The Crowd Scene | With Complete Glossary for Squares

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Baroque Pop Moods: Mood: Brooding
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With Complete Glossary for Squares

by The Crowd Scene

Melodic, Lennonesque optimism, a whisper in the ear.
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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1. Walk Up To The Heath
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2:36 $0.99
2. Edward Learjet
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3:07 $0.99
3. I Wouldn't Say I'm Sorry
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4:34 $0.99
4. Trick Photography
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3:40 $0.99
5. You Were Loved
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3:34 $0.99
6. Cracked Leather Seat
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2:49 $0.99
7. It's Not Easier
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3:38 $0.99
8. Secretly Sorry
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3:04 $0.99
9. Great Jones Street
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3:16 $0.99
10. Which Way
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4:14 $0.99
11. Anything's Better Than Nothing
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4:06 $0.99
12. Finish Line
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
'With Complete Glossary for Squares' is the sophomore release from Arlington, Virginia-based chamber-pop collective The Crowd Scene.

Fronted by the husband-and-wife tandem of Grahame Davies and Anne Rogers, and supported by percussionist Evan Pollack, The Crowd Scene mint a timeless pop evoking the bittersweet sensibility of mid-period Beatles, Brian Wilson, Ray Davies, and -- more recently -- Elvis Costello, the dBs, and Aimee Mann. What emerges is a melancholic optimism that acknowledges life's oblique obstacles and simple wonders.

Mastered by Jon Astley (The Who, George Harrison, Tori Amos) at Close To The Edge in London, 'With Complete Glossary for Squares' features context-aware cameos from Chris Stamey, formerly of the dBs, and Neil Luckett of tvfordogs.

The record joins a Wampus Multimedia roster that includes new and imminent releases from tvfordogs, the matthew show, Venus Flytrap, Kowtow Popof, and Arms of Kismet, as well as 'After Hours: a Tribute to the Music of Lou Reed' (to which the Crowd Scene contributed "Candy Says") and 'If I Were a Richman: a Tribute to the Music of Jonathan Richman' (on which they performed "When Harpo Played His Harp").

# # #

On The Crowd Scene's last album, 'Turn Left at Greenland'....

"The Crowd Scene are one of the brighter examples of British pop today, and their debut album, Turn Left At Greenland shows off all sides of this diverse band. The band is comprised of Anne Rogers (bass guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Grahame Davies (guitar, keyboards, vocals), and along with a few selected musicians, they have delivered an excellent album that concentrates on well-crafted songwriting and excellent production. There are folksy and baroque touches to the album, and many of the songs are propelled by some excellent rhythm guitar playing by Davies. Rogers voice is reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, while Davies is a cross of Alex Chilton and Michael Brown of The Left Banke, if that's possible. The songwriting is uniformly excellent, from the Squeeze-esque album opener 'Weather Song,' the breezy 'Surprise' (which has a positively delicious vocal from Rogers), to the rocking 'Backtracking.' 'Walking Round The World's Fair' has a great jazz-swing groove that is one of the high points of the record. Absolutely worthwhile, and a good sign for the future of British pop." --Matthew Greenwald, All-Music Guide

"Primarily the brainchild of bassist Anne Rogers and guitarist Grahame Davies, The Crowd Scene is a walking encyclopedia of pop hooks and melodies from both sides of the Atlantic. Sometimes it's the brainy pop of 10CC or the quirky cleverness of Squeeze, sometimes it's the sweeter confections of Neil Finn, sometimes it's Brian Wilson's soaring Pet Sounds harmonies and the moody reflections of Jellyfish. Vocally Rogers has a more than casual resemblance to Sam Phillips, and Davies is a dead-ringer for Glenn Tilbrook, and their voices are marvelously complementary to each other and to the material. Whoever they happen to be channeling at any particular moment, Rogers and Davies inject the history of modern electric pop into each and every track on Turn Left At Greenland, with truly stunning results. Helpful hint: don't look to the lyric sheet for any insights -- it looks as though it's been translated into another language and then translated back into English." --Audiocafe

"Amiable co-ed pop duo with a '60s folk-hue and bits of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. Grahame Davies writes and sings 'em like The Sneetches, and it's a nice deal now that it's been a few years since we've heard a record like this. It's all too rare. Tracks like 'Weather Song,' 'Circus Act,' and 'Walking Round The World's Fair' are fine top-drawer pop songs, replete with divine production touches. The sunlight is allowed in and everything breathes with a warm glow. Yet another band who finds the studio to be their friend and not their enemy. A note to those who enjoy interesting packaging ideas: the band decided to have their lyrics translated into another language and then re-translated into English, and the results are included in the CD booklet. To say the least, it's a very funny and confusing adventure to follow it along. One of this years more subdued gems that will fall back into the playlist long after the year has run down." -- Pat Pierson, Yeah Yeah Yeah Magazine

"The Washington D.C. duo of Anjelica Huston-lookalike Anne Rogers and South London expatriate Grahame Davies is full of ideas on their debut, spinning out excellent songs in a variety of styles as if limiting themselves to one is somehow cheating. Alternating songwriting and lead vocals, Rogers and Davies essay melancholy restraint ('Weather Song'), psychedelic textures ('Surprise'), cryptic folk rock ('Circus Act'), sparkly folk rock (the handclap-accented 'Stupid People'), quirky pop ('Global Village Idiot'), hazy guitar jangle which suggests Let's Active under the influence of My Bloody Valentine ('Walking Round the World's Fair') and pretty much anything else which pops into their heads." --Stewart Mason, The Weekly Alibi


Reviews


to write a review

mistermuleboy

Hold on tight
This is *not* music to screw by. It's better than that

J. Scott Watson

Be Prepared to Take a Trip
Yeah, I know -- with any "trip" reference, anyone familiar with their brilliant debut long-player, "Turn Left At Greenland," -- with its Beatlesque beauty and powerpop punch -- will assume that the Crowd Scene have entered their acid phase.

It's not that kind of trip.

It's not that shallow, nor as brief. It's a more mind-blowing trip, inward.

Because guitarist / vocalist Grahame Davies has assumed the lion's share of songrwiting since Greenland, my comments about the tunes will focus on him. [But don't sleep on "Which Way" by bassist/vocalist/songwriter Anne Rogers].
His catalogue of songs has consistently revealed a clever, thoughtful, frequently-playful, *bemused* observer of the world. But "Glossary" -- while still clever and thoughtful and wry -- is also deeply personal. When the first song begins with a stark piano, and simple acoustic guitar, and Davies nearly whispers about realizing "how big . . . .the small things in life," it's time to surrender and take the personal voyage with Mr. Davies.

Later, you move closer to the edge, finding yourself "over your head" with the singer. On "I Wouldn't Say I'm Sorry," the band, working behind a scratching, haunting loop, get as quiet and *low* as you can get. I don't mean "low" in the sense of "sad," but rather I picture the band actually crouched down, quietly sharing a private moment.

I think anyone familiar with Davies's high, muscualr tenor -- the guy can kick ass singing a wailing rocker -- has to do a double-take listening to such quiet, personal, ultimately intimate vocals.

Rogers is the perfect complement -- her bass always takes a song to unexpected places [you'll never hear the conventional, expected note -- it's as if she sees and hears the song through a different prism, and always colours the song with a shade you don't expect], and her voice remains a perfect mate with Davies's. On "Trick Photography," when Davies unleashes his tenor to hit plaintive high notes, she dips below him and grounds the song.

I'll be damned if this album doesn't have me writing about the songs and the intricacies of each. I'm much more prone to just hear the sounds and impressions of a record.

You should really buy this sucker and take your own trip with each of these songs. . . .

Joe Rogers

*with complete glossary for squares
When I listened to the first track "Walk Up to the Heath", I realized that this album would not be more of the up-beat Pop that fueled their first album, "Turn Left at Greenland". This led to initial dissappointment, because I loved the lush harmonies and aggressive melodies of that album. But as I got to the end of the first track, I realized how calm I was; how caught up in the imagery; and how I was trying to take the lyrics to heart. As each track continued, I found myself deep in their view of the world and their reaction to it. There was no attempt to distract or impress with surprise hooks or over the top guitar solos. Just straight forward songs with beautiful melodies that fit perfectly from start to finish.

By taking their music to the simplest form, The Crowd Scene provide everyday stories that cause the listener to reflect on what it might mean to them. And isn't that really the point?