Alternative music reviews

Being 747

Health & Safety May 2006

Strangers Have Never Been Stranger opens and annexes the territory of The Monochrome Set, but not the wishy washy landscape they inhabited from the first album on. It has the same confidence and clarity on the first three Rough Trade singles - just listen to the imperious vocals, the immaculate guitar work, the bouncing drums. But there are many dimensions to Being 747, DIY Prescriptions is more like first album Fall. Agree With Me And Sleep With Me is a simple tale of adultery and emotional blackmail. The Retribution is a flight of fancy story, an exercise in epic imagination and a theme of the vituperative accusation of male weakness. Seedless Grapes is just showing off a baritone voice to kill for. I'm even happy to say that there are two or three tracks I don't rate. When you have an album with such reach then a few tracks may miss their target.

It is around this time of a review, when I have made up my mind based purely on the music, that I actually begin to investigate a bit around the band, if only to get the website address. I now understand that feeling I got that this was an album of extreme musical intelligence - the Morricone brothers of The Scaramanga Six provide the band to Dave Cooke's spine-tingling voice. If you don't know The Scaramanga Six then you are missing out on something there as well. Even so, this would be pretty special with just Dave Cooke on acoustic guitar.

I have to draw a line somewhere and actually review this album. It's still growing on me, new lines of investigation appear on each play. I don't know where this journey will end, but I have boarded Being 747 and they are going to have to call Security to get me off.


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Bill Callahan
Jeffrey Lewis
Florence & The Machine
Resonance Association
The Roe Family Singers
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