Milltown Brothers - Rubberband
Rubberband was originally issued on CD in 2004, but this issue comes from 2006 by available-only-on-download and contains fifteen more tracks than the original release. That's more than twice the number of releases on the original and double the playing time. And for below the price of a regular CD, apart from anything else, this has got to be considered as good value for money. Apart from anything else, some of the strongest tracks on the download album are those which did not appear on the original hard copy.
The album itself pretty much continues where the band left off. If you like the Milltown Brothers, that's fine: if not you may wonder what has been the point. They have kept their jangle pop style pretty much intact and the album is full of up-tempo cheery songs, like "Cloud Nine" which characterised much of their earlier output. Similarly, there are the occasional grittier, harder edged songs, such as "Wide Open", in my view the best track on the album, which crack along the pace. Indeed, "Wide Open draws the closest to any track on the album of matching Valve's highlight track, the epic-anthemic and uplifting "Cool Breeze". They even find time to bring both the tempo and the mood down with "Outskirts of Newmarket", a miserablist track about the futility of modern life and the limited horizons we still possess.
Yet in spite of all the plusses mentioned above, the album in some way disappoints. Rubberband hearkens back to their debut album, Slinky, rather than to Valve. In that sense it represents a step down. Having said that, Valve was always going to be a hard, if not impossible act to follow. As one my all time favourite albums, I felt at the time it was good to bow out on a high note. Now they have returned with this one, I am not so sure they have achieved what they set out to do.
Yet above it all, the truth is, the Milltown Brothers have not moved on in those ten years. This is a band which have emerged from a musical cryogenic chamber and are playing the same sort of music as they did a decade ago. Now I am never one to turn down a bit of nostalgia, and this is welcome in that regard. Perhaps they thought that they were ahead of their time and if they produced an album like their last, they would gain the critical acclaim they missed out on in 1994. If that was the case they failed. This is a retro album, an album which belongs in the nineties. Don't get me wrong, it is still good, but the Milltown Brothers are offering nothing new here, just good memories and a reminder of how great they once were.
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on 2011-04-28 CharlesMartel Said:
For someone who likes music in hard form, this is the only download album I possess. But it is certainly worth it.