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We Love The City - Hefner

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3 Reviews

Genre: Pop / Artist: Hefner / Import / Audio CD released at Phantom Sound & Vision

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    3 Reviews
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      01.06.2001 01:33

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      Oh, what a crying shame this is. Hefner had so much potential - an awesome debut ("Breaking God's Heart") which had The Face calling them "The coolest new band in Britain", and a follow-up ("The Fidelity Wars") which had equally good songs performed with greater musical confidence - that by now they should have replaced Pulp as literate pop geek pin-ups par excellence. Sadly, however, their magic seems to have disappeared at around the same time Darren Hayman abandoned his trademark glasses. For "We Love The City" is, frankly, terrible. The Violent Femmes-esque sound and searing, righteous anger that made their debut so essential has been replaced by twee, C86 janglepop and jokey lyrics that even Carter USM would shun. The title track and the old-skool Hefner of "Good Fruit" and "Painting & Kissing" aren't bad, but the other 9 tracks are throwaway, a mere shadow of this band at their best. Worst of all, "The Day That Thatcher Dies", which is a gleeful slab of garage rock in its live form, is transformed into an horrendous horn-soaked mistake, complete with twee children's backing vocals. What could've been a great Smiths-esque tabloid-baiting protest song thus loses any impact it might once conceivably have had. So, Hefner, back to basics with you. Get your hearts broken again, put those glasses back on, throw out that hi-tech recording equipment and rediscover what made us love you in the first place.

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      04.03.2001 23:52
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      Hefner's "We Love the City" is the album for the awkward souls that haunt the londonite suburbia. The aura is of chip shop love stories, common people with common lives trying to pull through. Darren Hayman's voice croaks and croons through our misfortunes without sounding too much like Damon Albarn; this is is not the work of an onlooker, Hayman is the working class hero that John Lennon sang of. In "we love the city," the first song of the album, we wonder why he doesn't just leave it all behind. The world described here is rock star-free; no supermodels, just the girl from the cafeteria, the champagne is a cheap bottle of claret which will undoubtedly give you a hangover,and you just know it's not your agent that will call you in the morning, just your mother asking you to get a haircut and a job. Every Hefner song has its vilain, whether it be Maggie Thatcher or cigarettes, but the Beach Boys harmonies soothe the pain of being an outcast. The moral here is that we are all pawns in the city but at least we don't come from the suburbs, however much it hurts to be anonymous forever. The guitar seems to echo the Velvet Underground, albeit a very humbled one with a Lou Reed that dresses at charity shops and can't get a girl. Hefner are the voice of a lost generation, the boys and girls of the estates, and the account of their fate has the effect of cheap aftershave on wounded skin. But somehow, you know you belong because in the 80's, like them, you wore leg warmers, fancied the pants off Emilio Estevez and wished the recession would end. Thatcher's not dead after all and this is the story of the bitter taste she left behind; a bitter taste which we have made our own.

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      06.02.2001 01:54

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      Darren Hayman has created an excellent, varied collection of songs for this album. With the vocal and instrumental talents of Amelia Fletcher, James Williams, Owen Hayter and others, this album mixes contemporary themes with unlikely instruments such as flugels, trombones, saxes and flutes. This album tackles the anxieties of modern life within England's buzzing capital city in a humerous, enjoyable way. Some people may be tempted to compare Hefner to Radiohead, but to that I say there is no comparison. This album is hard-hitting, while mellow at the same time. The title track of the album is a particular favourite of mine, comparing the big city to the suburbs in order to analyse his attempts to win over a woman. Other excellent tracks are Good Fruit and She Can't Sleep No More, the former being a calm, mellow song with the latter being more upbeat but still great to listen to. 'We Love The City' is a great album, and I'd go so far to say that all of the tracks on it have their own unique charm. This album is a rare treat in that respect.

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 We Love the City
    2 Greedy Ugly People
    3 Good Fruit
    4 Painting and Kissing
    5 Hold Me Closer
    6 Don't Go
    7 Greater London Radio
    8 As Soon as You're Ready
    9 She Can't Sleep No More
    10 Cure for Evil
    11 Day That Thatcher Dies
    12 Your Head to Your Toes
    13 I Took Her Love for Granted [CD-ROM Video]
    14 Good Fruit [CD-ROM Video]