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One Beat [Import]

Sleater-Kinney Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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For all the noisy bluster involving plastic barrettes, thrift-store guitars, and caterwauling political catchphrases, Sleater-Kinney have always been pragmatic about their music. The group's self-titled debut got by on ferocity alone. But each successive release has exhibited a dramatic step forward as youthful exuberance gives way to melody and poise. One Beat is the trio's most assured work yet. A jubilant blast of tambourines, theremin, and Corin Tucker's rubber-band vocals usher in the spiky "Oh!," the Strokes' locker-room diffidence mingles with Sonic Youth's angular cool on "Prisstina," and the title track, all urgent wailing and power chords, rumbles with pure excitement. The rest of the album isn't far behind. --Aidin Vaziri

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Album Now Aug. 28 2002
By Z. Liu
Format:Audio CD
With the return of producer John Goodmanson from the Dig Me Out days, you'd almost expect a home coming to that edgy unpolished sound. Expect better. In fact, there are spots on this album have more raw energy than anything since Call the Doctor, but with all the maturity that the band's developed since The Hot Rock and All Hands. The sound is much richer, with many more layers than any outing before. In fact, Sleater-Kinney counterpoint begins almost to approach the majesty of a cathedral choir, backed up by its organ. The guitars develop a monolithic wall of sound that cannot be gotten around, and cannot be pierced. This album won't disappoint any Sleater-Kinney fan, no matter what era she may be partial to.
Though you can hear plenty of straight-ahead words and guitar punk rock, there's tons more. Just like everyone rock band in the world, there's a fresh element of electronica, but unlike everyone else, the instrument is a theremin, one of the very first electronic instruments, before the synthesizers now everywhere aro
und the music world. There's an element of soul, especially in the last song Sympathy, which if it weren't for Corin's distinctive voice (a familiar Olympia from the South reminiscent of a Kurt Cobain), you'd almost mistake it for a song from The Gossip.
The impact of September 11th can be obviously felt on this album. "Far Away", which from the Pacific Northwest, New York must have seemed, is an especially piercing reminder of that inexplicable sudden nausea everyone felt that day. You feel it again in the guitar, in an unfamiliar dissonance in the familiar Corin-Carrie counterpoint. Even with a new found patriotism, the classic antiauthoritarianism of punk rock can still be felt with "and the president hides / while working men rush in / to give their lives.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Should I run your rockets to the stars? May 3 2004
Format:Audio CD
It's the type of insurgent call to arms that went out of style twenty years ago, but its unaplogetic sense of politics is only the first thing to treasure about One Beat. Corin Tucker's trademark wail is, at this point, such a refined, astonishing instrument, when she gives it full soul rein in "Sympathy," there's a sense of intimacy that is overwhelming and unforgettable. Within the record, though, is protest of the best kind - "One Beat," "Step Aside," and especially the Clash-channeling "Combat Rock" may be the best pieces of contemporary music to comment on contemporary issues out there, probably because they're the only band daring to speak, or, in this brilliant album's case, scream.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ladies of rock. March 24 2004
Format:Audio CD
This was the first Sleater-Kinney album I picked up, shortly after its release. I live in NYC and heard that this album dealt more or less directly with 9/11, which rather screwed with my head. This, of course, in no way makes me unique, but it basically meant that I was going on a review and nothing else. I had no idea what Sleater-Kinney was about, or their sound, or anything.
One Beat is a truly excellent album, the sort that makes you say, "I wish I wrote that," even if you're not a musician (I'm not). The lyrics of the fight songs are concise and honest, but the most striking thing about the album, especially if you're unfamiliar with S-K, is the way that Corin Tucker uses her voice almost like a percussion instrument, and the way that Carrie Brownstein sings backing vocals that are basically another verse being sung at the same time on many tracks. This is evident from the very first track, an immensely powerful song that was really unlike anything I'd ever heard 'til then. The album has some anti-war anthems on it, but the ladies really run the spectrum as far as topics go - one song rocks harder than you can believe, the next is a heart-breaking ballad (S-K is good for one tear-jerker an album, I've found), and the next a mellow rocker.
