No Ending for Arab Strap

The first two opening tracks, “Stink” and “(If There’s) No Hope For Us”, are very much alike. The opening track still pulls you in more so than the second, though the second does pick up in beat, which lends itself easily to the rules of mixing. You also expect that, maybe, Arab Strap had grown from the spoken word songs of old, like “Here We Go”, but he falls back on his old M.O. in “Chat in Amsterdam, Winter 2003”. However, the song is underlined by a soft-sung echo. Though the lyrics aren’t very deep, they are still entertaining and easily connected to by the listener. “Confessions of a Big Brother” reaffirms my liking of the band. It’s soft and quiet, a great mix. The album seems to have a pattern of each song having its equal follow, “Come around and love me.” After the equal is played we move on to a different, either more upbeat, slower, or spoken word, style. Starting with “Fine Tuning,” the album takes an amazing turn for the better. The following songs are all wonderful. The best song on the album, which happily lasts seven minutes and thirty-three seconds, “There Is No Ending” – read by iTunes as “Tere Is No Ending,” has a great style. Different it is from the usual and rest of the album. It whispers influence by Bright Eyes with the use of trumpets and a low voice – though Arab Strap also keeps his voice rather low in a number of his other songs. Let me take a few minutes – eight of them actually – to listen to and enjoy this track. I suggest you do the same.

The album also holds two released tracks (not to be listened to as part of the album). “El Paso Song” seems to be, sadly, easily skipped. But, when you are in the mood, it holds great addition to the music community. But, you need to be in the mood for the song and I question if it would be better in spoken word. “Go Back To The Sea” is good for its psuedo-single style. It is hard to not listen to the song as part of the album, but when you do make the disconnection, you can hear how beautiful it is.

Artist: Arab Strap
Album: The Last Romance
Released: October 17, 2005
Label: Chemikal Underground
Rating: 6.8 / 10




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