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Ambient - Released October 13, 2014 | Strata Music Ltd

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Backspace Unwind is the sixth LP from electronica duo Lamb. Having already established themselves as an innovative group that combines elements of trip-hop, drum'n'bass, and jazz, Backspace Unwind is another prime example of the duo’s unwavering flirtation with different genres within the same mold. Album-opener "In Binary" wanders and hangs while still jutting out like a sharpened pencil. It’s a strong opening track, composed of wavering, static notes with Lou Rhodes' vocals creeping in majestically, echoing with swimming reverb, moving into beat-oriented territory and overtly pronounced hi-hats, and occasionally moving away to more world music-oriented percussion. Rhodes' vocals do something interesting: her delivery is soft and gentle, seemingly effortless, but can become mighty; their presence is unmistakably felt among the rest of the mix. Lyrically, "In Binary" sets the tone for the rest of the album, having been written with free association, entirely made up of images and thoughts that came to Rhodes who, almost in a state of meditation, built the track visually. Her lyrics evoke beautiful images of what it is that makes us emotional beings -- what makes us human -- as one of the track titles intriguingly suggests. This is something that’s especially evident throughout the album. While being recognizably dance-oriented, it also does what Lamb does best: evokes powerful emotion with both words and sounds while injecting them with an unmistakable groove. Lead single "We Fall in Love" is composed of a lucid, warm glockenspiel melody, pulsating synth bass, and heavily pronounced dub-style percussion. Rhodes' vocals again become the enveloping force for Andy Barlow's crystalline production. His knack for having the percussion occasionally misbehave -- to stutter at the end of some bars and give way to more celestial string arrangements that swim over the top of the song -- is majestic and extremely inviting. Each track is similar to and different from the rest; an unmistakable part of the over-arching theme, but also a standalone pillar supporting the rest of the album. However, the record is not without some odd moments. Songs such as "As Satellites Go By" come across as two separate ideas intended to mesh; instead, it sounds like two distinct ideas that manage to co-exist instead of completely entwine. The rest of the album definitely overcomes this, and there are some real gems, like "Nobody Else," a midtempo, Bond-esque number with beautiful, warm strings courtesy of sting arrangements from collaborator Tom Trapp alongside thudding electronic beats, which lead nicely into "Seven Sails," a wonderfully bass-heavy track. Backspace Unwind isn’t a game-changer, but it is a powerful addition to the duo’s back catalog, incorporating many of the band's familiar electronic tricks in an entirely new way. Rhodes’ vocals swim and entrance and Barlow’s production once again transcends different plains of sound and texture. More concerned with atmosphere than structure, Backspace Unwind is a beautiful chapter in Lamb’s auditory repertoire. ~ Rob Wacey
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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

Using the postmodern torch music of Portishead as a foundation, Lamb spin out into new sonic territories on their eponymous debut album. The group sports a heavier techno influence, incorporating the buzzing rhythms of drum'n'bass into their music in particular, yet they cut their modernistic electronic influences with a dark sense of melodicism. Most of the album is devoted to jazzy songs that are broken apart by Andy Barlow's synthesizers and sampler and are anchored by Louise Rhodes' seductive vocals, which prevent the electronics from becoming cold. It's sophisticated urban music, one that's miles away from the avant-garde sensibilities of Tricky and the haunted romanticism of Portishead, or even the pop leanings of Sneaker Pimps and the soul-inflected grooves of Morcheeba. Instead, Lamb is classy, detached, and cool -- a more club-oriented and less melodic variation of Everything but the Girl's Walking Wounded. Although Lamb may run a little long, it's one of the more hypnotic byproducts of trip-hop yet released. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | Virgin EMI

While their debut was practically a revolution in the development of a satisfactory fusion of singer/songwriter vocals and drum'n'bass, Lamb's second album sets the bar much higher. As on the band's debut, Andy Barlow proves he's one of the most capable and inventive producers in the electronic community. He also still sounds inspired by the fiery side of bop as well as more muted chamber music, from the dexterous synthetic bass and intricate drum programs on "Little Things" to the restrained beats and orchestral tug of "All in Your Hands" and "Bonfire." Similar to the rather deflated return of Portishead in 1997, though, Fear of Fours suffers from Louise Rhodes' tendencies to play up her voice as a torch diva, overemoting and often coming off as girlish or whiny on many tracks. Thank goodness, then, for lengthy instrumentals like "Ear Parcel," which begins with the pastoral sounds of twinkling bells and croaking frogs but later whips up a few frenzied breakbeats as a bed for a sampled trumpet solo. ~ John Bush
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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Virgin EMI

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Trip Hop - Released May 5, 2011 | Strata Music Ltd

3 stars out of 5 -- "Rhodes brings more of her folk leanings to the table and Damien Rice guests on the closing 'The Spectacle'....Immaculately produced..."
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Dance - Released January 1, 2005 | Mercury (Universal France)

In 2006, the U.K. electronica act Lamb (singer Louise Rhodes and musical mastermind Andrew Barlow) followed up its '04 retrospective and BACK TO MINE mix with yet another collection. Essentially a companion piece to BEST KEPT SECRETS, the two-disc REMIXED features the duo's IDM contemporaries offering their takes on some of Lamb's finest songs. While some tunes are interpreted multiple times, no rendition sounds the same--Mr. Scruff's dreamy version of "Gold," for example, is nothing like Autechre's stuttering, abstract reworking of the same track. Although some remixes downplay Rhodes's emotive vocals, they all bring out fascinating aspects of Barlow's trip-hop-oriented compositions.
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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin EMI

