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Penguin Cafe Orchestra - Signs Of Life

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Signs Of Life

Penguin Café Orchestra

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The PCO's last proper studio album of all new tunes also wound up being their last for EG Records, but the group shows no sign of slowing down or of boredom (the album title is certainly not ironic). In fact, the jokiness of some of the earlier albums (particularly in song titles) is totally absent here as well, suggesting Jeffes and company worked at considerable length to make this a mature effort. It is. Works like "Southern Jukebox Music" and "Swing the Cat" are an Englishman's imagined version of Appalachia, or Michael Nyman trapped in a bluegrass band. The centerpiece of the album is the brilliant "Perpetuum Mobile" -- which unfortunately went on to be used in several television ads for telecommunication companies, brokerage houses, and other yuppie pursuits -- a simple repetitive melody put through several tonal and textural changes, building grandeur as it goes. The album has a general bittersweet air, more sunset than sunrise, and balances its foot-tappers with its moments of quiet repose ("The Snake and the Lotus (The Pond)," the lengthy closing number "Wildlife"). An excellent place to start if interested in the band, and one of their finest hours.
© Ted Mills /TiVo

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Signs Of Life

Penguin Cafe Orchestra

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1
Bean Fields (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:26

Steve Nye, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Violin, Ukulele, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Neil Rennie, Participant - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

2
Southern Jukebox Music (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:38

Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoffrey Richardson, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Violin, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

3
Horns Of The Bull (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:35

Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Guitar, Participant, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

4
Oscar Tango (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:03:14

Gavyn Wright, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nye, Producer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Geoffrey Richardson, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elizabeth Perry, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

5
The Snake And The Lotus (The Pond) (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:02:55

Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Bass Guitar, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

6
Rosasolis (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:22

Steve Nye, Producer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Keyboards, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Geoffrey Richardson, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Danny Cummings, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

7
Dirt (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:49

Steve Nye, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Violin, Whistle, Participant, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Danny Cummings, Participant - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Rennie, Ukulele, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

8
Sketch (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:03:22

Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Drums, Ukulele, Participant, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

9
Perpetuum Mobile (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:04:27

Gavyn Wright, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Nye, Producer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Drums, Piano, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Elizabeth Perry, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

10
Swing The Cat (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:03:25

Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Violin, Participant, AssociatedPerformer - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Bob Loveday, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

11
Wildlife (2008 Digital Remaster)
00:11:05

Steve Nye, Producer - Simon Jeffes, Composer, Producer, Engineer, Guitar, Triangle, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Helen Liebmann, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Penguin Café Orchestra, MainArtist - Ian Morais, Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, StudioPersonnel

(C) 2008 Virgin Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2008 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2008 Virgin Records Ltd

Album Description

The PCO's last proper studio album of all new tunes also wound up being their last for EG Records, but the group shows no sign of slowing down or of boredom (the album title is certainly not ironic). In fact, the jokiness of some of the earlier albums (particularly in song titles) is totally absent here as well, suggesting Jeffes and company worked at considerable length to make this a mature effort. It is. Works like "Southern Jukebox Music" and "Swing the Cat" are an Englishman's imagined version of Appalachia, or Michael Nyman trapped in a bluegrass band. The centerpiece of the album is the brilliant "Perpetuum Mobile" -- which unfortunately went on to be used in several television ads for telecommunication companies, brokerage houses, and other yuppie pursuits -- a simple repetitive melody put through several tonal and textural changes, building grandeur as it goes. The album has a general bittersweet air, more sunset than sunrise, and balances its foot-tappers with its moments of quiet repose ("The Snake and the Lotus (The Pond)," the lengthy closing number "Wildlife"). An excellent place to start if interested in the band, and one of their finest hours.
© Ted Mills /TiVo

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