Cold and Bouncy (CD) ~ The High Llamas (Artist) Cover Art

Cold & Bouncy (CD)

By: The High Llamas (Artist)

Track Listing

DISC 1 for Cold & Bouncy (CD) Album By The High Llamas (Artist)
1   Twisto Teck
2   The Sun Beats Down
3   HiBall Nova Scotia
4   Tilting Windmills
5   Glide Time
6   Bouncy Glimmer
7   Three Point Scrabble
8   Homespin Rerun
9   Painters Paint
10   Evergreen Vampo
11   Showstop Hip Hop
12   Over the River
13   End on Tick Tock
14   Didball
15   Jazzed Carpenter

Product Description

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Album Description

Originally released in 1999, features 12 tracks. V2. 2005.

Product Notes

Since the High Llamas first arrived on these shores with 1995's Gideon Gaye (the band actually dates back to 1990), the London-by-way-of-Ireland quintet has worked tirelessly toward crafting increasingly elaborate versions of the same album--an album that isn't even theirs to begin with. While single-minded devotion is commendable, head Llama Sean O'Hagen's obsession with realizing the pop ideal promised by Smile (the aborted "teenage symphony to God" attempted by the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks in the late '60s) now verges on a folly that's leading him to a hopeless (though admittedly blissful) oblivion.

Gideon Gaye presented a limited but highly successful attempt at an Irish-flavored Smile, while 1997's Hawaii offered a sprawling, blatantly derivative take on Wilson and Parks's mix of rustic Americana and orchestral pop. Now with Cold and Bouncy, O'Hagen incorporates Smile's banjos, harpsichords, organs, strings, and horn arrangements with a healthy dose of the electronic percolations he picked up from his work on last year's Stereolab album, Dots and Loops.

As the High Llamas get more ambitious, what they achieve is analogous to a computer enlargement of a sharp and colorful photograph: The boundaries stretch and the vision expands, but the material itself becomes increasingly flat and diffuse. Where pop elements are often handy in making more challenging music accessible, O'Hagen's attempt to expand pop's ambitions has yet to produce conclusive results.

Like past albums, Cold And Bouncy intersperses supermelodic vocal constructions between lush instrumentals for a series of pleasant but largely indistinguishable compositions. On a track like "Showstop Hip Hop," the computerized bleeps and blurps add a significant new texture which lends a wonderful sort of "dub pop" sound to the extended introduction. Once the song breaks into the verse, however, it surfs good vibrations all the way and washes out with the rest of the album. While the High Llamas search for the outer orbits of pop, it seems more and more like the group long ago exceeded the genre's limits and unknowingly floated off into space. --Roni Sarig

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