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171) Blue Nile - Hats

As the Fall said repetition, repletion, repetition. We have had Love and Money and Goodbye Mr MacKenzie reviews where I have informed you all how I was a hip young man, sipping sophisticated drinks in moderation, strutting my stuff in the Queen Margaret Union with women falling over themselves to dance with me.

 

Anyway, back to reality, what I did every week in the QM was listen to the marvel that is Tinseltown in the Rain by The Blue Nile. To this day the moment I hear it takes me back to those days where all you cared about was going out with your friends and having a laugh, good times.

 

The Blue Nile struggled to produce songs for Hats as ideas were scrapped and they had literally nothing having spent three years in the studio. Eventually the muse returned, and the album was released five years after their debut to rave reviews and commercial success.

 

Was it worth the wait? It depends on what you are looking for. It’s not an album to listen to as you get ready for a big night out or if you are looking for a bit of fun. However, on an evening (not sure I’ve ever listened to it during the day) if you wish to relax and unwind then these seven sophisticated beautifully crafted songs are the perfect tonic.

 

My personal favourite The Downtown Lights builds slowly adding layer upon layer with an almost funk like guitar sliding in at the end as Buchanan lets rip.

 

There is not a weak song here each song is atmospheric with Buchanan studying relationships and the band more than capable of filling in the gaps.

 

I am aware I have only mentioned one song, to be clear the opener Over the Hillside sets the tone of what is to come, the piano on Headlights on the Parade is majestic, Seven a.M. is a tad more synth eccentric in places and Saturday Night reminds us all that no matter who we are we can all be special to someone.

 

That’s the word I have been looking for this record, special.

 

7.5/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: The Downtown Lights

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1 Comment


andrewsbell
Mar 21

Not sure why but I can't listen to this album without shedding a tear. I have to say that 7.5 seems on the low side, I'd plump for a 9.

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