No Cities Left

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Murray Lightburn, "writer and director" for the Montreal collective the Dears' elegant vocal style, gets plenty of Morrissey comparisons -- and rightly so -- but the Mozz would never be caught delivering a line like "It's the same old plot to these things," from the electrifying "Lost in the Plot," in a full-on primal scream. Lightburn may be a hopeless romantic, but his Canadian version of wine-drunk British doom and gloom owes a great deal more to bands like the Auteurs and the London Suede. No Cities Left, the group's long-awaited follow-up to 2001's critically acclaimed End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, is a sweeping chamber pop nightmare of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Murray Lightburn, "writer and director" for the Montreal collective the Dears' elegant vocal style, gets plenty of Morrissey comparisons -- and rightly so -- but the Mozz would never be caught delivering a line like "It's the same old plot to these things," from the electrifying "Lost in the Plot," in a full-on primal scream. Lightburn may be a hopeless romantic, but his Canadian version of wine-drunk British doom and gloom owes a great deal more to bands like the Auteurs and the London Suede. No Cities Left, the group's long-awaited follow-up to 2001's critically acclaimed End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, is a sweeping chamber pop nightmare of post-apocalyptic heartbreak. Lightburn reluctantly visits the breakup "We Can Have It", the all-consuming grief "The Death of All Romance", false hopes of reconciliation "The Second Part", and finally, nerve-twitching acceptance "No Cities Left". All of this misery is wrapped in a mid-'80s Britpop wrapper that takes more twists and turns than the London paparazzi following Princess Di, resulting in a record that at its best sounds like a suicidal combination of Blur and the Divine Comedy -- "Never Destroy Us," the winsome duet with keyboardist Natalia Yanchak is a fine example. The problem is, the skies are eternally gray in the Dears' Great White North, and though they may have successfully wrapped the smoky fingers of cabaret around the throat of rock & roll, the listener can't help but go down with the sad-sack ship. It's both long and long-winded. But it's hard not to ultimately fall for No Cities Left, even though there's a lingering sense of emptiness that permeates the air above it. In fact, maybe that's what Lightburn's trying to say: that in the end, it's what you put into the moment that matters, even if it's a knife. [The Australian version of No Cities Left includes the bonus four-track Protest EP.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/12/2004
  • Label: Spin Art
  • UPC: 750078015726
  • Catalog Number: 157

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Dears Primary Artist
Sam Roberts Violin
Evan Cranley Trombone, Euphonium
Chris Seligman French Horn
George Donoso III Drums, Vocals, Hand Clapping
Matthew Watkins Trumpet
Murray Lightburn Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar, Maracas, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals, Melodica, Hand Clapping, fender rhodes
Martin Pelland Bass Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Hand Clapping
Natalia Yanchak Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals, Clavinet, Hand Clapping, fender rhodes
Heather Schnarr Violin
Josh Fuhrman Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Technical Credits
Brenndan McGuire Engineer
Noah Mintz Mastering
Murray Lightburn Composer, MIDI Programming
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    First Real CD I have listened to in 2005

    Yes he sounds like Morrissey occasionally but then again this man has such a range to his voice you will catch yourself thinking, "Hmmm that sounded like David Bowie for a minute". Songs are lovely, and melancholy, almost too English sounding to be from Canada.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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