Size 255.706 MB 0 seeders Added 2013-05-02 04:16:35
Artist: Amateur Best Release: No Thrills Discogs: 4355052 Released: 2013-02-04 / 2013 Label: Double Denim Records Catalog#: DD018LP / none Format: FLAC / Lossless / WEB Country: UK Style: Electronic, Synth-pop, Downtempo Tracklisting: 01. Ready For The Good Life 02. Too Much 03. Villas 04. The Wave 05. Pleased 06. In Time 07. Walk In Three 08. Be Happy 09. Get Down 10. No Thrills "The first thing about Amateur Best that hits is his voice; it's down, but not beaten. It's the kind of voice that popstars used to have in the days before AutoTune, perma-grins, and mandatory teeth whitening. Warmly scratchy, it tickles the subconscious as he searches for words, and frays charmingly as he reaches for the big notes. It's a voice that wears its heart on its sleeve; emotions etched in sky-high letters with every breath. While he can't hide the heavy sense of disillusionment that imbues his every note, equally present is an almost child-like stubbornness; a playfully shirty refusal to be engulfed by misery. London's Joe Flory, the man behind Amateur Best, has been here before. He played the popstar game at major label level as previous incarnation, Primary 1, where his messy, heartfelt songs were shoehorned into pastel-colored pop videos desperate to be hits. The hunger didn't suit his aesthetic or temperament, and he killed off the project almost as soon as he had released his debut album, Other People. I'd interviewed him for Dummy in summer 2009, a few months before its release, and even then reluctance streamed out of his every pore. A couple of years on, reborn as Amateur Best, Flory has found a home with indie label Double Denim [run by Pitchfork contributor, Hari Ashurst]-- where, one imagines, the pressure and control are flipped to more agreeable levels-- and has made an album that marries hooks and heart to soul-satisfying ends. No Thrills is pop is of the homemade kind, as flagged by the comic, 3D world he painstakingly made and photographed for his album artwork, but it's in no way lo-fi. It's boldly rendered, and somehow crafts a very human world from cartoon sonics. Squeezed synths, squeaky brass, sliding whistles, and pre-set keyboard melodies are all deployed at various points, yet in Flory's hands they assume a peculiar beauty. The forced sunniness of Primary 1 has been shooed away, leaving an acutely refined understanding of the importance of subtlety; how the biggest hooks are not necessarily the loudest, but the ones that keep you waiting. Opener "Ready for the Good Life", featuring Chilly Gonzales on piano, is a perfect case in point. In your memory, it sounds huge, but the reality is much quieter. Flory isn't one to overplay, and it's what he holds back that gives his performance its power and poignancy. The good life, however, is not really any concern of No Thrills. Instead it gently unpicks the delusional idea that a constant state of happiness is possible. Allusions to depression stalk his songs, lurking under the melodies. Over the title track's bubbling percussion he sweetly strains to sing: "No thrills, no high/ But I was right the first time/ It spills, it chimes/ Brain pain in the family line." Yet every sour word is wrapped in a sweet note, and every painful revelation coiled in a soaring chorus. No Thrills never wallows but instead finds a joyful rhythm with an everyday battle. Happy-sad is pop's holy grail: the hooks that lift and the lyrics that burn. In No Thrills' finest moments-- "Too Much" with its tortured sax and guitar work that evokes the Cure, the soul-searching "Be Happy" and its sad rumba rhythm, the sighing soul of "Walk In Three"-- No Thrills reaches that grail, triumphantly. While not exactly damp squibs, "Pleased" and "In Time" don't quite have the force that the rest of the album possesses. Maybe because their self-consciously offbeat bounce could have sat comfortably on Other People, though part of the lasting pleasure of No Thrills is that Flory has delivered on his early promise. He no longer sounds reluctant at all."
|Amateur Best - (2013) - No Thrills [Web]/Amateur Best - 01 - Ready For The Good Life.flac||25.741 MB|
|Amateur Best - (2013) - No Thrills [Web]/Amateur Best - 02 - Too Much.flac||28.012 MB|
|Amateur Best - (2013) - No Thrills [Web]/Amateur Best - 03 - Villas.flac||31.626 MB|