That material, released as an outtakes album called "A Spy in the House of Love," is more stripped down than the Butterfly one.

From Butterfly/Fontana, the band did become more and more processed, with sometimes bloated studio trickery. Even so, they put out some beautiful stuff like "The Girl with the Loneliest Eyes" and, one of my favorites, "Burn Down the World" and their cover of The Chill's "Pink Frost" on their later releases.

I didn't even know about their first album until about seven years after their second album came out. Of that material, "Christine," "Hope," "Destroy the Heart," "Love in a Car," "On the Hill," and "Loneliness is a Gun" are fantastic songs. It's great to listen how they kind of started out as a Jesus and Mary Chain-like band on songs like "Christine" and "Destroy the Heart" and then evolved into their own sounds. But, maybe because I heard the newer versions first, I don't think the original versions of "Shine On," "Hedonist," and "Blind" aren't as good as the later Fontana/Butterfly versions.

Except for "Christine," "On the Hill," and "Destroy the Heart" and some others, these songs sound like they could have been without Terry in the first place. If you listen to later House of Love things, you'll hear many of the same guitar details. I don't know why people tend to completely discount Chadwick's own guitar virtuosity.

The centerpiece of all this material has always been Chadwick's terrific songwriting. Out of all the House of Love's original genre mates such as Echo and the Bunnymen and The Jesus and Mary Chain, none captured the spirit of earlier rock and roll as well as they do. Chadwick's a master pop song crafter in league with Lennon/McCartney, Brian Wilson, and Lou Reid. And that song craft continued even into the more psychedelic studio noodlings on "Audience with the Mind." Other than Butterfly/Fontana, nothing has highlighted his songwriting as much as Chadwick's solo album "Lazy, Soft, and Slow." That album's title is fitting, as it has some of the quietest and gentlest songs I've ever heard.

Ok, finally on to this particular album:

There's some great stuff on here, and it continues to grow on me. Unlike what others have said, there is hardly anything at all on this album that screams to me "yeah, that's Terry playing now." Most of this album sounds like it could have been done without him. Most of it sounds like it's an extension of Chadwick's solo album, with it's rather acoustic stripped down sounds. The only songs on here that say to me that it's probably Terry playing are "Maybe You Know," "Money and Time," and "Already Gone." Those and more are some great songs, with "Money and Time" being one of the best House of Love songs I've ever heard. "Other than some Terry tones, it could fit right on Butterfly/Fontana or "A Spy in the House of Love." Money and Time" revisits the soft/loud/soft song structure used previously to great effect on songs like "Hope" and "Se Dest," a structure few bands have ever done as well as HOL has. It's taken a long time for "Love You Too Much" to grow on me. It sounded for a while that they were trying too hard for a catchy pop song, but the mounting guitar and vocal tension near the end of the song saves it.

This is not the best House of Love album, but I think it's at least #1 or #2 of the stuff that's still readily available for sale. It's a shame that Amazon doesn't even list Butterfly Fontana. The double disk "Fontana Years" album looks strange to me. Songs I either don't know or don't think are that great replace some of the best from the Butterfly album. While you can't get Butterfly/Fontana on Amazon, you can try to look it up on half.com or gemm.com. It's definitely worth checking out, as it might be one of my top ten of desert island disks.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still great music April 16 2005
By MonPierrot - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
these guys still have the magic. A pity they've waited so long !

instant classics

"Kit Carter",

"Money and time"

"Gotta be that way"

"days run away"

For those who discover them, it's all about subtle pop music and elegant song writing. Nothing ever violent...a kind of sudden desire emerges to appreciate your neighbours and smile to the old lady!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars House of Correction Sept. 29 2005
By M Keenaghan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Everyone would agree that the House of Love's 1988 Creation album was probably their highest and most defining moment, one of those records that only happens once in a band's lifetime, embodying that 'special something', a certain magic exclusive to itself alone that cannot be recaptured.

But with this surprise-comeback record, I have to give full marks to the HOL for certainly TRYING. It's as though the band actually got together and said - We all know what our best stuff sounds like, let's DO IT!

Terry Bickers is back with the shimmering heart and soul he employed on 'Christine' and 'Destroy the Heart' bringing some feel and sparkle to Guy Chadwick's introspective, enigmatic musings. And good, because although the later albums were brave attempts to push ahead, let's face it, it never really worked as well without him.

Kicking off is 'Love You Too Much', a Lou Reed-ish stomper reminiscent of 'Never' but without the heavy production. In fact, all throughout the album the band have opted for a simplistic approach - even reuniting with their Creation-era producer Pat Collier - making for a crisp, fresh-sounding result, far from the sometimes-bloated production of the early-nineties material. 'Gotta Be That Way' is up there with their finest, spaghetti-western fretwork over a lilting acoustic turnaround, laced in Bickers' speciality atmospherics.

'Maybe You Know' is a meditation on the now-legendary Chadwick/Bickers fallout, underpinning a signature HOL chord progression with twin vocals that poignantly ring with an acceptance of past ills, illustrating how the demons of those contentious times have been well and truly exorcised. This song is a blatant apology from Guy to Terry. And songs like this are rare. Chadwick's honesty in the ego-bloated world of music has to be commended (just look at Morrissey's petty attitude towards his past-Smiths as he stubbornly plods along sporting a missing gap in the musical department).

On 'Already Gone' there's the country-folk shades of Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline', and 'Kinda Love' drives us back through 'Love in a Car' territory with heartfelt lyrics ("Sometimes I just cry myself dry/The way that I'm feeling inside") and movement through light and dark towards a pounding crescendo.

All in all, this is a promising return from one of the best alternative bands of the late 80's British indie era. And judging from the two recent London shows I witnessed, here is a band still shining bright and capable of greatness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to Basics July 9 2009
By Greg Cleary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As comeback albums go, "Days Run Away" is better than most. The interplay between the musicians is real and natural, rather than just an imitation of the House of Love's earlier work. Having original guitarist Terry Bickers back in the lineup seems to have revitalized the band's sound. Yet somehow, the end result is not particularly memorable. Although I bought this album two years ago and have listened to it a fair number of times, I had to listen to it again, closely, in order to write this review, as if I was studying for a test. The songs just don't stick.

The one glaring exception is the opener, "I Love You Too Much," which is prime House of Love and could easily pass for a lost single from the band's early days. In fact, it is so simple, straightforward, and punchy that it sounds as if it could have predated "Shine On." Maybe this song is the one that inspired the reunion, and for those who love the band as much as I do, it singlehandedly makes this a worthwhile disc to have in one's collection.

There are other good moments as well, but they don't really last. The songs never seem to hit that extra gear that they so often did in the early days. And the absence of original bass player Chris Groothuizen does not go unnoticed. The new guy is fine, but he is clearly just a backing musician and does not play a strong role in shaping the songs, as his predecessor so often did.

The production is strictly no-frills, which was probably the best way to go this time around, but the band forfeits a lot by foregoing keyboards and atmospherics. In one of their more adventurous moments, they take a stab at a country-type sound, for the first time ever, in "Already Gone," without embarrassing themselves at all. But on the other hand, the song utterly fails to stand out from its undistinguished companions.

Still, if "Days Run Away" proves to be the last House of Love album, it is a better closing statement than the dreary "Audience with the Mind," and it's better than Guy Chadwick's 1997 solo album as well. For these small things, we are thankful, and despite this album's flaws, I'm not going to complain about having one more House of Love album to listen to.
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