Underachievers Please Try Harder Enhanced
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
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|2. Keep It Clean|
|3. A Sisters Social Agony|
|5. Before You Cry|
|6. Your Picture|
|7. Number One Son|
|8. Let Me Go Home|
|9. Books Written for Girls|
|10. Knee Deep at the NPL|
|11. Lunar Sea|
|12. I Don't Want to See You|
|13. Footloose and Fancy Free|
|14. Teenager (Mpeg Video)|
US pressing on 180-gram vinyl. Includes a coupon for an MP3 download of the whole record + two CD bonus tracks, 'I Don't Want to See You' and 'Footloose and Fancy Free'. Merge. 2008.
Top Customer Reviews
There *are* good moments in the songs: The nervous drumrolls and swelling guitar tone of "A Sister's Social Agony", the pretty acoustic picking and dreamy waltz beat of "Lunar Sea". But these are smothered against a prevailing mood of heaviness, and too much repetition renders the hooks ineffective. Camera Obscura's singers all sound somnambulic, like Julie Doiron with caffeine deficiency, or Dido with even less edge. Aside from male/female differences, I can't even tell one singer from another. It could be one, or it could be three different women; it doesn't matter, they all have the same problem, of not inhabiting the lead vocal, not committing to what they're singing, content with just speaking the notes as if that were enough to grab our attention. This kind of voice can work if your songs are fantastic (eg. Doiron's work with The Wooden Stars), but Camera Obscura's melodies are repetitive, resolve unsatisfactorily, and just don't bear even a second listen. One listen through this record and you've heard it all.
This band doesn't seem to know how to make music outside of its very narrow confines. If the singers can expand their vocal ranges even a little, the songs can be delivered with more conviction. Take your own advice, Camera Obscura: "Underachievers, please try harder." And wake me up when you decide to actually commit something -- soul, blood, passion, anything deeper -- to the songs.
I was in my favorite little independent video store in North Oxford, when Tracyann Campbell's voice stopped me dead in my tracks. I pointed up and asked the clerk, "What the hell band is this?" He told me who it was and I immediately rushed out to buy this album.
Yeah, okay, the Glasgow indie scene is crowded with boy/girl bands, but what I believe sets Camera Obscura apart is their ability to synthsize years of pop music into one album (see: "Let Me Go Home") and to do it with a lead singer whose voice just makes you want to cry.
Most recent customer reviews
Pop folk existed before Belle & Sebastian. We Five did it 30+ years ago. Who cares? It's catchy, it's fun, breezy & great to listen to while you drive around. Read morePublished on May 22 2004 by Alvie
I too love Belle and Sebastian and look forward to seeing them on tour. However, I also adore this album and actually prefer it to Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by Troy W. Sterk
I was all excited for a new Camera Obscura release. Then I found out it wasn't the right Camerca Obscura. What can I say? This album just doesn't do it for me. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004 by Jacob Oliver
Belle & Sebastian aren't the only soft rockers around - folks need to lighten up. This isn't a perfect album. It's pleasant enough however. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004
OK, so if you don't like twee indiepop, you probably wouldn't like Underachievers Please Try Harder, but if Belle & Sebastian or Sarah Records mean anything to you, you'll love... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004