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The Magnificent Tree [Enhanced, Import]

Hooverphonic Audio CD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.45
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Product Description

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If you've been following the career of this Belgian trio, you've seen them go from trip-hop (on their debut, A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular) to trip-pop (1998's Blue Wonder Power Milk), pitting fan against fan in the process. One thing's for sure: The Magnificent Tree only adds wood to the fire. The "trip" has all but left the pop, leaving behind an assortment of solid, radio-friendly tunes, but hardly anything with the character and charm of their earlier work. It's too bad, really, because though there's some real ear candy here, it's lost in the crinkly wrapper of predictable arrangements and vapid lyrics. Geike Arnaert, given to ethereal coolness on Milk, chooses a more out-front, sultry vocal style on Tree, and while it works on the uncharacteristically rockin' "Jacky Cane" and the torchy "Vinegar & Salt," elsewhere ("Mad About You," "Everytime We Live Together," and the embarrassingly treacly "Out of Sight") it just rings false--too slick for its own good. Touches of the old style appear here and there, notably on the atmospheric, sample-infused "Autoharp" and the dreamy, Dubstar-like "Waves," but they promise more than the rest of the album can deliver. It may be a solid, sturdy Tree, but it's a few branches short of magnificence. --Steve Landau

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Parfait Oct. 30 2011
By Mary
Format:Audio CD
Le délai de livraison était dans les temps, le boîtier et le cd étaient en parfait état. Il ne m'est arrivé qu'une fois d'avoir un produit abîmé acheter de ce vendeur, je le recommande quand même.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Don't overlook the great songs on it July 4 2003
Format:Audio CD
Yes, as an album TMT isn't as good as the other two. However, the more I listen to it, the more I get songs stuck in my head and the more I understand that it is brilliant. The problem is that it doesn't hold together as an album. The cohesion isn't there. But what is there is a handful of solid songs a few of which verge on brilliant. The poppiest of these is Mad About You, a James Bond theme if there was ever a film about Bond's first puppy love. A couple of songs later comes Jackie Cane, a strange anthem about a used up girl. Frosted Flake Wood is maligned by some and yes it does sound like the theme to some trip-hop version of H.R. Puffinstuf, but I like it a lot simply because it's unique. There aren't a lot of songs like this out there. Finally, there's Everytime We Live Together... This song keeps growing on me. I don't have anything to compare it to other than to say that the title sets the tone for the piece. It's angry -- or at least as angry as Hooverphonic gets -- and bitter -- once again, as bitter as Hooverphonic gets.
I gave this 5 stars because despite its awkwardness as an album it is still worlds above most of what's out there. I'll take it for all its flaws as Hooverphonic are brilliant even if this as a whole is their weakest effort.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable mess. May 1 2003
Format:Audio CD
This album has no style.
Normally albums tend to follow a style and almost all tracks follow each other nicely. Hooverphonic's other albums are no exception. A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular and Blue Wonder Power Milk contain more than the collective sum of their tracks. Even [Hooverphonic] Presents Jackie Cane has a unifying story and style that proclaims independence from their previous work.
However, The Magnificent Tree has no cohesive unity, as the album has its feet planted in different style territories. The tracks clash with each other. For instance, Frosted Flake Wood reminds me of a bizzare sock puppet play, while Jackie Cane has funkish retro charm. Pink Fluffy Dinosaurs makes you float into an ambient trance, but the next track l'Odeur Animale drags you through an eerie morgue of gloomy echoes. Clashes like these result in a lack of cooperation between songs.
However, each track taken individually reveals that Hooverphonic is growing up. From every drum beat to sound sample, their technique is becoming more sophisticated. They're expanding their abilities, and experimenting with new styles. Rather than commiting to a certain sound, it seems to me that they decided to just have fun and test their limits. The final product: An accomplished, albeit disorganized, indicator of Hooverphonic's broad range of musical skill and ability.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok....... April 14 2003
Format:Audio CD
After reading the reviews on this CD, I was really expecting an absolutely horrible CD. Well, it's not as good as their previous stuff, but it is a solid CD in my opinion. With good songs such as "Magnificent tree", "Out of sight", "Renaissance Affair"
and a few others that sound decent, this CD isn't that bad, but it can be silly and experimental at times as well. Especially on "Frosted Flake Wood", which sounds has a melody in it that sounds like it's straight out of an episode of Sesame Street. There are other weird and oddly placed sounds on other songs as well. I can definitely say it's not anywhere as good as "A New stereophonic sound spectacular", but it's a decent CD that has its moments.
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1.0 out of 5 stars awful!!! April 8 2003
By Digby
Format:Audio CD
ok, i admit it. i was sucked into this group by the really cool music from the volkswagen commercial, renaissance affair from "blue wonder powder milk." i loved it. i took a chance on "a new stereophonic sound spectacular," and, while i didn't like it as much i wasn't hating it either. magnificent tree put an end to my "affair" with hooverphonic. no stars for this one. really, the writing was bad. the singing was terrible. and, the musical arrangements made lawrence welk seem, well, groovy. ugh! i caught a glimpse of their latest video/song and it made me all the more sure i made the right decision. i won't be listening to any more hooverphonic.
i still listen wistfully to "blue wonder", but oh, the promise broken...
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Tree Grows... March 21 2003
Format:Audio CD
A lot of bands whose first lp is considered fantastic then either continue to follow that format or move on to other things. Hooverphonic has been evolving their sound for three albums now. While Sound Spectacular was a knob-twiddlers delight, Blue Wonder Power Milk progressed towards progressive pop-song structure, the Magnificent Tree continues that progression. Most bands have a hard time escaping a formula successfully. Morcheeba could be criticized for the same thing. Losing the "trip-hop" feel. I believe a mark of a good band is one that internally evolves its musical goals and tries to create something new and exciting each time. Too many bands find their niche and stay, making for bland music. If anything, Hooverphonic isn't bland. Their's is a melange of melodies, influences and atmosphere. While it doesn't always succeed, it does have its pleasurable moments and still should be a part of the Hooverphonic collection.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's all perspective
It's funny, the reviews on this one are all over the map. Myself, this is the first Hooverphonic that I came upon, and just loved it. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2003 by Brian Pianalto
3.0 out of 5 stars Pop-Hop
This title is not meant to be a compliment. The only thing good that remains in this album is the music, or the instrumentals that defines most Trip-Hop artist. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars From amazing to horrible!
My feelings towards Hooverphonic are as follows. "A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular" is still one of my favorite cds ever recorded. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2002 by Leo76
1.0 out of 5 stars From amazing to horrible!
My feelings towards Hooverphonic are as follows. "A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular" is still one of my favorite cds ever recorded. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2002 by Leo76
5.0 out of 5 stars even betterlive
A magnificent album which is even beter live. A very attractive and charismatic lead singer
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Koen Van den Heede
4.0 out of 5 stars A very Good CD possibly their weakest yet though!
So I thought Id write a review of this album and possibly to defent it againt people like Shawn Delaney who is obviously into metal or something. Unlistenable dont make me laugh. Read more
Published on May 30 2002 by M. T. J. ANDERTON
1.0 out of 5 stars a bad characature
I was sorely disappointed with Hooverphonic's third release The Magnificent Tree. Not only is the title ridiculous, but the sound is like a bad characature of their first two... Read more
Published on May 24 2002 by Shawn S. Delaney
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