Tuesday, May 3, 2011


With a name like 'Pride' you expect something massively gay. What 'Pride' deliver is twee, jangly, Dan Fogelberg tinged blancmange... But it isn't particularly homosexual.

The reason for my listening to this album is mainly that it appeared on a 'beat head' acquaintance's 'want's' list and I decided to investigate. You know the type, flat-rimmed baseball cap, a vocabulary awash with Americanisms and an unhealthy knowledge of which track was sampled for which Hip Hop track and when. This in mind I shouldn't really be that surprised when it turned out to be not massively impressive.

Albums usually fall onto such lists because of a couple of drum fills or breaks, at best they are held up by a couple of half-decent tracks, one of which nearly always features that all important sound or instrument of the moment be it Fender Rhodes, fuzz guitar, Moog or the accordion.

Anyway, my point is that people become obsessed with these records for portions that they can dissect, play over, possibly loop and re-invent. The original body of the album cast aside, forgotten about and left un-played.

This however may not be the case with 'Pride'. Despite many of the tracks having some oh so tired 'break beat' or other rumbling along in the background there isn't really a stand out. Many of the songs are quite pleasant and the breezy and so laid-back it's horizontal sound that 'Pride' create is very listenable, if not over-inspiring.

It was produced by David Axelrod, the man behind The Electric Prunes always interesting soundtrack to a Christian Cult period ('Mass in F Minor' and 'Release of an Oath'). Sadly none of the stylings that made both of those records so catchy despite of their Xian content appear to have been employed here. It lacks quirk, it's mono-tonal, over sunshiny. I mean I can listen to it, I am listening to it now but it might as well be the soundtrack to a retirement home picnic.

Pride sound a bit like somebody has sucked all of the drugs, excitement and danger out of The Byrds with some kind of purpose-built soul vacuum-cleaner and instead replaced it with sand, sand and maybe a couple of shiny marbles. In fact I would go as far as to say that if ever there was an archetypal 5/10 record, this is it.

...5 1/2 if they said the word 'cunt' once in a while.

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