A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard and the Ballroom (1980, Reissue 2017)

Posted by Green on January 8, 2018as

320 kbps | 105 MB | LINKS

The Graveyard and the Ballroom, compiled from a collection of early four-track recordings and a set of live tracks, shows off A Certain Ratio’s strengths well. The sound is surprisingly good for such lo-fi recordings, and the band is, for all of their musical amateurishness, rather precise and controlled.

Unfortunately, that highlights a key flaw of the album: Too often, it is accomplished enough to be intriguing, but never all that gripping. By emphasizing rhythm over melody, A Certain Ratio makes music that is interesting and danceable, but not hugely compelling. It’s mechanically well-played, with quirky, interesting lyrics that never really seem to add up to anything more than an attention-grabbing sound. Nonetheless, those seeking an idiosyncratic, interesting art-funk band can do no wrong with this release, even if it ultimately falls short of any meaning beyond quirky experimentalism.

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