Adventures In Stereo – Monomania

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

Well, the third time is the charm. Now you can appreciate that a Scottish band has made a 1965 California sounding album in 2000. Now it makes sense. If they had made one or two more albums like this, I would probably have liked this band a whole lot more.

What I Think of This Album

Things have improved greatly from the second album (I never tracked down the first, which is NOT on Bobsled). This time, Adventures in Stereo produce a more reasonable 13 songs that go to about 35 minutes. Boyle’s voice sounds much more inviting – the brittleness has been replaced with warmth – and Beattie has written a more consistent and much stronger batch of songs.

“We Will Stand” sounds like a girl-group/Beach Boys mashup. “International” has a surprisingly organic, down-home feel to it, with saloon piano and picked strings, and is probably the prettiest song this band has ever created. “Dust to Ashes” rides a funky, syncopated beat until the angelic vocals come in, and then it all repeats – a nice adventurous affair. “Running” is appropriately propulsive, while “Birds” rides on drums rolls and interjected bursts of distorted guitar that make Boyle’s rising vocal line shine all the more. “Touch the Rain” sounds a bit like the Primitives on a saline drip. Also, the CD is in a digipak, which I think is the best packaging for the Bobsled releases.

The Best Thing About This Album

“International” is truly lovely.

Release Date

August 2000

The Cover Art

I like it. I like the title taking up almost all the horizontal space up top and the band name flush right. I like the out-of-focus image, as if it was a video still. The color palette works. The art feels very “British indie from the late ‘90s” to me.

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