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Piano Magic|Writers Without Homes

Writers Without Homes

Piano Magic

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A less than engrossing record from Piano Magic was bound to happen at some point, but few could have predicted something as dull, drab, and ultimately powerless as Songs From the Chronic Fatigue Ward -- er, Writers Without Homes. This album features hardly any of the exquisitely formed and solemn pop found throughout the group's rich discography, only showing for the heartbreaking "The Season Is Long," a mournful -- but beautiful and limpid -- ballad played with a fittingly spare arrangement and hauntingly resigned guest turns from Simon Raymonde on piano and the Czars' John Grant on vocals. Most of what precedes and follows is lifeless, meandering wallowing. Even "The Season Is Long" itself is punctuated/punctured with an extended segment of rainfall and distant thunder. (OK, we get it -- the season is long.) There's a fine line between fragile and frail, and this album is much more the latter than the former. Tragic words that are spoken -- like the ones that relate an experience of watching an old film and delivering a personal epitaph upon the realization that the furry critters in it must be dead by now -- might not look bad on screen or page, but when they are stated plainly with an accompaniment of impossibly precious, twinkling melodies, they're hard to take seriously or stomach. The best example of Writers Without Homes' attack on the nerves is actually right at the beginning. "(Music Won't Save You From Anything But) Silence" is Piano Magic's own "Rat Salad" or "Toad," a furious instrumental with the drums taking center stage. But instead of bridging two songs with a brief burst or closing out the album, it blasts for nearly seven minutes and sets up a whole lot of not very much. Listen to this album and feel drained of all energy without actually spending it.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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Writers Without Homes

Piano Magic

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1
(Music Won't Save You from Anything But) Silence
00:06:40

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - James Topham, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

2
Postal
00:03:08

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Suzy Mangion, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

3
Modern Jupiter
00:04:41

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Lippok, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Ronald Lippok, AssociatedPerformer - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Bernd Jestram, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - GEMA Records, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

4
1.30
00:01:33

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

5
The Season Is Long
00:08:43

John Grant, AssociatedPerformer - Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Raymonde, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - James Topham, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Peter Beresford, AssociatedPerformer

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

6
Certainty
00:03:13

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Caroline Potter, AssociatedPerformer

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

7
Crown of the Lost
00:04:14

Vashti Bunyan, AssociatedPerformer - Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Raymonde, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

8
It's the Same Dream That Lasts All Night
00:00:56

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Johnstone, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Suzy Mangion, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

9
Dutch Housing
00:03:14

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Piano Magic, MainArtist - ANGELE DAVID-GUILLOU, ComposerLyricist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Charlotte Marionneau, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

10
Already Ghosts
00:04:48

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Anderson, AssociatedPerformer - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - James Topham, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Bigas Luna, AssociatedPerformer

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

11
Shot Through the Fog
00:10:48

Miguel Marín, AssociatedPerformer - Simon Raymonde, AssociatedPerformer - Piano Magic, MainArtist - Glen Johnson, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alasdair Steer, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Tcherneyan, AssociatedPerformer - Ryko Music, MusicPublisher - CMRRA, MusicPublisher - Caroline Potter, AssociatedPerformer

2002 4AD Ltd 2002 4AD Ltd

Album Description

A less than engrossing record from Piano Magic was bound to happen at some point, but few could have predicted something as dull, drab, and ultimately powerless as Songs From the Chronic Fatigue Ward -- er, Writers Without Homes. This album features hardly any of the exquisitely formed and solemn pop found throughout the group's rich discography, only showing for the heartbreaking "The Season Is Long," a mournful -- but beautiful and limpid -- ballad played with a fittingly spare arrangement and hauntingly resigned guest turns from Simon Raymonde on piano and the Czars' John Grant on vocals. Most of what precedes and follows is lifeless, meandering wallowing. Even "The Season Is Long" itself is punctuated/punctured with an extended segment of rainfall and distant thunder. (OK, we get it -- the season is long.) There's a fine line between fragile and frail, and this album is much more the latter than the former. Tragic words that are spoken -- like the ones that relate an experience of watching an old film and delivering a personal epitaph upon the realization that the furry critters in it must be dead by now -- might not look bad on screen or page, but when they are stated plainly with an accompaniment of impossibly precious, twinkling melodies, they're hard to take seriously or stomach. The best example of Writers Without Homes' attack on the nerves is actually right at the beginning. "(Music Won't Save You From Anything But) Silence" is Piano Magic's own "Rat Salad" or "Toad," a furious instrumental with the drums taking center stage. But instead of bridging two songs with a brief burst or closing out the album, it blasts for nearly seven minutes and sets up a whole lot of not very much. Listen to this album and feel drained of all energy without actually spending it.
© Andy Kellman /TiVo

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