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Lemon Jelly '64 - '95 Review

Album. Released 2005.  

BBC Review

Digging deep in to their crates the Jelly have found 9 obscure samples from records...

Simon Fernand 2002

Many magic moons ago Lemon Jelly released a 7" single entitled of "Soft Rock". This was their re-working of the 1976 classic from Chicago, "If You Leave Me Now". This proved to be a huge success and the single immediately became a collectors item.

With the release of their third installment they have taken this formula a stage further. Digging deep in to their crates Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen have found 9 obscure samples from records released between the years 1964-1995 and have subsequently built their songs around them.

Given the album's remit the effects here are mixed. Those expecting the laid back groove of the last two records might be shocked by the brash beats and electric guitars of opener "Come Down on Me". This change in direction is indicative of the record as a whole. In parts it's still unmistakably Lemon Jelly.

In fact tracks like "Only Time" and "Make Things Right" would sit quite comfortably alongside anything the boys have released so far. But there's a darker side to '64 - '95 that's quite unlike anything we've come to know from them.

Whether it's their take on rock ("The Shouty Track") or the oddly soporific "Don't Stop Now" which samples Atlantic Ocean's 1993 house anthem "Waterfall", this album clearly demonstrates Nick and Fred's desire to break the typical 'Jelly' mould.

In some cases this has definitely paid off - "Stay With You" is a stand out moment and the final track "Go" sounds a bit like "Return to Patagonia" except that it features William Shatner providing his, ahem, unique vocals. But then, nearly five minutes into the song, out of nowhere, the distorted guitars burst into life, and the song turns into something akin to Muse covering Led Zep. It's all a bit odd, but it does leave you gasping for more.

'64 - '95 is an interesting record. Sure, it's far from perfect (although the packaging is beautiful as ever), and could even be called patchy in parts, but these fellas have been brave enough to take some chances. Rather than becoming set in their ways Lemon Jelly have shown that they are more than a one-trick pony.

Reviwer: Simon Fernand

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