Athlete - Vehicles & Animals

Tuesday 1st July 2003
Athlete - Vehicles & Animals
Athlete - Vehicles & Animals

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Parlophone 5822912
RRP: £11.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings


Joel Pott and his three alt pop artisans may not give us songs about God but enigmatic fragmented tracks about the vagaries of the rock scene (“Westside”), last year’s race riots (“You Got The Style”) and in the spirit of the kings of British parochialism, the Kinks, day trips to Dungeness (“Dungeness”) with such dazzling demonstrations of the songwriter’s craft that only the most Pharisaic church-goer would condemn them for it. What adds hugely to Athlete’s appeal is attention-grabbing production and mixes by Victor Van Vugt with bursts of synth, dazzling programming and enough pro-tools wizardry to bring out every wistful note of Joel’s poignant vocals. Harmonies that come on like vintage Beach Boys, influences that clearly take in the Beta Band and Gomez, the band have still crafted one of the finest pop debuts this or any year. If you don’t swoon when the guys shout chorus! before roaring into the transcendent “Westside” or find the title track achingly hummable I’d suggest that left of centre pop rock is not your thing. But to this reviewer this is one of the best albums of the year, Christian or mainstream.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. El Salvador [Listen]
7. You Got The Style [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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