Buzzle Bee

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Deborah Orr
The Age of Aquarius is ever a-dawning for Sean O'Hagan and co., as the sixth High Llamas album floats rapturously higher in the rarified atmospheres of giddy Euro film soundtracks. The High Llamas continue their evolution from Beach Boys-influenced song structures to serpentine, mostly instrumental Sunday drives, wending through frothy homages to '60s composers like Francis Lai. Most of the vocals are of the "la la la" variety, though actual lyrics do pop briefly into the songs. Harmonies featuring Stereolab's Mary Hansen predominate over O'Hagan's sung melodies. More so than on previous Llama trips, the arrangements are kept spare, with vintage electronics generating a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Deborah Orr
The Age of Aquarius is ever a-dawning for Sean O'Hagan and co., as the sixth High Llamas album floats rapturously higher in the rarified atmospheres of giddy Euro film soundtracks. The High Llamas continue their evolution from Beach Boys-influenced song structures to serpentine, mostly instrumental Sunday drives, wending through frothy homages to '60s composers like Francis Lai. Most of the vocals are of the "la la la" variety, though actual lyrics do pop briefly into the songs. Harmonies featuring Stereolab's Mary Hansen predominate over O'Hagan's sung melodies. More so than on previous Llama trips, the arrangements are kept spare, with vintage electronics generating a lighter-than-air feeling that the 5th Dimension would have envied. Belying the record's 39-minute running time a chunk taken up by the old Llama trick of repeating one bar endlessly at the end, the songs melt into one another, so the mind's-eye images of mini-skirted, kohl-eyed dancing stewardesses flow uninterrupted. Buzzle Bee is space-age shiny and streamlined, too cool for orch-poppy kid stuff but effervescent enough to mark a gradual shift from the Llamas' Bacharach/Wilson-worship of old.
All Music Guide - Christian Hoard
It's probably critical overkill to point out that the High Llamas are the prime inheritors of the lush soundscapes that Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach perfected each in his own way during the '60s and early '70s. On the other hand, it's also abundantly obvious that the English quartet never seems to tire of mining Bacharach's hits and Wilson's masterworks -- namely Pet Sounds and the SMiLE album -- for new ideas. Buzzle Bee might just be the group's most out-there production yet, as the Llamas churn out eight tracks full of gorgeous symphonic pop arrangements and aloof, lazy melodies that dart in and out of all kinds of studio tinkering. If this is, in fact, something Wilson and Bacharach would have made, they would have had to have made it while under the influence of some very potent psychedelics. Still, too much of it sounds like background buzz, the sort of stuff that Wilson rightly left on the cutting room floor during the Pet Sounds sessions. What would be really interesting is if these guys struck some sort of sitcom-worthy bargain with their heroes: the Llamas would teach Wilson and Bacharach to be hip, if those two would lend the Llamas some hooks.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/14/2000
  • Label: Drag City
  • UPC: 781484019121
  • Catalog Number: 191
  • Sales rank: 216,317

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Passing Bell (6:31)
  2. 2 Pat Mingus (4:25)
  3. 3 Get into the Galley Shop (4:38)
  4. 4 Switch Pavilion (4:28)
  5. 5 Tambourine Day (3:36)
  6. 6 Sleeping Spray (5:05)
  7. 7 New Broadway (5:11)
  8. 8 Bobby's Court (5:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The High Llamas Primary Artist
John Bennett Slide Guitar
Sean O'Hagan Band, Musician
Andy Ramsay Synthesizer
Rob Allum Band, Musician
Marcus Holdaway Band, Musician
Fulton Dingley electronics
John Telfer Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Kelsey Michael Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Dominic Murcott Marimbas, Vibes
Emma Carter Background Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Sean O'Hagan Composer
The High Llamas Arranger, Engineer
Fulton Dingley Engineer
Dominic Murcott Engineer
M2 Design Group Cover Design
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