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Hot Shots II

40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI Music Canada
  • ASIN: B00005K9Z6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #88,169 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Squares
2. Al Sharp
3. Human Being
4. Gone
5. Dragon
6. Broke
7. Quiet
8. Alleged
9. Life
10. Eclipse
11. Won

Product Description

Hot Shots II continues the Beta Band's play with epileptic beats and creepy melodies as they again rearrange a record collection stocked with Pink Floyd, Talk Talk, the Beatles, and the full Astralwerks catalog. A clipped toy piano inspires a shiver on "Al Sharp" while the swirling synth of "Eclipse" recalls Brian Eno's contribution to the Trainspotting soundtrack (which the Beta Band would have dominated were the movie made two years later). The album's deep-bass sounds and obvious craft are arresting, but attempts at the band's cleverness or playfulness expose seams that would best remain hidden. The lyrics of "Eclipse" falter through a satirical allegory of politics, concluding with "the people with the answers," "the people with the questions," and "the people with the books" sitting down to "smoke a pizza pie." While almost every song contains layers of crackling vinyl, laser, or toy-piano effects, it's only in the closing hip-hop version of Harry Nilsson's "One" that the sounds neatly meld. Newcomers to the Beta Band should start with The Three E.P.'s, but old fans will find Hot Shots II a better second full-length than 1999's self-titled release. --Sarah Sternau

Album Description

Hot Shots II is the quartet's most accomplished work: folksy, futuristic, dubbed-out atmospherics and off-kilter pop. Think Beck meets Lee Perry meets Pink Floyd meets RZA meets Beatles. This U.S. version features an exclusive track. 11 tracks. 2001 release.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
I picked up Hot Shots II shortly after I got ahold of the Beta Band's new album Heroes to Zeros, even though I was already familiar with several of the tracks. As the follow-up up to their much-maligned (even by the band itself) first album, Hot Shots II was generally regarded as a more polished and deliberate effort than its predecessor. While the record is certainly better than most of the trash out there today, I would say that it suffers from two weaknesses in the end. The first is its uneven quality; Squares is perhaps my favorite Beta Band song, but Eclipse is either a satire I don't get or simply a silly song with bad lyrics. The final track, a cover of One is the Loneliest Number, also sounds pretty out of place and probably should have been left off the album entirely. Another potential weakness is the fact that the album seems to find its sonic range early on and sticks with it to the end. Upon first listen, many of the songs sound fairly similar to each other. After a couple more listens you begin to appreciate the depth and subtlety of the music, but the fact remains that most of the tracks are assembled from the same combination of relaxed vocals, looped melodies, and spacy electronic effects. Those looking for more spontaneity and variety may want to check out the Three EPs or Heroes to Zeros first. If you're in the mood for some laid-back music with a touch of electronic psychedelia, though, Hot Shots II is a sure bet.
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By david baake on June 3 2003
Format: Audio CD
The Beta Band have put together another highly influencil album. But this time, the expiriments of the Monolith and the straight foward Dry the Rain have formed into a unique but more mainstream style. The funky trip-hoppy rythmes, combined with multi-tracked vocal antics and tender melodies, is what makes Hot Shots II such a great album. It is more listenable than the previous two albums, and it flows nicely. The lyrics are sometimes humbley serious, other times just goofy. Eclispe makes fun of great endings of other albums (DSOM?), while showing that the Beta Band doesn't take there work too seriously, fitting "the people with the answers won't tell the people with the question the answers" in one 4/4 measure. The final lyrics to the album are "The people with the answers lie--- so no pizza for them." Then to finish of the album the do a rap, Won. It's pretty cool, but out of place.
I would like to see the Beta Band concentrate on poetry and lyrics on the next album, because the music is flawless. But I kind of get the feeling they don't know what to sing about. There biggest contrabution to the music world will probably be influencing Radiohead, who will probably go down as being as good as the Beatles.
You need to buy this album to see where "Backdrifts" and "Punch Up at A weding" sound originaly came from. This is a great album! Buy It!!
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Format: Audio CD
Yeah. This album is tight. It has some awesome sounds and some really tight songs. It's a little darker than the 3 EP's, which is really nice, but the 3 EP's is ground-breaking. If not for the 3 EP's, I would give HOT SHOTS II 5 stars. But knowing what these guys have done before, HOT SHOTS II kind of leaves me wanting more. That's not to say this CD is not good. It's very good. Songs like Squares, Al Sharp, Broke, Eclipse...they are all tight. But it takes some time to get into them. Whereas the 3 EP's hit me as great right off the bat. If you are new to The Beta Band, get the 3 EP's first. Then get HOT SHOTS II.
And I hope that The Beta Band is in the studio recording another CD, because I can't wait to hear it. I haven't been this excited about a group in a long time. Their music kicks some serious [rear.] I usually only listen to classic rock (The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin), but these guys have me hooked. Any music lover should hear The Beta Band. It will only enrich your life. These guys are great!
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By A Customer on Oct. 8 2002
Format: Audio CD
Be warned. Once you have played this album once or twice you wont be able to stop listening to it. soon enough you'll be humming along to "squares" on public transport.
Not obnoxiously catchy from the first listen, but a band that sound better and better each time you listen to them, the betas deliver sincere, sonically eclectic, original songs.
They consistently manage to deliver climactic moments of bliss on this album. For example the rolling drum beat and the wonderful layering of vocal harmonies on "Quiet".
"Gone" has a quiet beauty in it throughout, the harmonies and the dreamlike layering of muted electric guitar and keyboard creating a poignant atmosphere quite different from the rest of the album. The sound of the Beta Band doing a love song is not a sound to be sniffed at either. When they're being funny you laugh but when they're being sincere you believe them.
The Beta Band: the sound of dreams, the sound of occasional orgasmic bliss. the sound of four guys who dont take themselves too seriously, but are very serious about what they do.
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By A Customer on May 18 2002
Format: Audio CD
And more power to you - it's a great soundtrack. And maybe you wondering about that band that did that great song "Squares," The Beta Band. Well, they are indeed a great band. But the album that has "Squares" on it is not a great album. Now, I know I'm running against the general reviewing trend here - but if you liked "Squares" or you saw High Fidelity and you liked "Dry The Rain," you are much, much, much better off buying The Three EPs instead of this album. Oddly enough, people who can throw phrases like "quasi-ambient electronic trip-hop" ignore the first song on this album. I don't know the proper genre names to pigeonhole every type of music, I guess. I just know what I like. And the only reason I would give this album 2 stars is on the strength of the first song, "Squares." It's a great song, no doubt. But if you want to own it, buy the Six Feet Under soundtrack, and buy The Three EPs by the Beta Band. You will get much more value for your music dollar.
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