14 December 2012

Catherine Wheel - Adam & Eve

Some albums are just given an unfair deal.  They should be the launch pad after all the good ground work had been done with other releases, but as the opus is released - out of nowhere comes what is classed at the 90's version of Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club band.  This album was the fourth album by this band from Great Yarmouth in the UK, had up until this point been slowly but surely releasing a steady flow of good solid album, always hinting that there was more underneath - they had even had some success in the USofA which (unless you were U2) was unheard of at that point. They released this top a great round of positive reviews and then.... nothing. Squat, zero, zilch.  Radiohead had released OK Computer and this was in the shadows.

Musically this is your classic alternative almost American rock album which somehow still has it's roots firmly in England green and pleasant lands.  Also it helped that they were had a singer who did not sounds as if he is a teenager working at a gas station and reading this year's edition of douche bag poetry.  The songs are a little on the long side - apart from the intro and outro, none of them are below the 5 minute mark.  All three of the singles which came off this album "Delicious", "Ma Solituda" and "Broken Nose" should have been sure fire hits - they were even released as single edits which did not detract from the songs themselves at all.  The stand out tracks "Goodbye" and "Satellite" are anthems that never found their audience, even the weakest track of the album "Phantom of The American Mother" is a piece of work that should have all men in the room reaching for their air guitar.  So what went wrong apart from Messier Yorke and his merry bunch?

To be honest, it is probably because of the type of the tracks and the overall feel of the album.  The album was just too late for it's time.  You can't say it is the length of the songs as some of the tracks on other great albums of the time were longer and more popular. It was a victim of the changing tides and it got ships out with all the almost ran's.  They released one further album in 2000 which tried too hard and that was that.  The singer is now forging a solo career in America, the rest of the band are no more.

So, why should you listen to this if it was an almost album, the runt who got kicked out of the way.  Well, mainly because it is a corking album, it is a underdog who still sound fresh over 15 years later from it's release and to be honest stands better than OK Computer (I always preferred The Bends from Radiohead).  A classic that never had it's moment in the sun, a lost gem ready for discovery, a stolen kiss that lingers long after the lips has moved on. This is an album that deserved so much more, and is more relevant cause it didn't get it.

9.5 out of ten - Almost perfect....Almost

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