Balbec / Rise And Fall Of A Decade
Album: Rise And Fall Of A Decade   Collection:General
Artist:Balbec   Added:Feb 2010
Label:(No Label Information)  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2010-03-28 Pull Date: 2010-05-30
Week Ending: May 2 Apr 4
Airplays: 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Aug 24, 2019: Buford J. Sharkley Presents: As Told to Hervey Okkles
3. Apr 27, 2010: The Orphanage
2. Jul 26, 2013: Buford J. Sharkley Presents: As Told to Hervey Okkles
Saturday Nights
4. Mar 30, 2010: Ambient Annoyance

Album Review
Wallace Brontoon
Reviewed 2010-03-28
Sugar rush French power pop (in English; only the merest of accents). Nice female vocals, with occasional coed work-- similar in feel to "Electric Version" vintage New Pornographers, if not quite as inspired instrumentation, and forgettable lyrics. (I don't think I really paid attention to a single phrase.) Good hooks, though-- the whole thing's a very charming package. #1 is the ultimate ultra-poppy track-- give it a listen if you're skeptical. (No FCCs.)

1. Insistent vocals, in stomping loop. Think R.E.M., "Stand," to some extent. Very catchy, with an amusing drudgy bridge. *** (2:39)
2. With an electric guitar keeping them going, skews a little cutesy. Male-female back and forth is fun, but not too much going on. (2:41)
3. Glass-edge female vocal. Takes a while to chorus to kick in, but nice hooks. Bass guitar has the ability to hypnotize. French accent makes this 600% as charming as it would be otherwise. Has a nice bit of grandeur. * (5:35)
4. Too dissonant to be catchy. A misfire. Or maybe not. It lasts a while, and really grows on you. If you're not me, you may actually like this a lot. Oh, wait. It's absolutely AWESOME at 3:55-- the vocals weave in and out. And it builds in energy... and ends. Hell of a recovery. ** (4:38)
5. Some clapping, then some guitar, but could use better hooks. (4:31)
6. Sunshine power guitar, jangly duet. Helluva hook, and a helluva guitar breakdown halfway through. * (3:54)
7. Stormpipe anticipation builds up to triumphant vocals. Minimalist guitar builds up, and builds up, and builds up again. Good songwriting, stays on the good side of saccharine. ** (5:40)
8. Folky. This one's on the wrong side of saccharine. A little dirgey, peps up as it runs through, but still a little short on adrenaline. HUH-- at 3:00, a thunderclap of guitar, and it's basically a new song, piled on. And thee second one's really good. (A fiddle even joins in.) And goes on for quite a while-- really, shoulda chopped off the first three, and you'd really have a classic, but I guess you can appreciate the evolution. By the end, it's this mountain-top, wind-torn upbeat pop ballad, and you don't really remember how you got there. ** (8:26)
9. Soft, intimate, with the male vocals offering a droning background accompaniment. Wakes up, and goes into a mild psychedelic freakout, but mostly boring. (6:27)
10. Not uptempo enough. Let's hope they have something nice for the last track. (3:58)
11. Well, it's not the ultra-pop they do best, but it's interesting-- pleading ballad, increasingly trampled on by a train crossing. No hooks, though-- kind of a slog, train or no train.

In short, stick with the first half of the album-- they frontloaded this sucker.

WAIT -- track 11, at 7:22, kicks into a whiplash-inducing powerdrive. The hell? Why do they keep doing this? It's a waste of a great track to make it the better half of a portmanteau. And I'm not sure people like the commitment of an eleven-minute song, if it really two songs in disguise. Ends with the sound of a turntable going into its end-of-an-LP rut. (11:35)

Track Listing
1. Wysiwyg   6. Pedro Bonita
2. In The Air   7. Imposture
3. Saturday Nights   8. Speechless
4. How To Achieve God-Like Status   9. Drifting
5. None Of Us   10. Ice Melts Out Of Shine
  11. Nova