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Built on Squares Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 20 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Select Distributions
  • ASIN: B000093BDW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
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1. Black Cat
2. Brass Digger
3. Goldstar
4. Pages
5. Buena Vista
6. Irene
7. Rinky Dinky
8. Zillion Eyes
9. Jack In The Squares
10. San Diego
11. Jimmy Cricket

Product Description

Starlight Mints ~ Built On Squares

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Dec 8 2003
Format: Audio CD
I hardly know where to begin on this review. My 18-year old daughter brought home the cd after hearing them in concert as an opening act for the Flaming Lips. I was immediately taken with it and them and found myself compelled to play it over and over. Partly because it was so good and partly because I couldn't get over how innovative and different it was. "Built On Squares" has made it difficult to go back to straight pop songs with straight lyrics, for I am inexplicably drawn to their quirky and contagious sounds.
I will have to go out and buy my own copy because I am tired of waiting my turn to borrow hers. And I am going to have to buy several copies because I keep thinking of friends who would love this but might not hear about it through their regular sources. I am even sending one to a friend in France. We have the advantage of having them be from our area, although that doesn't mean they play here often. I'd not even heard of them until recently. And now I can't get them out of my head.
I don't know the names of all the songs to write in much detail, but "Pages" is one of my favorites. I always have to get up and move when it comes on. Now I have to go out and buy their first cd and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with. A great band, with an outstanding cd and a potentially phenomenal future.
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Format: Audio CD
I was blown away by the Mints when I saw them opening for Apples in Stereo a few years back. At the show, I bought The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of and listened to it probably 100 times. It's an exceptional album - my only complaint is that it was too short. And they were a much better live band than the Apples.
So Built on Squares comes out just as I had forgotten about the Mints. I listened to the samples on Amazon.com, and much to my surprise, I wasn't impressed enough to pay for the album. Then they come to San Diego to play (this time as the headliners) and so I go. They sounded good, but there's been some personnel changes. And I'm just not getting into the new songs. The songs from the first album still sound great live, though, so it's not like the band isn't up to snuff anymore. Maybe they're just in a songwriting slump.
But I buy Built on Squares at the show, still hoping that it'll grow on me after a few spins at home. Unfortunately, it hasn't. There are a few flashes of brilliance (Brass Digger, Buena Vista), but mostly the songwriting sound forced. The abrupt changes that sounded so inspired on the first album don't work as well here; they usually interrupt the flow of the songs in a distracting and annoying way.
And then there's a song called "San Diego". Of course, I really wanted to like this one. It turns out to be the weakest track on the album. Bummer.
But that's just my opinion.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are looking for Dreams pt 2 this isn't it. But only if, of course, you mean a rehash of where they have already been. Swiftly drawing from the Flaming Lips camp as well as the Elephant Six compound (not to mention that pocketful of late 90s slack pop knicknacks), The Mints deliver hooks with their experimentation and orchestration. Sure, there is plenty of sweet stuff here, but with the offside moment or rock passage, it is not simply sugar. But there is enough good nature and humor here that it all comes off with a delightful sense of whimsy which is more Anglo sharp than depressively surreal. I never feel depressed when listening to The Mints! I am at a loss to isolate any one track as the best or the worst. Though I must admit sometimes I just want something abit moodier(like..uh.. Calla's Televise...). But when I start the album, I just tumble through the whole thing. In short, this is a summer record which is for those who don't need to rock but just have to roll! Bravo, Starlight Mints! Keep it coming, short and sweet!
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Format: Audio CD
The Starlight Mints suffer from only one problem on this album, their first album was a masterpiece.
With that said the expectations were certainly high for Built on Squares. I was not disappointed but it was missing a certain edgy feel that The Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of was chaulk full of.
Some of the songs on the album have been on The Mints' setlists over the past few years so if you have ever seen them in the past 2 years then most likely you have already heard Black Cat (stand-out song with loads of vitality), brass digger (more reminiscant of the "feel" of their first album), rinky dinky (delves into the realm of obscurity), and jimmy cricket (formerly known as Spy Song which has all the makings of a breezy, bahama-laden track which is probably the most lively on the album).
"Pages" is my current favorite with a hopeful but melancholic feel to it.
Whereas Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of contained songs that were all memorable and poignant Built on Squares contains one or two that are forgettable. Nonetheless, the album is a good follow-up and the wait between albums was well worth it. If you are a Starlight Mints fan then you will like this album, if you are new to the band you may want to start off with Dreams That Stuff Are Made Of as I find it to be a tad more approachable.
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