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Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts
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Harold Bissonette
Harold Bissonette
2062 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

jeff w wrote:

hito wrote:

Sounds like it should be the end of the album (and just as well could have been)

Yeah. Again the record is ending but wait...

The album ends again.


I know what you mean. This is also what I meant when I suggested listening to it in two chunks. Otherwise, you are kinda willing it to end by the time you get to Strobo. Oh wait, there's more?



Apparently we can all blame Beethoven for this.

According to my mate in the pub, the head of Sony records was asked how long a CD should as they were originally coming up with the technology and replied that it should be long enough to accomodate the whole of Beethoven's Choral Symphony. Hence all CDs that length - and nearly always TOO LONG! A lot of artists seem to think they have to fill in the whole of the available time - which made some sense with the vinyl album format, but I nearly always find a full CD much too long. In cases such as Cobra, I'd much prefer a double CD. (OK, I know I could always use the stop/skip buttons and learn to program my CD player, but it's so nice to put on a piece of music, sit back, and let it take you away).

Oct 13, 2013, 13:08


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vista7@hotmail.com
337 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

You got me to listening to this record again. Amazing record. It was really a good time in my life when this record came out; just sort of a carefree existence. "Come and play in the Milky Night" is simply an amazing song; I remember seeing it live and really impressed w/ the drone and volume. Great example of John McIntire production work at it's best on this song. Love the complete organic sound of the whole record. This was around the time when Lab was a real media darling too; feature articles in Spin, ect. "The Spiracles" is a really great song too; often under-stated. I like "Caleidoscopic Gaze" too.

Oct 15, 2013, 03:42


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hito
hito
1745 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

jeff w wrote:


Agree totally. I would have liked to have seen this on the album instead of e.g. The Spiracles.


Cheers

As much as I love it, I don't think it would work on this album. The album is a real drift and kind of internal journey. The lyrics and style of this song is very much "in your face". It could have worked on Sound Dust in the way that "Nothing to do with me" did.

Oct 15, 2013, 05:05


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hito
hito
1745 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

I like Mars a lot but it is not Cobra. This song is good but not great. It is a good finish in a way but as I said, it is a better finish to MAQ and Cobra had already finished two tracks earlier.

Oct 15, 2013, 05:10


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hito
hito
1745 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

Having said what I did by analysing the album too much, I have had great full album sessions with this one. I have been left wanting more. It is a super journey. I was just commenting on individual songs. In some ways, it is the wrong way to think about this true "album".

But I agree that some CDs (or most) are just too long. When groups like Bon Jovi can fill a CD, there is something wrong.

I would say that the CD also led to the unnecessary addition of "bonus tracks" that cause one to leap from his bean bag and hit stop. Live versions, 38 almost identical demo's, tracks that were deemed inappropriate for the album (yet now sit there), hit singles that were not on the album but now we want to sell more records to people who liked the single, awful remixes that involve somebody turning a 2 minute ballad into a 13 minute ear stomping, repetitive, housey, drummy,bassy track.

Oct 15, 2013, 05:19


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Hobobachang
Hobobachang
2130 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

hito wrote:
When groups like Bon Jovi can fill a CD, there is something wrong.


Ewww....80 minutes of Bon Jovi, sounds like the stuff of nightmares! :D

Oct 15, 2013, 10:00


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Hobobachang
Hobobachang
2130 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

hito wrote:
I like Mars a lot but it is not Cobra. This song is good but not great. It is a good finish in a way but as I said, it is a better finish to MAQ and Cobra had already finished two tracks earlier.


If anything I would say "Strobo Acceleration" is more of the Mars throwback. I enjoy that track very much though, I thought it was nice to hear them revisit the sound of that period. "Come and play..." has a different feel rhythmically, and (IMHO) is one of the most sophisticated and complete tracks the groop accomplished. I feel an important part of music is about creating atmosphere, and transporting (moving?) the listener. This song really does that for me, I find it deeply affecting.

Oct 15, 2013, 10:14


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meanchico
meanchico
2696 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

it's been really interesting listening to this album after reading everyone's thoughts. I never would've thought that someday I would enjoy Blue Milk more than Op Hop Detonation!

here's a basic rundown of my thoughts on each song:

Fuses - the frenzied warning

People Do It All The Time - I think of waking up from a long sleep and children.

The Free Design - the piano bit is what I love most about this song. never thought much of it initially.

Blips Drips and Strips - claustrophobia begins. it's when the ride speeds up.

Italian Shoes Continuum - the moment when the acid you dropped takes effect. a storm. zoom in/zoom out. my head might explode, but it sure sounds pretty.

Infinity Girl - would've been nice after Blips, but that would've made too much sense. naturally, the stand-out track of the first part of the album.

Spiracles - pleasant, but not essential. sort of like a non-memorable stroll on a sunny day.

Op Hop Detonation - quite bouncy. a call-to-action. the brass swells are my favorite.

Puncture in the Radax Permutation - THE Mary moment. she sounds so strong. the latter part with the xylophones and strings is just sublime.

Velvet Water - the dreamiest Lab song ever. feels like floating in a warm, dark sea or drifting in space. I would love to hear this stripped down live performed by Laetitia only.

Blue Milk - a perfect centerpiece. lengthy, druggy and almost culty (the chanting). it's like something is being conjured. the build-up is borderline excruciating. it's a song that needs to go wild, but doesn't. it works.

Caleidoscopic Gaze - a bit of a rest...at first. then all those sounds; those goddamn sounds are building again. the vocal build-up around 5:40 is divine; moments like this are why I love this band so much.

Strobo Acceleration - a false ending. I forget this song since I'm usually so excited for the last 2 songs.

Emergency Kisses - remains at the highest tier of Stereolab's work for me. an all out love song on such an extreme album. it's a bit confusing, but I get so wonderfully lost in this song. the translation is beautiful. it swirls, it rocks, it gushes.

Come and Play in the Milky Night - calling you to the unknown beyond. it's always strange to hear male harmonizing in a Stereolab song. a brilliant end. oddly balanced for an album full of excess. it's like the last 2 tracks are the reward you get for having to endure everything that came before it. utter perfection.

Oct 15, 2013, 21:58


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Stereo Mouse
Stereo Mouse
635 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

meanchico wrote:
Come and Play in the Milky Night - calling you to the unknown beyond. it's always strange to hear male harmonizing in a Stereolab song.


That would be Laetitia using her low range. On one of the Monade albums, I think Monstre Cosmic (the one that came out 2008) she goes an octave and a minor third below the middle C on one song. A really low A for a female singer.

Oct 16, 2013, 07:27


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cyberpainter
cyberpainter
5915 posts

Re: Cobra & Phases - song-specific thoughts

I only hear Laetitia on low parts. One of my favorite songs ever.

Oct 16, 2013, 07:36

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