A Map of the Floating City

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Largely absent from the music scene since 1992's Astronauts & Heretics, '80s synth pop pioneer Thomas Dolby appears to be making up for lost time with his fifth effort, A Map of the Floating City, a rather ambitious concept album released in conjunction with a same-name video game based on a dystopian vision of the 1940s. Continuing his maverick reputation, this multimedia approach isn't the only novel method Dolby has used to stage his comeback, as aside from recording its 11 tracks in a converted lifeboat at his North Sea beach house, the album has also already been leaked to fan club members over three EPs self-described as a "three-part travelogue across three ...
See more details below
CD (Jewel Case)
$13.54
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$15.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (1) from $6.99   
  • Used (1) from $6.99   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
Largely absent from the music scene since 1992's Astronauts & Heretics, '80s synth pop pioneer Thomas Dolby appears to be making up for lost time with his fifth effort, A Map of the Floating City, a rather ambitious concept album released in conjunction with a same-name video game based on a dystopian vision of the 1940s. Continuing his maverick reputation, this multimedia approach isn't the only novel method Dolby has used to stage his comeback, as aside from recording its 11 tracks in a converted lifeboat at his North Sea beach house, the album has also already been leaked to fan club members over three EPs self-described as a "three-part travelogue across three imaginary continents," Urbanoia, Amerikana, and Oceanea. It's a shame, then, that the music seems so antiquated when compared to its revolutionary release strategy. Indeed, it's hard to believe that an artist synonymous with pushing forward the boundaries of electronica would serve up something as limp and tinny as "Spice Train," whose synthetic brass stabs and retro arcade sound effects suggest Dolby was perhaps spending a little too much time on his other labor of love. Elsewhere, Regina Spektor is wasted in her role as an East European waitress on the muted proggy techno-pop of "Evil Twin Brother," "Nothing New Under the Sun" sounds like a Prefab Sprout B-side, and "To the Lifeboats" is a messy fusion of lounge pop and reverb-laden art rock that suggests Dolby could have done with someone to rein in his slightly self-indulgent tendencies. Surprisingly, it's the more stripped-back middle section that manages to claw back some respectability. "Road to Reno" is a jaunty country-folk-pop tale of two jailbreak lovers that best showcases his humorous way with words; the bossa nova beats, bittersweet melodies, and gentle sax riffs of "A Jealous Thing Called Love" recall Bryan Ferry at his most swooning; while the plucked banjos, breezy folk violins, and convincing Midwest accents on "The Toad Lickers" help produce an irresistibly catchy slice of "yee-haw" bluegrass. After such a lengthy time away, it's admirable that Dolby has returned with such a bold and difficult-to-pigeonhole record, but with its disappointingly flat production, A Map of the Floating City fails to make the most of its abundance of ideas.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/2011
  • Label: Lost Toy Records
  • UPC: 634457552623
  • Catalog Number: 1
  • Sales rank: 56,702

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nothing New Under the Sun (4:34)
  2. 2 Spice Train (5:06)
  3. 3 Evil Twin Brother - Regina Spektor (5:25)
  4. 4 A Jealous Thing Called Love (4:25)
  5. 5 Road To Reno (3:57)
  6. 6 The Toad Lickers - Imogen Heap (4:20)
  7. 7 17 Hills - Natalie MacMaster (7:38)
  8. 8 Love is a Loaded Pistol (2:54)
  9. 9 Oceanea - Eddi Reader (4:27)
  10. 10 Simone (5:54)
  11. 11 To the Lifeboats (3:36)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Thomas Dolby Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, Sampling
Kevin Armstrong Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Adele Bertei Background Vocals
Eddi Reader Vocals, Guest Appearance
Lyndon Connah Background Vocals
Pedro Eustache Duduk
Nic France Drums
Liam Genockey Percussion, Drums
Bruce Kaphan Pedal Steel Guitar
Mark Knopfler Guitar
Neill MacColl Acoustic Guitar
Pat Mastelotto Drums
Chucho Merchán Acoustic Bass
Kevin Robinson Trumpet
Matthew Seligman Bass, 6-string Electric Bass
Bruce Woolley Theremin, Background Vocals
Natalie MacMaster Fiddle
Geoff Grange Harmonica
Dorothy Lawson Cello
John Parricelli Acoustic Guitar
Imogen Heap Jaw Harp
Cornelius Dufallo Violin
Ralph Farris Viola
Adam Theis Trombone
Jason Paige Vocals, Guest Appearance
Regina Spektor Voiceover
Mary L. Rowell Violin
The Jazz Mafia Horns Bass
Bosco De Oliveira Percussion
Ethel Strings
Rich Armstrong Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Joe Cohen Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Crackers Accordion
Jeffrey Wash Fretless Bass Guitar
Nat Martin Rhythm Guitar
Nicki Wells Background Vocals
Mat Hector Drums
Kathleen Beller Handwriting
Frances Shelley Background Vocals
Barbara Ann Spencer Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Thomas Dolby Composer, Producer, String Arrangements
Simon Heyworth Mastering
Dorothy Lawson Orchestration, String Arrangements
Ralph Farris Orchestration
Paul Sizer Graphic Design
Richard Skidmore Cover Photo
Kathleen Beller Artwork, Drawing
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously