Broadcast
The Noise Made by People


4.0
excellent

Review

by HolidayKirk USER (151 Reviews)
March 5th, 2014 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For Tomorrow: A Guide to Contemporary British Music, 1988-2013 (Part 47)

The popularity of muzak use in elevators peaked around the late 50s. As youth culture rose to prominence during the 60s, the smooth sounds of Muzak Holdings vague background music slid in favor of original artist programming. For the life of me, I can’t remember ever hearing muzak in an elevator (which may be the entire point) nor do I suspect can the members of Broadcast. But on The Noise Made by People they answer an interesting question, what if those muzak filled elevators of the 50s could make their own music? What would it sound like?

The Noise Made by People wears many of the hallmarks of muzak, lightly shuffled drums, jazzy organs, modest guitar lines, and an overall vibe that strikes as pleasant and serene. But if that were all it was, I wouldn't be writing about it right now. It’s filled with the dry dusty air of an elevator shaft and all kinds of metallic clangs that would fill said air. Roping all this together is the inimitable presence of the late Trish Keenan. Her voice is a candle in murky darkness, as clear as a bell but maintaining a rich air of mystery. Even when she’s absent on the instrumental tracks that tie the album together her vacancy is what makes her return so welcome.

If any one word describes The Noise Made by People it’s “Patience”. Broadcast are in no rush to get where they’re heading. Melodies unfurl with ease, the full contours of each of Keenan’s vocal lines are felt, each word given plenty of breathing room. James Cargill’s bass lines gently nudge each song forward with a slow gait. Not a lazy one, but an unhurried one. The light military snares of “Unchanging Window” imply not a battle but a parade commemorating a long gone war, one that feels more nostalgic than tragic. A rich piano line buoys “Long Was the Year”, gently ushering one into the album. Keenan’s ghostly vocal on “You Can Fall” twirls through the air like a leaf on the breeze. The effect of The Noise Made by People is one of early Fall, before the temperatures become unforgiving but the air is markedly crisper.

Despite the overall consistency of The Noise Made by People, it’s difficult to deny which two songs are the unquestionable standouts. Sequenced back to back, “Come On Let’s Go” and “Echo’s Answer” represent the absolute peak of Broadcast’s powers and will turn a nonbeliever to a cultist in a heartbeat. The former is a psychedelic chase after Keenan’s gently beckoning vocal. “You've nothing left to fear, you won’t be alone” she reassures. Picture the mythical siren’s beckoning your ship to crash into Andy Warhol's Factory and you wouldn't be far off the mark. The latter exists in some mystical desert accessible by no modern map. In it, a few barely there tones pulse around Keenan’s requests to “answer echo’s answer”. A string section shivers behind her, not rising or falling in intensity but tension, creating the compelling counterpoint the song needs to be more than pleasant. Both songs barely hit 3 minutes, both are infinitely replayable.

Broadcast would go on to solidify their songwriting abilities but never again would they create anything quite as rich and beguiling as those twin masterpieces. As a result, The Noise Made by People feels a bit dominated by those two masterful singles. Still, The Noise Made by People remains a rich piece of sonic landscape. One that still waits to be discovered and explored.



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user ratings (118)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
March 5th 2014


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full series: http://holidaykirk.com/

Twitter: @HolidayKirk



New review every Wednesday.

AliW1993
March 5th 2014


7511 Comments


I need to give Broadcast a proper listen, I quite enjoyed the soundtrack they released last year. I assume this is the place to start?

HolidayKirk
March 5th 2014


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh for sure.

KILL
March 15th 2014


81240 Comments


this is great

KILL
August 22nd 2014


81240 Comments


dun be so afraid

SandwichBubble
September 2nd 2017


12682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is way better than I remembered it being

Hovse
December 4th 2017


2728 Comments


So awesome omg

Hovse
December 4th 2017


2728 Comments


Tender buttons needs a review hard

Hovse
December 4th 2017


2728 Comments


Great bro

Hovse
December 6th 2017


2728 Comments


Tender buttons is prob my fav album from this band

Hovse
December 6th 2017


2728 Comments


Too bad trish died that early
R.I.P
Her vox was very unique

brainmelter
March 21st 2018


7454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

4ever

Digging: Suspiral - Chasm

tombits
June 20th 2018


3572 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

oh man cannot believe how underrated this band is around these parts, gonna review tender buttons asap

loveisamixtape
December 15th 2018


10091 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it’s that time of year again where i listen to this album nonstop for 2 weeks, fuckin Cheers

SandwichBubble
December 15th 2018


12682 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need that to be a part of my yearly traditions

theBoneyKing
April 18th 2019


20145 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is some serious Pandora-core.

Digging: Neil Young - On the Beach

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2020


24199 Comments


Boney, Sandbitch, will I like this?



Also, RIP Trish :/

Digging: Zao - The Crimson Corridor

ReefaJones
August 26th 2020


1770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Almost as good as Tender Buttons. Second half is slightly weaker though. First half is perfect

ReefaJones
January 24th 2021


1770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STA36QgxdB0



This version of Echo's answer though. I'm in love

GhandhiLion
January 24th 2021


11109 Comments


That might be better than the album version.

Digging: Uncle Tupelo - No Depression



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