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E.P. (10 Tracks) [EP, Best of]

Fiery Furnaces Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 6.37
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1. Single Again
2. Here Comes The Summer
3. Evergreen
4. Sing For Me
5. Tropical-Iceland
6. Duffer St. George
7. Smelling Cigarettes
8. Cousin Chris
9. Sweet Spots
10. Sullivan's Social Slub

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual b-sides Sept. 1 2005
By Max
Format:Audio CD
Unlike the average b-side collection, the Fiery Furnaces manage to give EP a distinct amount of coherence. I can't imagine listening to any of the first 3 tracks without one another. By the time "Evergreen" is over, the price of admission is well worth it and you've likely got a grin on your face. Matt then takes over the vocals on "Sing For Me," which is a nice little diversion until Eleanor kicks back in --interchanging from here on out-- for the poppy sonic-noise-fest reinterpretation of "Tropical-Iceland," which knocks your head around.
The second half of the album begins with the strange but enjoyable "Duffer St. George," an interesting addition. "Smelling Cigarettes" and "Cousin Chris" are more reminiscent of the quirkier moments on Blueberry Boat. The last two tracks, "Sweet Spots" and "Sullivan's Social Slub" end the collection on a positively wonderful and eclectic note; arguably two of their strongest recordings yet.
2005 is two thirds over and EP is still a strong contender for album of the year, in my mind. Yes, a worthy b-sides collection; the Furnaces are everything music could hope to be in 2005.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eleanor and Matt make almost too much good music Jan. 12 2005
By Alexander Henderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It is ridiculous that these two people can make so much music in such a short time span (Gallowsbird's Bark was released near the end of 2003) and not once dip below the "outstanding" watermark. The knowledge that they are going to be releasing TWO MORE albums before fall further staggers the mind. The Furnaces are a gift from heaven for music lovers. Their live show is also amazing (if you're reading this guys, hi, i was the nerd in the fire truck suit at the chapel hill show). This EP is no less satisfying than Gallowsbird's Bark or Blueberry Boat. Matt is like a musical machine set on over-drive. I read in an amazon review of Blueberry Boat that some consider them "more pretentious than Radiohead, less musical than Gwar." I suppose there is a marked distinction between music of this type and, say, Arcade Fire "Funeral," but unorthodox production and composition are only two of the factors that make this band so great. These guys have not only beaten their own path through the musical wilderness, they've built a rocket and flown to another planet. I leave it to you to trust me on this and buy this EP. It ties their first two releases together, almost in preperation for the journey they're going to be going on in the next few months. 5 stars is a petty way of saying "listen to this music."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than an "EP" Feb. 17 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm not sure why the Fiery Furnaces call this collection "EP," since it's the length of many full albums. But it shows how talented this new band is that even their odds, ends and leftovers are better than average. This colorful collection has no real flow, but it still ends up being one of the best releases thus far from 2005.

It kicks off with some stiff, dancey electropop, which sounds a bit like Devo at times. But then the tone changes radically, with the entrance of "Here Comes the Summer's" charmingly loopy pop, complete with muffled acoustic guitars, or "Evergreen's" offbeat, slightly jerky rock. It's hard listen to these three without being hungry for more.

What comes after that is not exactly even and flowing. It's very much in the style of their "Blueberry Boat" album, yet all the songs are unlinked. Rollicking rock-pop sits next to enchantingly ethereal pop ditties, and folky tunes sit beside weird art-pop. The finale, "Sullivan Social Club," is a masterful mix of electro swooshes and stately indiepop.

The rapid changes in style are what keep "EP" from being, as Mary Poppins puts it, practically perfect in every way. Were the songs linked, it would have been an absolute masterpiece. As it is, the songs can be taken individually as fun, often catchy indiepop that never sacrifices its complexity and quality for cheap hooks.

What it does do is show off the Fiery Furnaces' wide range of styles. The lines between styles blur in many of these songs, using acoustic guitar, fuzzy piano and electronic swooshes to make rock, pop, dance music and exquisite ballads. And their quirky songwriting gets another stretch, with only a few that skim too close to cutesiness.

