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Those the Brokes

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All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
What does the Next Big Thing do in the age of the Internet, when their debut is praised beyond reason upon its release, but by the time they release their second album a year later, they've already faded from memory, replaced by a new sensation that truly did have some buzz on the internet? That's the question facing the Magic Numbers and their 2006 sophomore set, Those the Brokes, an album released just a shade later than a year after their eponymous debut, but for all the attention paid to it, it might as well have been released half a decade later. The debut was praised for being a sweet revival of the sun-kissed sounds of such breezy folk-pop bands as the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
What does the Next Big Thing do in the age of the Internet, when their debut is praised beyond reason upon its release, but by the time they release their second album a year later, they've already faded from memory, replaced by a new sensation that truly did have some buzz on the internet? That's the question facing the Magic Numbers and their 2006 sophomore set, Those the Brokes, an album released just a shade later than a year after their eponymous debut, but for all the attention paid to it, it might as well have been released half a decade later. The debut was praised for being a sweet revival of the sun-kissed sounds of such breezy folk-pop bands as the Mamas & the Papas, a breath of fresh air, something that sounded like nothing else out there. The problem with being celebrated for being out of fashion is that when the fashions move on and you don't, you're left behind wondering why everybody has changed -- and that's what's happened with the Magic Numbers. Times have changed but they haven't, at least not enough for restless listeners on the prowl for something new, which Those the Brokes doesn't offer enough of to satisfy those listeners. Not that the Magic Numbers have served up an identical album here -- in fact, Those the Brokes is a looser, livelier album than its predecessor, significantly less cloying and precious than the debut. Which isn't to say that Romeo Stodart, his sister, and their friends have suddenly grown a pair: this is still sweet and gentle, lacking the sly wit and sinew that keeps Belle & Sebastian from descending into an icky twee abyss. But the Magic Numbers do try to stretch out like Belle here, trimming away the folk, amping up the pop hooks, and even drifting into white soul on numbers like "Undeclared." All of this is a welcome development and makes Those the Brokes a richer listen, even if it is a bit more ragged. It never quite sustains the mood the way the debut did, but taken as individual songs, this is often more appealing, although it takes a bit of time and effort for these distinctions to sink in, since they are subtle. And since the things that keep the Magic Numbers from a wider audience haven't changed -- Romeo's voice is still thin and reedy, they're still the wimpiest band in eons -- they're left struggling, potentially losing a chunk of their audience when they're actually turning into a better, more interesting band.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/17/2007
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • UPC: 094638234524
  • Catalog Number: 82345

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 This Is a Song (5:21)
  2. 2 You Never Had It (2:58)
  3. 3 Take a Chance (3:34)
  4. 4 Boy (4:01)
  5. 5 Undecided (6:37)
  6. 6 Slow Down (The Way It Goes) (6:56)
  7. 7 Keep It in the Pocket (4:22)
  8. 8 Take Me or Leave Me (4:41)
  9. 9 Let Someday In (3:33)
  10. 10 Runnin' Out (5:01)
  11. 11 Goodnight (14:07)
  12. 12 All I See (4:10)
  13. 13 Goodnight (9:29)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Magic Numbers Primary Artist
Gini Ball Violin
Dinah Beamish Cello
Calina de la Mare Violin
Julia Singleton Violin, Leader
Claire Orsler Viola
Rhodri Davies Harp
Ian Burdge Cello
Brian G. Wright Violin
Angharad Davies Violin
Barnaby Dickinson Brass
Romeo Stodart Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Angela Gannon Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals, Melodica
Michele Stodart Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
Sean Gannon Drums
Technical Credits
Robert Kirby Orchestration, String Arrangements, Strings Orchestrator
Danny Clinch Cover Photo
Miles Showell Mastering
Julia Singleton Engineer
Richard Wilkinson Producer, Engineer
Barnaby Dickinson Brass Band
The Magic Numbers Composer
Romeo Stodart Composer, Producer
Serge Krebs Engineer
Michele Stodart Composer, Producer
Daniel Parry Engineer
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