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A Certain Ratio - The Graveyard And The Ballroom

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The Graveyard And The Ballroom

A Certain Ratio

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The angular, bass-heavy post-punk of A Certain Ratio could conceivably be compared to that of their Factory labelmates Joy Division (singer Simon Topping is a dead ringer vocally for Joy Division's Ian Curtis). One key difference is that A Certain Ratio has a more pronounced funk influence, which makes their music more danceable. Another difference is that Topping's lyrics, more abstract and even humorous (albeit in a dark, quirky way) are less dramatic than Curtis'. The Graveyard and the Ballroom, compiled from a collection of early four-track recordings and a set of live tracks, shows off A Certain Ratio's strengths well. The sound is surprisingly good for such lo-fi recordings, and the band is, for all of their musical amateurishness, rather precise and controlled. Unfortunately, that highlights a key flaw of the album: Too often, it is accomplished enough to be intriguing, but never all that gripping. By emphasizing rhythm over melody, A Certain Ratio makes music that is interesting and danceable, but not hugely compelling. It's mechanically well-played, with quirky, interesting lyrics that never really seem to add up to anything more than an attention-grabbing sound. Nonetheless, those seeking an idiosyncratic, interesting art-funk band can do no wrong with this release, even if it ultimately falls short of any meaning beyond quirky experimentalism.
© Victor W. Valdivia /TiVo

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The Graveyard And The Ballroom

A Certain Ratio

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1
Do The Du (The Graveyard)
00:02:54

Simon Topping, Composer - Martin Moscrop, Composer - Donald Johnson, Composer - Jeremy Kerr, Composer - A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Pete Terrell, Composer - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

2
Faceless (The Graveyard)
00:02:22

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

3
Crippled Child (The Graveyard)
00:02:54

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

4
Choir (The Graveyard)
00:03:21

A Certain Ratio, Composer, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

5
Flight (The Graveyard)
00:03:30

Simon Topping, Composer - Martin Moscrop, Composer - Donald Johnson, Composer - A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Pete Terrell, Composer - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 1979 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

6
I Fail (The Graveyard)
00:02:11

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

7
Strain (The Graveyard)
00:02:28

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

8
All Night Party (The Ballroom)
00:03:37

Johnson, Composer - Moscrop, Composer - Kerr, Composer - Topping, Composer - A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer - Terrel, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

9
Oceans (The Ballroom)
00:03:55

A Certain Ratio, Composer, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

10
Choir (The Ballroom)
00:03:32

A Certain Ratio, Composer, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

11
The Fox (The Ballroom)
00:03:25

Simon Topping, Composer - Martin Moscrop, Composer - Donald Johnson, Composer - Jeremy Kerr, Composer - A Certain Ratio, Composer, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

12
Suspect (The Ballroom)
00:02:24

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

13
Flight (The Ballroom)
00:05:32

Simon Topping, Composer - Martin Moscrop, Composer - Donald Johnson, Composer - A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Pete Terrell, Composer - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

14
Genotype-Phenotype (The Ballroom)
00:03:33

A Certain Ratio, MainArtist - Jeremy Kerr | Martin Moscrop | Pete Terrell | Simon Topping | Donald Johnson, Composer

© 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited. ℗ 2017 A Certain Ratio under exclusive license to Mute Artists Limited.

Album Description

The angular, bass-heavy post-punk of A Certain Ratio could conceivably be compared to that of their Factory labelmates Joy Division (singer Simon Topping is a dead ringer vocally for Joy Division's Ian Curtis). One key difference is that A Certain Ratio has a more pronounced funk influence, which makes their music more danceable. Another difference is that Topping's lyrics, more abstract and even humorous (albeit in a dark, quirky way) are less dramatic than Curtis'. The Graveyard and the Ballroom, compiled from a collection of early four-track recordings and a set of live tracks, shows off A Certain Ratio's strengths well. The sound is surprisingly good for such lo-fi recordings, and the band is, for all of their musical amateurishness, rather precise and controlled. Unfortunately, that highlights a key flaw of the album: Too often, it is accomplished enough to be intriguing, but never all that gripping. By emphasizing rhythm over melody, A Certain Ratio makes music that is interesting and danceable, but not hugely compelling. It's mechanically well-played, with quirky, interesting lyrics that never really seem to add up to anything more than an attention-grabbing sound. Nonetheless, those seeking an idiosyncratic, interesting art-funk band can do no wrong with this release, even if it ultimately falls short of any meaning beyond quirky experimentalism.
© Victor W. Valdivia /TiVo

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