Fuzzy piano, ethereal melodies and dancepop all mesh together in this colorful collection, which only proves that the Fiery Furnaces are headed for even greater things. After all, a patchwork "EP" of B-sides and leftovers is one of the best releases so far this year.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Furnaces sell out Jan. 12 2005
By alexander laurence - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This record collects all their singles and B-sides and other tracks lying around. When all is said and done it sounds like a slick album in its own right. It could be their second or third album. When most bands can barely do one interesting album, the Fiery Furnaces have done almost three. Yeah, this is supposed to bean EP. Most EPs are like three or four tracks. This may be a suitable substitute for the more difficult Blueberry Boat. The previous album had some monster tracks and crazy tempo changes and it was long. Has anyone actually made it through Blueberry Boat all the way through? The FF EP is a more pop album with killer singles and ultimately more successful. If I would tell a friend to get an album by the Fiery Furances I would tell them to get this. It has two of their best songs "Evergreen" and "Tropical-Iceland." Even the single "Single Again" was brilliant. Their lyrics are reprinted for the first time. The lyrics are like short stories influenced by Lewis Carroll and the Oulipo. "Duffer St George" is about hanging out in London, which is a subject for many of their songs. This is already a favorite. Apparently they are already at work on two more albums. Bring it on!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NOT an EP March 3 2005
By -> - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The techno-riffic bombast beginning this poorly titled full-length from the Friedbergers leads one to wonder if brother Mathew has completely flipped his switch and orchestrated an otherworldly dance album for the new century, albeit devoid of all grandmotherly involvement, as their next full-length is rumored to be. Exactly 1:06 into "Single Again," however, he's all "Surprise!" and throws his keyboard loving soul at his sister to harp a spiteful tune about dead husbands and unfulfilled pocket change.

Written about extensively in this space since the release of "Blueberry Boat" last year, Mathew and Eleanor refuse to give up precious ink to other well meaning artists, releasing a ten song collection of non-album singles and B-sides (hence the "EP" title- a little too cute). Hitting hard and fast and way too cool for school, this is not your friendly ten minute pirate ship voyages sung in the language of the Eskimo. This is the pop record of the year (although, I wouldn't bet on it or anything).

Oddly straight forward and viciously attentive, these are the tunes that any other band would kill to show off, yet the Furnaces relish them to the netherworld of 7-inchers and the like. The label won't single any of your new tracks, so you go into the studio and come up with this? These are supposed to be leftovers?

"Tropical Ice-Land" is typical eccentric whimsy, a tune about goat heads and Klondike bars in deli's and vending machines in a land with no sun and all glaciers and stray puffins. Throw in a couple backward verses and a jump-happy chorus and you've got yourself a deal.

"When the word of your ward was the sword by your side/ and you dug up the deed in the dump where he died" is typical Friedberger wordsmith on "Cousin Chris." The song also has a bridge that sounds like lazy-day prohibition era ballroom beamed into space and reflected off an alien satellite.

Perhaps their strongest straight up banger yet, however, may be "Evergreen." Pulled along by single note piano and fuzzy synth, Eleanor is a drunk who wipes her tears with her "favorite pine cone" and Mathew throws in his greatest blues solo yet.

The White Stripes comparisons that seemed so comically out of place on "Blueberry Boat" come back again for the chorus from "Duffer St. George." In the midst of a backpacking voyage to Shoreditch, the cymbals come crashing and the guitar goes thrashing- is that Meg on the mike? But, lest you forget who we are dealing with, the dirty blues bang-up only lasts for so long before reverberating away, giving way to a way too happy piano and the return of narrative refrain.

Given the last three outputs from this band, it is difficult to know what to expect when they pull Granny out of church for the next one, but at least expect the same level of genius and more ink space in this publication.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am no longer an objective reviewer of their work. Jan. 12 2005
By R. King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First off, let me warn you by saying that their past two albums are two of my favorite albums of all time. Blueberry Boat fulfilled very musical fantasy i could possibly ever have. I thought this EP might just be a cheap way for their label to tide over the fans, and keep the buzz going until their next album. However, after listening to this cd four times in a row, the Fiery Furnaces have an album of supposedly discarded material and B-sides that holds together better, and has more musical imagination than most indie bands recording today.

This album exceded any expectations I might have had, and displays the band's desire to constantly revisit and revamp their back catologue. The new version of Tropical Ice-land takes the sweet original and makes it into a catchy poppy wonderland. The FF's are always reworking their material and "fixing" it for their live performances, and this new version puts that practice into hard copy. All the songs are strong, some more straightforward, some exhibiting the wandering exploration like those on Blueberry Boat. A great intro to the band, and an album I would endorse whole heartedly.
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