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Arab Strap - Philophobia

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Philophobia

Arab Strap

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Hearing "Packs of Three" begin Arab Strap's second full album with a gentle electric guitar strum and crisp drum beat is one thing, hearing Moffat softly sing "It was the biggest cock you'd ever seen, but no one knows where that cock has been" is quite another. Put the two together and that's Arab Strap in a disturbing nutshell, once again. With a number of guest performers on keyboards, strings, and other instruments, Moffat and Middleton once again create a series of tense, melancholy, and emotionally eviscerating numbers. Given the album title, meaning "fear of love," it's no surprise that happy-go-lucky tunes aren't anywhere to be found, but then again, that was never the Arab Strap M.O. in the first place. Lyrics as naked, realistic, and ugly as the cover paintings abound, their acid impact again, carefully shaped by the moody arrangements and steady pace throughout. The Albini-tinged production familiar from Week recurs here, but the songs themselves feel perversely gentler on the one hand, more anthemic ("Soaps" being a good example) on the other. The ear Middleton has for astonishing, subtle touches -- the soft reverb guitar loop ending "Here We Go," the combination of hum and crackle on "Islands," the piano/drum arrangement on "I Would've Liked Me a Lot" -- proves its strength time and again on Philophobia. Moffat's lyrics are printed in the CD booklet, a useful touch given his varying delivery, but what needs to be heard often comes through all too clearly for comfort, unless one somehow has always had a flawless life when it comes to love, lust, and their foibles. When it comes to the guests, Alan Wylie's trumpet work on "The Night Before the Funeral" is quite lovely, while Adele Bethel duets excellently with Moffat on "Afterwards." ~ Ned Raggett

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Philophobia

Arab Strap

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1
Packs of Three 00:03:24

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

2
Soaps 00:04:16

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

3
Here We Go 00:05:04

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground

4
New Birds 00:06:28

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

5
One Day, After School 00:05:02

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

6
Islands 00:03:42

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

7
The Night Before the Funeral 00:04:51

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

8
Not Quite a Yes 00:03:43

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

9
Piglet 00:06:48

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

10
Afterwards 00:04:23

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

11
My Favourite Muse 00:05:03

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

12
I Would Have Liked Me a Lot Last Night 00:07:26

Paul Savage, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

13
The First Time You're Unfaithful 00:05:39

Geoff Allan, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Mixer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 1998 Chemikal Underground Records

14
Packs of Three (Peel Session) 00:03:46

Mike Robinson, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

15
Piglet (Peel Session) 00:06:44

Mike Robinson, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

16
The Night Before The Funeral (Peel Session) 00:05:05

Mike Robinson, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

17
Blood (Peel Session) 00:06:12

Mike Robinson, Producer, Mixer - Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

18
Girls Of Summer (T In The Park '98) 00:07:56

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

19
New Birds (T In The Park '98) 00:06:27

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

20
Here We Go (T In The Park '98) 00:05:32

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd., MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

21
Soaps (T In The Park '98) 00:05:30

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

22
Afterwards (T In The Park '98) 00:05:40

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

23
I Would Have Liked Me A Lot Last Night (T In The Park '98) 00:06:56

Aidan Moffat, Lyricist - Kobalt Music Publishing, MusicPublisher - Arab Strap, Composer, Artist, MainArtist

2010 Chemikal Underground Records 2010 BBC Worldwide

Descrizione dell'album

Hearing "Packs of Three" begin Arab Strap's second full album with a gentle electric guitar strum and crisp drum beat is one thing, hearing Moffat softly sing "It was the biggest cock you'd ever seen, but no one knows where that cock has been" is quite another. Put the two together and that's Arab Strap in a disturbing nutshell, once again. With a number of guest performers on keyboards, strings, and other instruments, Moffat and Middleton once again create a series of tense, melancholy, and emotionally eviscerating numbers. Given the album title, meaning "fear of love," it's no surprise that happy-go-lucky tunes aren't anywhere to be found, but then again, that was never the Arab Strap M.O. in the first place. Lyrics as naked, realistic, and ugly as the cover paintings abound, their acid impact again, carefully shaped by the moody arrangements and steady pace throughout. The Albini-tinged production familiar from Week recurs here, but the songs themselves feel perversely gentler on the one hand, more anthemic ("Soaps" being a good example) on the other. The ear Middleton has for astonishing, subtle touches -- the soft reverb guitar loop ending "Here We Go," the combination of hum and crackle on "Islands," the piano/drum arrangement on "I Would've Liked Me a Lot" -- proves its strength time and again on Philophobia. Moffat's lyrics are printed in the CD booklet, a useful touch given his varying delivery, but what needs to be heard often comes through all too clearly for comfort, unless one somehow has always had a flawless life when it comes to love, lust, and their foibles. When it comes to the guests, Alan Wylie's trumpet work on "The Night Before the Funeral" is quite lovely, while Adele Bethel duets excellently with Moffat on "Afterwards." ~ Ned Raggett

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