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Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohehemia
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Third Album, the follow up to 1998's 'Come Down', which produced two singles: 'Everyday Should Be a Holiday'& 'Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth'. This new album adds further depth to the band's sound. It's the most complete D.W. record to date.
13 Tales From Urban Bohemia, the third album from the Dandy Warhols, has the band departing from the degenerate slacker psychedelia of their previous works. Well, mostly. From the first three tracks of Urban Bohemia, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's business as usual for the Dandys. However, when the slide guitar (and, yes, banjo) of "Country Leaver" kicks in, it's clear that Courtney Taylor is taking his Portland, Oregon-based band somewhere different. From that point, the album changes tack and becomes one of the catchiest--and sardonic--American rock albums in recent memory. "Solid" is all upbeat harmonies about the joy of getting over a previous lover, while "Horse Pills"--which starts with Taylor's deadpan and indifferent command to "kick it"--is all big, fuzzy guitars and hip-hop beats wielded against too-rich, silicon-and-valium-addicted divorcées. Easy targets, to be sure, but it's when the Dandys focus their attention on wannabe artsy types on "Bohemian Like You" that this album truly proves its worth, with a guitar riff lifted straight off of the Rolling Stones, backed by some Hammond organ and one of the catchiest sing-along choruses since Pulp's "Common People". With obvious influences ranging from Lou Reed to the Cult to Adam and the Ants, 13 Tales From Urban Bohemia is a classic, and classy, rock album. --Robert Burrow
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a rich and multi-layered record, presenting a strong set of songs that flow well into each other and, although all of them sound quite different, they make sense as a whole. The first three songs in particular are great and make an engaging intro into the album.
"Godless" is a terrific ballad, proving that lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor has indeed a great voice behind his cool, slacker and laid-back attitude. The use of trumpet generates some unusual and gourgeous moments, giving an excellent starting point to the album. "Mohammed" is an unique moment of ethereal beauty, a dreamy and addictive song, even if it seems too strange at first. "Nietzche" is another high number, sounding harsh and abrasive while delivering a compelling and melodic chorus. These three tracks are a terrific beginning to a surprising musical experience.
The band offers new perspectives to rock here, combining influences yet managing to create a particular and personal sound and perspective. The quirky "Country Leaver" and the mellow "Big Indian" recall some Beck moments, while "Solid" seems like a Lou Reed experience with britpop. The energetic and delightful "Get Off" has some Pixies` resemblances and "Cool Scene" could be from a cooler, gutsier Elliot Smith.
The Warhols really outdo themselves here, offering a tight album that never gets tiresome or repetitive, even if it may sound a bit weird and strange at first.Read more ›
The cd opens up with "Godless" (which also borrows a little bit, this time from George Harrison) a stunning mid-tempo, acoustic driven piece, laced with trumpet for extra oomph. It's a wonderful way to start things off. The Dandy's followup with 2 instrumentals that fit perfectly in the mix and then the back porch twang of "Country Lever". Things shift into high gear with a triumvirate of catchy rockers that practically beg you to put on repeat. The final 5 tunes are a grab bag of styles ranging from cool loungers to mad rockers to gospel-flavored ballads. These tales tell a story that everyone should hear.
Like many, I had not heard of the Dandy Warhols before hearing the Rolling Stones inspired "Bohemian Like You". On the basis of that, I expected the rest of the album to be reasonably fast-paced and full of guitars and drums.
However, I was pleasantly surprised: this is not at all a one-dimensional collection. In fact, "Bohemian like You" is much faster than most of the songs, and the first three are at, say, the typical pace of Travis rather than The Offspring.
I don't believe any of the first 10 songs could be seen as weak in any way, and I would be surprised if any of them were seen an necessary to skip when listening to the the album. In my view, the final 3 are not as strong.
It's especially difficult to pick out the outstanding songs, since comparisons are more problematic when there are large differences in style between songs. "Bohemian Like You" is remarkably exhilarating, but "Mohammed" is elegant, "Nietzsche is intense" while "Horse Pills" and "Sleep" are each memorable for different reasons. (Others might, with some justification, point to some of the remaining 8 tracks too.)
Finally, and importantly, this collection is unhurried, measured and complete. The average song length is well over four minutes, giving around an hour of listening. This is one of the best albums released in 2000, and I strongly recommend its purchase.
1. GODLESS (7/10)- A wonderful opening with angelic trumpets accompanied by Taylor-Taylor's lyrics whistfully stating that someone's a "souless friend".
2. MOHAMMED (5/10)- My least favorite song on the album but it's still intersting and compelling enough to hold your attention while. . .
3. NIETZSCHE (6/10)- Haunting and brooding while Taylor-Taylor repeatedly moans "I want a God who stays dead, not plays dead. I, even I, can play dead." It's long but like Mohammed, it keeps you interested.
4. COUNTRY LEAVER (7/10)- Now comes the pop as The Warhols go country! It reminds me of Beck a little bit but the song is catchy with its hand claps.
5. SOLID (7/10)- The song is cool and "poppy". I can just picture Taylor-Taylor lounging on a Lazy Boy recliner smoking a cig and all these great lyrics just coming out of his mouth.
6. SOLID (8/10)- Hard and tough with a Taylor-Taylor talk rap and lyrics like ". . .butts getting bigger do ya think he'll notice maybe/that's alright, don't worry 'bout it baby. . ." and ". . .in your itsy bitsy teeny weenie riding up the butt bikini. . ." This where you know that these guys are cool as hell.
7. GET OFF (7/10)- A song about a universal subject with good stumming from guitars and a great string piece because "All I wanna do is get off"
8.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I love this album and will always love this album. It's got a great mix of stoner rock. The Glory Days of the Dandy Warhols.Published on Jan. 10 2014 by Matthew Van Deventer
One of the best albums of the last five years.
Put it on at a party and and you will see why. There is something for everyone on this disc and the grooves are infectious. Read more
I just don't understand bands that have sensational released songs and the rest of their album's unreleased songs are nothing like the released ones either in quality, style or... Read morePublished on June 2 2004 by James N Simpson
The professionals above can say it better than I, this CD is wonderful. Superior to The Strokes when looking at new unique directions in Rock and Roll. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2004 by A Wyrick
I live in Portland and I've seen this band live on several occasions. They arn't a bad band as far as local band goes. They are worth the cover charge. Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2003 by Mike S.
I was hoping to hear more songs such as "Bohemian Like You", but what I heard was amateurish, self-indulgent, [stuff]. Read morePublished on April 14 2003 by Bill Michael