Hot Shots II
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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!!
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!
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I stumbled across the video for "Squares," and after I heard the song, I took a chance and bought the cd. Overall, the cd is nonetheless, great. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 2003 by Tiffany Davis
This album could not have been any better. I have got to say that i love it completely. I even dig that groovy little bonus track at the end. This is Beta speaking, OVER AND OUT...Published on Nov. 12 2003
Oh. Wow. OK. That's . . . Yeah. Oh, man. Give me a . . . Hang on. It's. Well, you . . . Wow. Yeah. Wow.Published on July 1 2003 by Chase Clark
A brilliant album. People looking for something fresh yet acceptable could do much worse.
:Squares" and "Broke" are absolutely brilliant and solidly anchor this... Read more
First hearing Dry the Rain in the movie High Fidelity, I purchased the 3 eps and liked it a lot. I heard the second album was not as good and when I saw the new Hot Shots album, I... Read morePublished on Sept. 27 2002 by swriter7
I am happy to see these guys push the envelope. The instrumentation (from the 3 ep's) is still there, but they have delved into other areas. Read morePublished on May 22 2002 by Amazon Customer
Most people first learned about the Betas from "that movie", when John Cusack puts on "Dry the Rain" in order to sell copies of the 3EPs... Read morePublished on April 16 2002 by A. Hasselwander