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Reviews Tin Planet - 1998 - Label Online ArchiveMoog Droog
LADIES and gentlemen, we are floating in Space. And what do you find there? A tin planet, peopled by avenging angels, the unluckiest man in the world, piggies, disco Dolly, Tom Jones...and with "a liddle biddy help from Elvis". Yes, a cast of thousands dominates Space's second album - each one with their own signature tune and big number.
The band have a good track record for singles with diverse, esoteric sounds, and this album is, as the cover implies, a toy box full of looney toons and merrie melodies. The camp theatricality of "Avenging Angels" and "Tom Jones" (both stand-out tracks) is continued with the opening "Begin Again", a Eartha Kitt meets Carmen Miranda torch-song. Similarly, "there's West Side Story-style swing shenanigans on "There's No You" and "The Unluckiest Man In The World" features the kind of Broadway-esque bombastic grandeur once favoured by the likes of ABC.
"Tin Planet"s eccentric mood swings range from calypso vocals on "Be There", a fantastically authentic '70s disco instrumental "The Man" to the Aqua-meets-Buzzcocks "Disco Dolly" (every bit as daft as the title suggests!)
Ultimately, whilst being immense fun to listen to, there's very little of substance, and the two most effective songs are the least affected - "1 O'Clock"'s perfect pop (with a slight flamenco twist) and "Bad Days", a gentle, moving ballad with a touch of Divine Comedy whimsy and pathos. In spite of the album's diversity, the only obvious 'single-to-be' in the same league as its predecessors is "A Liddle Biddly Help From Elvis", thematically along the lines of "You And Me Vs The World" but with a definite "True Romance" influence, and musically as big as the burger King himself.
In summary? "Tin Machine, Tin Machine, take me anywhere..."
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