Beams

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Erik Leijon
The Presets' first full-length record differs slightly from their more happy-go-lucky Aussie dance compatriots, mostly for aesthetic reasons. The detached nature of Beams is more about subtle darkness and underlying sinister intentions, as evidenced on the slow-building opener, "Steamworks" -- which begins with the bassline from "Billie Jean" and moves into much more explosive sonic territory (and a rave horn for good measure). Beams represents a uneasy yet unforgettable combination of '80s gaudy pop flair and dark, propulsive rave beats, all with an unsubtle sense of humor. Borrowing nothing from their timid Blow Up EP (most of the songs from that release have been since ...
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18/04/2006 Audio CD Used-Good Fast delivery with shipping on the same day from our warehouse in the UK. A fantastic item in good or better condition. Other items in our Alibris ... Store include books, CD's, DVD's and games. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Erik Leijon
The Presets' first full-length record differs slightly from their more happy-go-lucky Aussie dance compatriots, mostly for aesthetic reasons. The detached nature of Beams is more about subtle darkness and underlying sinister intentions, as evidenced on the slow-building opener, "Steamworks" -- which begins with the bassline from "Billie Jean" and moves into much more explosive sonic territory (and a rave horn for good measure). Beams represents a uneasy yet unforgettable combination of '80s gaudy pop flair and dark, propulsive rave beats, all with an unsubtle sense of humor. Borrowing nothing from their timid Blow Up EP (most of the songs from that release have been since adapted in live shows to sound more similar to Beams), the Presets have an impulsive, almost primitive charm to their dance music. With heavy bass throughout, keyboardist/vocalist Julian Hamilton experiments with heavy distortion and vocal alterations. On the wild electro-pop treat "Down Down Down," the group keeps to the song's namesake and effortlessly weaves in and out of looped tambourine percussion and dirty synth beats. The middle section is surprisingly experimental given the concise pop of "Are You the One?," "Down Down Down," and the minimalist, winsome cool of "The Girl and the Sea" (it's the only time Hamilton shows some true restraint in his singing, and it gives the song a mysterious edge throughout). "Worms" plods along to a wince-inducing squelching keyboard loop and doesn't feel like anything more than an unrealized experiment. "Kitty in the Middle" contains more hyper-sexual lyrics and whip sounds, and is saved by its simple and funky bassline. The best moment on the latter half is the rave-inspired sped-up/slow-down shifting on "I Go Hard, I Go Home," benefiting from the same wobbly vocal effect used on Tommy James & the Shondelles' "Crimson and Clover." Either heralded for its effectiveness or denigrated for its stupidity, the double-entendre heavy sexual lyrics sung by Hamilton would be a distraction if not for his ability to blend his call-and-answer shouting with the music so surreptitiously. Despite the darker tone, Beams is still a dance album at heart -- and a carnal one at that -- thereby making his mechanical yelping the ideal background noise.
The Guardian - John Burgess
There is much to enjoy here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2006
  • Label: Modular Interscope
  • UPC: 898926000392
  • Catalog Number: 39

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Steamworks (4:36)
  2. 2 Are You the One? (3:24)
  3. 3 Down Down Down (3:16)
  4. 4 Girl and the Sea (4:45)
  5. 5 Black Background (1:39)
  6. 6 Worms (3:59)
  7. 7 Kitty in the Middle (2:42)
  8. 8 Hill Stuck (1:47)
  9. 9 Girl (You Chew My Mind Up) (3:52)
  10. 10 I Go Hard, I Go Home (5:04)
  11. 11 Bad Up Your Betterness (4:11)
  12. 12 Beams (6:16)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Presets Primary Artist
Matthew Watson Violin
Veronique Serret Violin
Kim Moyes Group Member
Julian Hamilton Group Member
Felix Bloxsom Drums
Technical Credits
J. Hamilton Composer
Jonathan Zawada Art Direction
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