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

A LITTLE MAN AND A HOUSE AND THE WHOLE WORLD WINDOW

Cardiacs

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.27 | 178 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

frippism
5 stars I'm such an insane Cardiacs fanboy, that I'm starting to feel bad that I give everything 5 stars (well 3 out of 5, the other two are a 4 star review, anyway high scores). But what can I do? It's not my fault they are so brilliant and out of their minds. It's not my fault that when you listen to them the universe makes sense by making absolutely no sense, and listening to their music makes you understand how the brain works better than any professor. Their melodies have soul. They literally have a soul. Not James Brown soul. They have their strange spirit. It's like the melodies were meant to be the musical standard in the world, like they were supposed to be the expected chord progressions and derivative lines, because they are so very harmonically perfect, yet nobody uses these chord progressions. So really, is it my fault that they are more or less (leaning to the more) the best band to have risen, at very least in the 20th century, no, it's not my fault! So stop blaming me... jerks.

"A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window" is a majestically beautiful, fun and intelligent album, that it just makes perfect sense. Every time you listen to it, like every time, you have this unbelievable happiness exploding out of your ears, that for me it's hard not to like. Their hyper musical passages, interlocked with avant-garde beauty, new wave post- punk fun, just seem to be the perfect mix. The time changes aren't there because they're like ooooo check it out it's 13/8 (I'm guilty in that retrospect) but because the time changes make perfect sense. Cardiacs ARE NOT a prog band, they are Cardiacs, and the prog elements in Cardiacs are there because their heads work in a way so genius that they at times need to use these prog elements, because as I said, they just make sense.

So what about the songs? Come on! Of course they're all absolutely fantastic it's a shame to waste words really, but I will on a few. The opener "A Little Man And A House" starts with beautiful violin sections. And just sections into Tim Smith's ever so dashing vocals, it just slips you into this universe where it's Cardiacs a-clock and all is well (eh? eh?). "In A City Lining" is just so damn perfect, transversing through moods and sound scape so quickly and so beautifully it's so very hard to hate. "I'm Eating In Bed" really makes you skip around randomly. "Is This The Life?"- Cardiacs' biggest hit to date (and possibly ever). Beautiful post-punk song, with great lyrics, a great guitar solo (quite a surprise from Tim Smith who was never a showy guitarist). Deservedly a Top 10 hit in the British indie charts (not saying much, but saying something). It's a great song which definitely can fit the indie category. "The Icing On The World" has such beautiful drum effects, and great keyboards by Mr. William D. Drake. "The Breakfast Line" is probably my favorite, just so weird and magical, and has such an epic finish, that you'll be banging your head in many different time signatures. "R.E.S."! Pure classic Cardiacs song, probably most popular in the Cardiacs community. Fun main keyboard melody which later evolves into, and I mean it, the best instrumental section probably of all time. Then Tim gives another great guitar solo (learned it on bass, should do a cover). Considering with that, that R.E.S. was also on their first album "The Seaside" (review to that will happen), well I don't know what it considers. This song's perfect. It is re-recorded, but the versions are similar, and it's hard to pick a better version. The ending "The Whole World Window", is just so very beautiful, you'd feel like punching them for writing something so very beautiful, it really isn't very fair! It has this beautiful closing feeling to it, which again restores everything in the universe to place.

The musicianship is all top-notch. Tim and Jim Smith, the only constant members in Cardiacs for 30 years, are their usual epic selves. Tim's best guitar work is probably most dominant here than on any other album , with the solos, the insanely fast riffs. His vocals are so very British, and so pretty. Though I do like his vocals better in "Sing To God". Jim bass is still beautifully melodic, yet punchy and accurate at the same time. His syncopation with drummer Dominic Luckman, gives the Cardiacs the oomph they so very wonderfully possess. Sarah Smith's sax, is wonderful and emotional. The lines many time are very powerful. William D. Drake is probably the most genius pianist/ keyboard player ever. His lines speak, and you really just have to listen to it to understand. And his technique is impeccable. Tim Quy, multi- instrumentalists, adds to the fun in the most important times, and to say you can constantly understand his job in the band is hard, but when the spotlight's on him, he shines, and does so delightfully.

To say that Cardiacs are the best band in the world would be... true. But with that, it's not for everyone. If you don't want to branch out than this album's not for you. But if you come ready to have your mind blown, than step right up. And if you like them, you love them, and if you dislike them, you hate them. And that's also their beauty. They are so very special and different, that you have solely to trust what your very basic likings were in the very beginning. You can't say they sound a bit like X who I like, and so I like them. And so listen, and listen longly, but for those who like them it will be love at first sight. Those who don't like them, you better listen to them some more (Me? A hypocrite? You guys really are jerks!).

frippism | 5/5 |

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