The best cult pop band of all time releases a career peak album. Now will they follow suit and follow in the foot steps of bands like Japan, Janes Addiction and Failure and call it a day after reaching such a high creative peak?. Only time will tell. I will say if they do, I want to thank Bob, Pete and Sarah for creating not only one of the best albums of 2012 but probably my favorite pop album of the last five years or so.
I have to wonder. Granted, the band has never got it's due. See the success of Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lilly Allen and listen to Saint Etienne's first three records and shake your head. Second, pop artists in their late 40s shouldn't be able to come up with such a great concept. SE have crafted not only a very creative concept album about the importance of music in people's life. But every song on the album is stellar. some like "DJ" are among the best the band has written. Even the songs that on the surface don't appear so great on the first listen grab you by the throat on subsequent repeats. And I find myself repeatedly playing this album quite a bit.
And to top it all of, this band is pretty clever. Not only do they raise the bar on "kitchen sink" melodrama that shows the band still worships Scott Walker albums 1 through 4. They reference other bands, their own music, and their own lyrics to their own songs. Like I said pretty clever for the worlds greatest cult pop band. Even the album cover showing "streets made of song titles" is just really ridiculously clever.
So I would say, this is a must have album for people in their late 30's to late 40's who grew up on glam rock and British new wave. If the first song on this marvel, called "Over The Boarder" doesn't choke you up a bit complete with a lyric and music nod to New Order, then I would say pass on this. But let me repeat, on the first song, Saint Etienne know how to reference the importance of Blue Monday being the music score to many a teenagers' heart-broken melodramas. Like I said, clever band.
And one more thing, can some label please release a non-digital format of this thing stateside! Import prices kinda suck you know.