Underachievers Please Try Harder

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Camera Obscura has no doubt worn out their copy of If You're Feeling Sinister by now. Yes, their fellow Glasgow residents Belle & Sebastian are a huge influence on the group as the two share a similar musical sound, a similarly literate lyrical slant, and a similar overall approach. Look at it as a homage or a coincidence or whatever you like, but be sure to look past the surface because what you will find is enough to charm your socks off. Underachievers Please Try Harder is a stunningly unassuming, tender, sweet, melodic, and memorable record. Tracyanne Campbell's vocals are pure and honeyed, never veering into sappiness or out of tune. The band manages the rare feat ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
Camera Obscura has no doubt worn out their copy of If You're Feeling Sinister by now. Yes, their fellow Glasgow residents Belle & Sebastian are a huge influence on the group as the two share a similar musical sound, a similarly literate lyrical slant, and a similar overall approach. Look at it as a homage or a coincidence or whatever you like, but be sure to look past the surface because what you will find is enough to charm your socks off. Underachievers Please Try Harder is a stunningly unassuming, tender, sweet, melodic, and memorable record. Tracyanne Campbell's vocals are pure and honeyed, never veering into sappiness or out of tune. The band manages the rare feat of sounding full and rich without jamming every possible frequency with sound. It also throws in loads of imaginative little hooks that keep things lively. The songwriting is very nice, occasionally reaching the level of their idols' work. "A Sisters Social Agony" is angelic doo wop with lovely tinkling bells, "Teenager" is a sparse ballad with wonderfully cutting lyrics, and the quietly epic "Books Written for Girls" features Campbell's most aching vocal and sounds like the best track Everything But the Girl never recorded. Elsewhere the band takes trips into country "Before You Cry" with co-lead vocals by John Henderson and Campbell, acoustic folk balladry "Your Picture", and good old indie pop the driving "Number One Son" while never failing to achieve anything less than excellence. A necessary addition to the collection of Belle & Sebastian fans, indie pop fans, and music lovers, Underachievers Please Try Harder is an early contender for a best-of-2004 list. [The Merge release contains two tracks that the original Elefant release did not "I Don't Want to See You" and "Footloose and Fancy Free" and a video for "Teenager."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/4/2008
  • Label: Merge Records
  • UPC: 673855023915
  • Catalog Number: 50239
  • Sales rank: 42,241

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Camera Obscura Primary Artist
John Henderson Percussion, Vocals
Geoff Allan Percussion, Stylophone
Nigel Baillie Trumpet
Tracyanne Campbell Guitar, Vocals
Gavin Dunbar Bass
Kenny McKeeve Guitar, Harmonica, Mandolin, Vocals
Carey Lander Organ, Piano, Vocals
Lee Thomson Drums
Technical Credits
Frank Arkwright Mastering
Geoff Allan Producer, Engineer
Camera Obscura Producer
Carey Lander String Arrangements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully Put

    This album is beautifully written and composed of songs that remind you of how hopeless love is and how wonderful it is at the same time. Kind of like Belle and Sebastian. With clever lyrics like "how about i send you a book in nutrition just stop spoon feeding me non-fiction" you will find yourself wishing you had written them. The tracks "Knee Deep at the NPL (national pop league) and "I dont want to see you" near the end will have you begging for more Camera Obscura.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews