SOUND OF WATER
ALBUM MANTRA, PLAYGROUND RELEASE: MAY 22, 2000 REVIEW: MAY 10, 2000
Saint Etienne have always been kind of a trademark for laid-back, cool music, and "Sound of Water" is no exception. In fact, it adds to this reputation, since they're more soft and smooth now than ever before. But just when you think Sarah Cracknell and Co are about to float into ambience eternity, something pops up like jack in the box. "Heart Failed (In the Back of a Taxi)", a reminder of the "Tiger Bay" sound, is such a surprise, and more of these moments would be appreciated.
What we, mainly, get instead is a significantly more acoustic Saint Etienne, with toned down electronics buzzing somewhere in the background. Closer to Massive Attack and further from the Pet Shop Boys. It's still impressive to hear their massive soundscapes, both brittle and powerful.
I miss some of the more pop orientated beats the band used to be so good at, just listen to "Pale Movie", and you'll nod in concord. As the title says, the new Saint Etienne album is reminiscent of the soothing, pleasant, yet harmless sound of water.