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Cardiacs -  Songs For Ships And Irons CD (album) cover





4.21 | 90 ratings

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4 stars Yet another wonderful Cardiacs album, well sort of album, and almost completely wonderful, but not entirely. This is actually a collection of EPs put together as a whole album, but the album feels more or less connected. There's is of course still the Sea and aquatic theme to the album as with their first (The Seaside), and third albums (On Land And In The Sea), and this album many times make you truly feel like your a pirate.

The album starts amazingly with the huge "Big Ship". This absolute monster of a track is beautiful, energetic, and has a huge chorus which can drive you to tears. One of the Cardiacs' best outings. The follow up "Tarred And Feathered" is just as good! Insanely quirky and hyper bit which can cause several types of seizures at the same time. "Stoneage Dinosaur" is sort of ballad, which is weird for Cardiacs, but is still a typical Cardiacs song, which means it's amazing. Things get troublesome with "Everything Is Easy!" and "All Spectacular". "Everything Is Easy!" has a reputation of not being great, which it isn't, though it isn't horrible, not even close. The thing is a bit to poppish though. My problem is with "All Spectacular", which is probably the weakest Cardiacs song, ever. It's not bad either, of course, but it really just feels like a huge filler (although it's 3 minutes long and the album is a collection of EPs, which I still can't push myself to find as an excuse). "All Spectacular" is dull and rather derivative, with a weak chorus. Probably Cardiacs' low point. Except these two all the other songs are masterpieces! Especially the last two ones "Loosefish Scapegrace" and "All His Geese Are Swans!" are the two longest tracks and probably the best. "Loosefish Scapegrace" starts absolutely beautifully and blossoms into another wonderful track. "All His Geese..." is a special for Cardiacs, being an instrumental. It's probably one of the best Cardiacs songs of all time. I find myself constantly humming it.

Overall, each band has a few low moments, and Cardiacs don't have many of those. If "Everything is Easy!" and "All Spectacular" would have been taken off, this album would probably be the best Cardiacs album. So still a definite seal of approval by me. I give it a 4.25.

Bassist Critique: Jim Smith playing here is great as always, but I find it a bit lacking on this album. On this album for the most part the either play the main melody or give a strong backbone to the songs, which is fine, but from Jim I expected lines a bit more memorable. The exception is "All His Geese..." where there certain parts where Jim definitely shines.

frippism | 4/5 |


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