Once the most intriguing act fusing electronica with singer/songwriter pop, Lamb unfortunately impress much less on their fourth album than they did in the past. While Louise Rhodes' vocals still lie on the acceptable side of eccentric, Andy Barlow's productions have been defanged; no longer surprising and innovative, they exist as merely proper frameworks for the songs. The long roster here of Pro Tools engineers and studio players makes much of the difference, adding a next-generation sound to the work but eliminating the freshness Lamb productions used to possess. A pair of introspective, experimental pieces ("Darkness," "Stronger") make for a brilliant beginning, but the rest of the record includes a few tender acoustic ballads ("Angelica" is the best) that barely profit from the programmed percussion, and a compelling but nearly meaningless update of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune." Between Darkness and Wonder is hardly a tragedy in Lamb's discography, but the duo's longtime ability to sacrifice neither pop smarts nor production bite was a hallmark that no other act could lay claim to. ~ John Bush
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Electro - Released September 24, 2012 | Strata Music Ltd

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Trip Hop - Released April 11, 2011 | Strata Music Ltd

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Rock - Released February 10, 2017 | Columbia - Legacy

Although Lamb started as a duo of Barbara Mauritz and Bob Swanson, it's very much Mauritz's singing that dominates their first album, though both she and Swanson were involved in the songwriting on most of the seven tracks. While Lamb were loosely aligned with the San Francisco rock scene of the early 1970s, A Sign of Change is not so much rock as an unusual hybrid of jazz and folk, with plenty of tinges of gospel, pop, blues, and even classical. Like some combination of Chet Baker, Joni Mitchell, and perhaps bits of Donovan, free jazz vocalist Patty Waters, and Tim Buckley at his most experimental, Mauritz sings dream-like chains of words almost as if they're improvised jazz notes. Sometimes sounding rather like hippie psalms, her poetic interior monologues are set against sad, pretty melodies with plenty of twists and jazzy tempo shifts, the acoustic backing largely relying on Swanson's acoustic guitar and Bill Douglass' bass, though there's occasional chamber-like orchestration. Mauritz has a mighty impressive voice, like that of a blues-rock belter with far more delicacy, her hazily mixed and enunciated vocals adding to the avant-pop mystery even if the words aren't always easy to make out. Those words are abstract enough, with references aplenty to florid natural imagery and dreamscapes, to make listeners feel like they've been dropped into a waking dream of sorts. Occasional phrases, however, penetrate with more cogency, like the rumination "how in the world could there be wars if there were no evil powers" (from "The Odyssey Of Ehram Spickor"). That might give the impression that this is a pre-new age album of sorts, but it's not: it's almost avant-garde in its otherworldliness, the production quite somber and spare. To bring this more to earth, Maurtiz really lets loose with extended jazzy scatting on "Barbara's Soul II," the record's bluesiest cut. She also delivers what amounts almost to an experimental gospel piece on the closing "Where I'm Bound," which unlike the rest of the album features piano, the rhythm and keyboard overtones accelerating almost to the point of storminess by the song's conclusion. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Electro - Released January 22, 2019 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Electro - Released March 9, 2019 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Humour/Spoken Word - Released January 1, 1995 | Sparrow

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Ambient - Released September 15, 2014 | Strata Music Ltd

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Pop - Released January 1, 2001 | Virgin EMI

Still one of the most inventive groups in electronica, Lamb continued pushing the boundaries of singer/songwriter drum'n'bass three albums in, and also came to grips with a few of the growing pains of their sophomore album. Even while Andy Barlow's productions again set a gold standard for ambitious, evocative, intelligent accompaniment, Louise Rhodes' vocals have improved noticeably since the occasionally over-reaching Fear of Fours. Yes, her crying, confessional style of delivery can still wear (especially for a genre never overly enthusiastic about vocals to begin with), but she's obviously gained in control without sacrificing intensity. The opener, "What Sound," begins with a set of tender love lyrics, gradually expanding with orchestral strings and Barlow's tight, stop-time production. The paranoid breaks of "One" give way to a downright extroverted performance on "Sweet," though Rhodes saves her most pained vocals for the very next track, "I Cry." Barlow scorches on the Chemicals-style breaks and furious turntablism of "Scratch Bass," but then comes right back with a pair of beautiful ballads directed inwards. He's also unafraid to keep the backing (relatively) simple, even on the single "Gabriel." It's clear that every beat, every effect has been labored over, but thankfully that impression is an unconscious one. Another nice touch: the admirably low-profile appearances by excellent musicians like Arto Lindsay on guitar, Me'Shell NdegéOcello on bass, and Michael Franti on vocals. If there were any doubters about Lamb being the brightest, most talented singer/producer combo in electronica, What Sound is all the argument needed to the contrary. ~ John Bush
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Ambient - Released May 3, 2015 | Strata Music Ltd

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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | Virgin EMI

Once the most intriguing act fusing electronica with singer/songwriter pop, Lamb unfortunately impress much less on their fourth album than they did in the past. While Louise Rhodes' vocals still lie on the acceptable side of eccentric, Andy Barlow's productions have been defanged; no longer surprising and innovative, they exist as merely proper frameworks for the songs. The long roster here of Pro Tools engineers and studio players makes much of the difference, adding a next-generation sound to the work but eliminating the freshness Lamb productions used to possess. A pair of introspective, experimental pieces ("Darkness," "Stronger") make for a brilliant beginning, but the rest of the record includes a few tender acoustic ballads ("Angelica" is the best) that barely profit from the programmed percussion, and a compelling but nearly meaningless update of Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune." Between Darkness and Wonder is hardly a tragedy in Lamb's discography, but the duo's longtime ability to sacrifice neither pop smarts nor production bite was a hallmark that no other act could lay claim to. ~ John Bush
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Electro - To be released April 26, 2019 | Cooking Vinyl Limited

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Electro - Released August 13, 2012 | Strata Music Ltd

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Trip Hop - Released November 5, 2011 | Strata Music Ltd