Beet, Maize & Corn

Beet, Maize & Corn

by The High Llamas
     
 

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The High Llamas are not a band that has ever put a lot of stock in change. They have charted a course that has remained steadfastly true to their intentions of rechanneling late-'60s Beach Boys records through a filter of Steely Dan-styled soft rock and electronic cleverness. Each record since the brilliant…  See more details below

Overview

The High Llamas are not a band that has ever put a lot of stock in change. They have charted a course that has remained steadfastly true to their intentions of rechanneling late-'60s Beach Boys records through a filter of Steely Dan-styled soft rock and electronic cleverness. Each record since the brilliant Gideon Gaye has been a near carbon copy of the last, an enjoyable copy but still nothing that different. That being said, their seventh album does represent a rather dramatic shift in the High Llamas' sound. Practically gone are electric guitars and synthesizers; in their place are gently strummed acoustic guitars and lush orchestral string and horn arrangements. Songs like "High on the Chalk" and "The Holly Hills" go so far as to dispense with guitars and drums altogether. In fact, only a couple of songs have drums, and they are firmly pushed to the background. The organic sounds give the record a newfound sense of poignancy and grace. They are still unflinchingly clever, but cleverness is no longer the best thing they have going for them. Sean O'Hagan's vocals have never sounded better or more resonant, and he surrounds them with clouds of breathtaking background harmonies (one of the singers is Mary Hansen, who was tragically killed late in 2002). The entire record is overflowing with pastoral beauty that reaches a climax at the end of the record with the one-two heart punch of the truly wonderful instrumental "Monnie" and the sad and majestic ballad "The Walworth River." Beet, Maize & Corn is a dramatic reinvention of the High Llamas; anyone who had written them off as a one-trick pony had better get working on a new edition because that book is dead wrong.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/07/2003
Label:
Drag City
UPC:
0781484021124
catalogNumber:
211
Rank:
148673

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

High Llamas   Primary Artist
Ellen Blair   Violin,Viola
Mary Hansen   Vocals
Sally Herbert   Violin
Sean O'Hagan   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Synthesizer Banjo,Guitar (Electric Baritone),Guitar (Nylon String)
Rob Allum   Percussion,Drums
Andy Robinson   Trombone
Marcus Holdaway   Cello,Vocals,Piano (Upright)
Mark Bassey   Trombone
Kelsey Michael   Vocals
Dominic Murcott   Vibes
Colin Crawley   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Brian G. Wright   Violin
Pete Aves   Banjo,Electric Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Sean O'Hagan   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Marcus Holdaway   String Arrangements
Fulton Dingley   Producer,Engineer
Mark Bassey   Brass Arrangment
Jeremy Glogan   Paintings
Sean O'Hagen   Producer

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