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The Music: self-titled

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if you like this you'll like: Led Zeppelin, The Verve, Kula Shaker

REVIEW: The Music: self-titled
3.2.2003 by Matthew

The Music: self-titled [Capitol Records, 2003]

Three words? Feel the Music

Their name will undoubtedly inspire countless unwitting Abbott & Costello routines ("I love the Music." "Whose music?" "The Music." "Yes. Who?" "No, not the Who, the Music." And so on...). The fact that the British press is drooling all over The Music is almost certain to doom them in the eyes of most people on this side of the Atlantic. The band is at least as well known for the fact the lead singer dances like someone who's had 2 tabs of ecstasy for breakfast, as they are for their tunes.

These are all the band things I can think to say about The Music; note that none of those things has anything to do with the, er, music. This is because the band ("The Band?" "No! The Music!") has come up with a debut album that hearkens back to the days when men were men (albeit with long, flowing hair and make-up), pants were bellbottoms, and seafood was just as acceptable in the bedroom as it was on the dinner-table. Clearly, this album owes a huge debt of gratitude to the 1970s in general, and Led Zeppelin in particular. Lead singer Robert Harvey has, as one of my friends put it, a voice like the pipes of God; one listen to songs like "The Truth Is No Words," and you understand that he doesn't just sing, he belts. Similarly, the music isn't just played, it's thundered (listen to "Take The Long Road And Walk It" for just one example). It's an approach that hasn't really been taken by many bands in the last 25 years or so, but it becomes The Music very well. Of course, if they were just '70s retreads, they wouldn't be worth investigating. What makes the group truly unique is the fact that they sound like Led Zeppelin probably would've sounded had Plant and Page grown up in an era where electronica was so pervasive. Songs like "The People" and "Getaway" are definitely rock songs - and couldn't be classified as anything else - but at the same time they groove in a way that suggests a huge big-beat influence. In other words, this album would sound great in a huge stadium, regardless of whether what was going on was a concert or a rave.

The kind folks at Capitol Records were even good enough to make the album enhanced, and threw on some live concert footage of the band - perhaps so that you, the home listener, can learn to dance like Robert Harvey. That, however, will almost inevitably lead to the pulling or tearing of something. Luckily, as you writhe on the ground in pain, the Music will provide you with some pretty damn fine tunes. May there be much more to follow!

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