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Saint Etienne|So Tough

So Tough

Saint Etienne

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St. Etienne's second album, So Tough, is a remarkable step forward from Fox Base Alpha, boasting a stronger set of songs and a sharper focus. Not only are the pop melodies catchier than before, the group's mastery of swinging '60s arrangements and Eurodisco rhythms is positively infectious, and Sarah Cracknell's light, airy vocals are alluringly dreamy, giving the record a wonderful, floating quality. The cool club beats, occasional samples, and synthesized textures provide an inviting sonic backdrop for Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs' infectious pop songs, and while the singles "You're in a Bad Way" and "Hobart Paving" stand out, there are several other tracks here that are nearly as good, making So Tough an irresistible set of danceable, well-constructed pop.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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So Tough

Saint Etienne

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1
Mario's Café
00:04:37

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

2
Railway Jam
00:04:14

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

3
Date With Spelman
00:00:17

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

4
Calico
00:05:12

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

5
Avenue
00:07:34

Sarah Cracknell, Composer - Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer - Ian Catt, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

6
You're in a Bad Way
00:02:48

Sarah Cracknell, Composer - Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

7
Memo to Pricey
00:00:23

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

8
Hobart Paving
00:04:54

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

9
Leafhound
00:04:12

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

10
Clock Milk
00:00:14

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

11
Conchita Martinez
00:03:58

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

12
No Rainbows for Me
00:03:58

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

13
Here Comes Clown Feet
00:00:25

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

14
Junk the Morgue
00:05:11

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

15
Chicken Soup
00:00:18

Saint Etienne, MainArtist - Bob Stanley, Composer - Pete Wiggs, Composer

2017 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS] 1993 Saint Etienne Ltd. under exclusive licence to [PIAS]

Album Description

St. Etienne's second album, So Tough, is a remarkable step forward from Fox Base Alpha, boasting a stronger set of songs and a sharper focus. Not only are the pop melodies catchier than before, the group's mastery of swinging '60s arrangements and Eurodisco rhythms is positively infectious, and Sarah Cracknell's light, airy vocals are alluringly dreamy, giving the record a wonderful, floating quality. The cool club beats, occasional samples, and synthesized textures provide an inviting sonic backdrop for Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs' infectious pop songs, and while the singles "You're in a Bad Way" and "Hobart Paving" stand out, there are several other tracks here that are nearly as good, making So Tough an irresistible set of danceable, well-constructed pop.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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