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I recall reading a rave review of this around the time it came out, and it sort of lodged in my mind somewhere, though I didn't hear it until relatively recently, when I bought a used copy. First couple of times I played it I wasn't listening closely and thought "Well, that's kind of dull, what was all the fuss about?" Then it sort of sank in. It really is that good. I can't think of anything else that does the nocturnal urban melancholy vibe so well.

Yes, the first record reflected an element of that in several songs, but Hats really pulled it all together. I remember listening to it the first time and thinking that it had all the good points of the first album with none of the negatives.

On the first record I really only like four of the songs, while on Hats I like them all.

I bought Walk Across Rooftops just a week or so ago, having discovered that eMusic has it. Haven't listened to it yet.

That is an excellent video for the song. I clicked over to YouTube so I could see it full-screen, and after it was over I saw that YouTube's suggestions included a cover by Annie Lennox. She does well by it, sticking to the original arrangement, so it's basically the same thing but with her voice.


I love the album cover.


Annie Lennox could sing the phone book and make it compelling

Yes, she could.

Does anybody see any particular significance in the red crescent? Is it just supposed to be a bit of light shining on the figure, or is there some meaning that I'm not getting?

Not 100% sure but I think it's just a patch of light. I've noticed that the UK album cover varies slightly from the US version -- the font and placement of the text are different, and the red light seems more muted.

Wikipedia says that was done for marketing purposes. I like this one a lot better.


"I can't think of anything else that does the nocturnal urban melancholy vibe so well."

The nearest thing that comes to mind is the album Solace by the trip-hop duo Mandalay. It's a good record, not as solid overall, but the best songs come moderately close.

I don't know that one, but I generally like anything labeled trip-hop, so I'll have to check it out. Groups like Massive Attack and Portishead do urban nocturnal but more urgent and uneasy, not exactly melancholy.

So is this the U.K. or U.S. cover? I'll guess it's the U.S. one, as that's what my copy has. I like it better, too, at least graphically. If I saw the other one without knowing otherwise, I'd think the group was Hats and the album The Blue Nile. With the version here I guess it would be a tossup.

Don't know if you've seen, Mac, but both Slowdive and Ride have new albums coming out. The former may be out already -- I can't quite tell from Amazon's listing. A friend has heard the UK release, however, and really likes it.

I had heard about Slowdive but not Ride. I didn't get excited because these reunion/comeback things tend to be disappointing. But I'd like to hear them.

Yeah, I thought the same thing, but the Slowdive disc seems to be getting pretty good marks so far. Ride doesn't come out until next month, but it looks like a couple singles are available for listening.

Slowdive just showed up on eMusic. I think I'll get it.

It's good.

yep -- got it over the weekend. Great stuff.

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