I listen to a lot of music, and I've got to say that One Beat is an album I recommend without hesitation. The ladies are touring briefly this spring, and then are planning a release later this year. One Beat is a world away, stylistically, from All Hands on the Band One (another good album, and one that many think is their best effort, but either I'm not getting it, or the fact that One Beat was my introduction to them has blinded me to the possibility that their earlier stuff was better - although Call the Doctor is another great album), and I'm looking forward to what their new stuff may be like.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly beautifully angry Feb. 7 2004
Format:Audio CD
The best album I've heard from Sleater Kinney and one of the best albums I've heard in years.
The music is driven and forceful. It grabs you by the ears and, shakily screaming, pours it heart and soul into you. It's a tight grip and there's no letting go.
And yet, with all it's intensity, the music is full of beauty. Truth, whatever that may be, seems to linger and shimmer around the perfectly ragged edges. At times, you might find yourself misty-eyed without knowing why.
I had the chance, years ago before I even knew who Sleater Kinney were, to see them in concert. After hearing One Beat I've never regretted more throwing that chance away.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Way good. Jan. 4 2004
Format:Audio CD
OK, so I'm not the best at reviewing albums to which I have an intense emotional attachment, but here goes nothing...
I bought Dig Me Out because it was a curiosity as to why I didn't own any Sleater-Kinney albums to date, based on my general taste. And loved it! I bought One Beat shortly after it came out, not having heard any criticisms-even amateur ones. Slowly, but surely, I began to love One Beat even more than Dig Me Out.
I've always thought that many a' music fan's focus on technical prowess over a band or artist's ability to touch the audience emotionally (i.e., hoarding all of Van Halen's albums because Eddie is just so damn good despite the overwhelming goofiness of the band as a whole). However, I find Sleater-Kinney's pure talent to be truly, and some would argue, finally showcased in this album, and that is certainly to their credit. Every aspect of this album should blow everyone's mind-technically.
In short, One Beat provides the perfect blend of unbelievably good writing with soul-wrenching truth. My husband and I saw them in concert last spring on their tour to support this album. We went home and had the greatest sex of our lives.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Riot Grrrls
Sleater-Kinney have never sold out. From the sound of things, they aren't planning to either. They are not just any girl band.
Published on Nov. 3 2003 by Karry Dougan
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best Yet!
If their were an award for best original anti-war activism songs/albums, this one should go down on the record for the current war in Bagdad. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003 by Alexis A. Zinkerman
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably, thier best yet
It's difficult to imagine Sleater-Kinney ever topping thier previous output--a continuously ascending arc of blistering fury and incandescent songcraft that threw in as many... Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2003 by W. Parrish
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this CD
I think i can say with some certinty that this is the best Sleater-Kinney album since Dig Me Out. therefore making it a must-buy, along with their first album.
Published on June 29 2003 by M. Olson
5.0 out of 5 stars One beat to destroy them all.....
While I've been a fan longer than the release of this album, and have seem them live twice (and not just opening for another band), and come from their hometown, and am totally in... Read more
Published on June 25 2003 by LK
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best cds that I own
I had the chance to see Sleater Kinney open up for some Pearl Jam concerts I went to.
These girls rocked out! Read more
Published on May 7 2003 by "jearlpam79"
5.0 out of 5 stars One Beat to rock them all....
A friend of mine played this album for me, and I knew shortly after the first couple of songs that this was one to add to my collection! Read more
Published on April 14 2003 by Shawna L. Tobias
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh!
Ok, so it seems to me like there are two camps of SK fans. There are those who have followed them for years and been apart of the whole Riot Girl/Kill Rock Stars Label/Olympia rock... Read more
Published on April 14 2003 by Kenneth Kapelka
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Fav Albums of Year!
Up until One Beat, I liked Dig Me Out the best of the Sleater-Kinney discs. Some great songs on there. Read more
Published on April 10 2003 by Ted Strong
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