This debut album has known to be the most hyped about album since the release of Arctic Monkey's debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am....I Am Not', due to the strengths of the band's recent single releases 'Trains to Brazil', 'Made Up Lovesong #43' and 'We're Here', and only 'Made Up Lovesong #43' charted on the UK Singles Chart (at Number 23). They released 3 EP's before releasing this debut LP, and all 3 EP's showed loads of potential and development in 2 years.
The band itself is very mixed in culture. The band members each come from different countries, lead singer Fyfe Dangerfield (from England), MC Lord Magrao (from Brazil), Aristazabal Hawkes (from Canada) and Greig Stewart (from Scotland). Their influences to their music writing come from Bjork's mellower sounds and early R.E.M and many more from that kind of music, Guillemots mix these influences into some really strange pop songs and create their own unique sound. This band has been inducted at number 5 on the BBC Sound of 2006 and has recently signed to Polydor after a bidding war, they have also opened for Rufus Wainwright in 2005 and it was very successful. They have grown so much popularity since they released 'From The Cliffs EP' and continues to amaze critics around Britain and hopefully across the world, they wait for the release of 'Through The Windowpane' and they don't know what to expect from a band which is full of surprises.
is first up to start this album off, and it suprisingly starts it off very depressingly. The very dramatic and cold string orchestration really can be a tear-jerker when first hearing it, it's just very emotional. This goes on for a minute and a half before we hear Dangerfield's vocals and I have always been fond of his great voice, it's exceptional on this track with his swaying and sad vocals, it's nearly flawless and the touch of the piano really brings out the emotion on this track, you can hear that parts of the piano is deliberately out of tune to bring out the fragile sound of the song and write at the end, the whole string orchestration just descends all the way down in pitch and it ends it in a very isolated position. After I heard this song play, I knew that I was going to hear something very special.
The very sad tone from 'Little Bear' brings us to the uplifing part of the album, which is the main release of the album 'Made Up Lovesong #43'
. This track shows us the oddness of the band's writing with lyrics that are quirky and very catchy:
'I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do,
now there's poetry, in an empty coke can.
I love you through sparks and shining dragons, I do,
now there's majesty, in a burnt out caravan'
The lyrics may look stupid from here but when you hear it in action, it's so catchy to sing to. When the song picks up from the minute mark, that's where the madness starts with warping bass lines and quick riffs from Magrao, this makes the song strangely danceable and Dangerfield's vocals are strong to represent that. It was a very favorable release from the band and no-one really hated it.
Another release of the album comes next and I think 'Trains to Brazil'
is much more stronger than the recent song. This song has a more jazzy influence and man, does this song move along! The whole song is very catchy and the lyrics are very meaningful as well:
'It's 1 o'clock on a Friday morning
I'm trying to keep my back from wall,
The prophets and their pawns have had another success
I'm wondering why we bother at all'
And people would have guessed, the song is about the 7/7 bombings in London but the song's title is dedicated to the Brazilian who was shot in the head by the police who thought that the person was a suicide bomber but was an innocent guy.
The vocals are amazing on here and I totally love the After-Chorus where all the trumpets and trombones come in and give a great performance. The song is one of the many highlights of the album and one of my favourite tracks of the year so far.
puts us back into a more mellow sound and cools us down from the madness of the recent two tracks. It consists of more orchestration and vocals to die for. Most of the song is laid-back with some very off-beat drums and the orchestration becomes more heavy as it goes on. The 6-minute song is very delicate and fantastic the way it has been written and produced, it shows the unique sound of the band. After this song, we are put into a very ambitious song that pays-off brilliantly. 'A Samba Through In The Snowy Rain'
is another dramatic song that is 3 minutes long of beautiful vocals (which Dangerfield actually sounds like Freddie Mercury at the start!). The song is full of emotion with great backing vocals that is like an instrument of it's own, the song is just full of intensity and is only known for the intro for the next song, but I think it comes on it's own sound.
I reckon this song 'Through The Windowpane'
should be a single potential as it really shows again the amazing sound of this band. The warping keyboard riffs and the moving bass lines shows the catchiness of the song. The many sounds on this song shows that there is no limits in what the Guillemots want to put in their songs. You must check this song out as it is my personal favorite on this album and I really love the song on it's own, especailly the ending is beautiful with Dangerfield's vocals breaking down.
