Yep, it's the thinking listener's elevator music.It would be a mistake to call this album groundbreaking. In fact, Ralph and Jack occasionally drone on a bit, like a bunch of stoned and well equipped digs mates jamming in the spare room.Wandering and barely melodic lines on the first track "Here is love", or the iffy diluted funk on "Funky Biznezz" might leave you irritated and wishing they'd taken more care and pushed themselves a little harder here and there.But though the Hammond organs and the styling right down to the CD cover do pay tribute to the age of euro-sanctified sleaze, A Special Album is more than just a 70s druggy flashback. It's high kitsch - eclectic and tongue in cheek, pleasingly bright and deliberately tasteless, with nice scrunchy drums and a relaxed trip hop sheen tying it together.
What it has going for it, unfashionable as this may sound, is catchiness. Take the disco buzz of "Think Twice". Or the soothingly interwoven singers on "Lullaby". Or the electronically processed haunting melodic vocal refrain of "Nikita" for example. (This track gets put down a lot since it was sold to ad agencies, but just being commercial doesn't make it any less brilliant.)
Generally, A Special Album excels at creating beautiful sounds and rhythms, which is, unsurprisingly, quite important when making music. It's comforting and cute, not freaky and disturbing. It's useful music, suited to driving, eating, or falling asleep on a long summer night. And music should be something you enjoy and listen to, not just admire and respect.
And be warned: there's much more to this debut full length CD than at first appears. Something indefinable, so I'll just call it "talent".- Jean BarkerWHAT OTHER CRITICS SAID
"...a seductive and curiously inviting soundtrack poised to bring a touch of 70s swingers' glamour to all your future dinner parties." - Alexia Loundras for BBC
"...a rather weightless yet pleasing mix of good-natured cheese and sunny downtempo."- Matthew Cooke on Amazon.com
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