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Cardiacs - A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window CD (album) cover





4.29 | 304 ratings

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4 stars CARDIACS deliver music that is both challenging and plain good fun, and their albums are of a consistently high standard. This, their second album (excluding a few early limited cassette releases), is typical CARDIACS.

Right from the start we are thrown blindfolded into the zany world of the CARDIACS. The opener (A Little Man and a House) and closer (The Whole World Window) to this album - the two parts of the album title - are imposing, heavyweight compositions with sustained notes and progressive atmospheres, keyboard driven and without TIM SMITH's voice dominating proceedings. In between, however, are some of the band's most impressive work: the surprisingly commercial, new wave 'Is This The Life?', the tempo-changing 'In a City Lining', where the change to 3/4 time is hilarious and very effective, only to give way to what sounds suspiciously like a ska beat - oh boy, this lot mix it up, and unlike most experimental bands, they actually make great music. 'Dive' and 'R.E.S' further extend the bounds of credulity with their sax blarts and carnival keyboards, the stop-start rhythms and the outrageous vocals. The nearest reference I can offer is that a number of these songs sound like early SPLIT ENZ, though CARDIACS are more polished.

To my mind this album doesn't have the depth of their three great albums ('On Land and In The Sea', 'Sing To God' and 'Songs for Ships and Irons') but it's not far behind.

russellk | 4/5 |


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