'If The World Ends'
is another mellow slow track with vocals and lyrics that show some more emotion. Not a favorite among critics but I see some potential in the song with some beautiful moments from Dangerfield and the music is rather basic so it doesn't overshadow the vocals. I reckon it is a nice break from the intensity of the 2 recent tracks again. But next is another favorite of mine on the album and one of the strong singles. 'We're Here'
is more like a romantic song that consists of just plush string arrangement and some of the year's most greatest vocal performances in my opinion, Dangerfield is definitely at his best here. The lyrics are also amazing here as well:
'Free, free to run and cry
Obliged to try
And nothing is worth winning without a fight
Oh yes we're here
Free to go insane
Joy and pain are fighting in the corridors inside'
The whole song just conjuers up the amazing sound of the Guillemots and how much development they have been through since the 2 years. Another song of the year in my opinion.
'Blue Would Still Be Blue'
is probably the only average song on the album with it being just too much of a boring song to be honest. The song only consists of Dangerfield's vocals (and that can't save the song because his voice can be very vunerable here) and just a keyboard doing an arpeggio. There's nothing really special here so I ain't going to say much. But the next song really does not dissappoint. 'Annie, Let's not Wait'
is ANOTHER single potential. The musicmanship on this song is just great. Dangerfield's vocals are back on form here with it being accompanied, the bass line I just love dearly here. The song actually sounds like what The Flaming Lips
would do, with it's complete odd usage of guitars and the keyboards with some very catchy moments, this song is just another highlight of the album, just mesmerizing.
'And If All...
is a 1 minute interlude and an intro for 'Sao Paolo'. With it only being a minute, I actually like this as well for some reason. The haunting backing vocals and Dangerfield's message here is just sung beautifully:
'And If All the faces in the world
And half of your kindness
And half of your sweetness
And happy I would be...
It also brings us gracefully to the 11:30 minute epic 'Sao Paolo'
. This is where the album closes with a bang. The song at the starts very dramatically with some very classical piano by Dangerfield for 1 and a half minutes then it breaks down to a very jazzy sound. It starts off the song very mellow and Dangerfield's vocals are great again, the lyrics also resemble the place Sao Paolo as well as well as lost love:
'See, I've lost love in many places
Not least the streets of Sao Paulo
One friend especially I did make there
A tenth floor window took her home'
The song is full of big orchestra strings, wind and percussion. It is such a loud song in that extent for 6 minutes, then it just gets louder from there. Where Dangerfield sings madly for 2-3 minutes but amazingly as well the lyrics that I find very cleverly done:
'Thrown across the water, thrown across the water, thrown across the water like a stone
Get me a doctor, get me a doctor who will get rid of my bones
Get me a lover, get me a lover who will leave my head alone
Get me a soldier, get me a soldier who will fight me a pointless war
Get me an exit, get me an exit, I need a window or a door
Thrown across the water, thrown across the water, thrown across the water like a stone
Get me a lawyer, get me a lawyer who will sue the world for me
Get me a person, get me a person who isn't me
Cause I'm getting tired, I'm getting tired of my stupid little face
I don't belong here, don't belong here, don't belong in this horse race
Thrown across the water, thrown across the water, thrown across the water like a stone'
And when it reaches the 10 minute mark, the song throws into a frenzy of orchestral madness and some massive bell ringing that really brings the album to a fantastic close.
The debut album just doesn't sound like a debut album at all. It is probably the most heaviest piece of music in terms of orchestra and instruments I have heard this year. The amount of time spent on recording this album is actually suprisingly short when it sounds like that the album took at least 2 years to make nevermind write. The album sounds very optimistic but this optimism from Dangerfield has really paid off to make this album one of the most unique of the decade so far and will be for many years to come.
(there are so many but I'll narrow it down to 5):
+ Trains to Brazil
+ A Samba Through in the Snowy Rain
+ Through the Windowpane
+ We're Here
+ Annie, Let's Not Wait
(Just for an introduction to the band, I'll name them and what they do)
Fyfe Dangerfield : Vocals, Keyboard
MC Lord Magrao : Guitar
Aristazabal Hawkes : Double Bass
Greig Stewart (also known as Rican Caol) - Percussion