Album Review

Cardiacs – “A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window” – [Alphabet Business Concern, The]

abacus   12/7/2011   12-inch, A Library

Think taking tea in your Royal Guard outfit while riding a unicycle way too fast through a carnival playhouse…and you’ll start to understand this high-energy, playful prog-pop from 80’s UK group The Cardiacs. This music is loaded with unpredictable stop-start changes blending genres from punk to psychedelia to medieval folk and pompous anthems but always staying firmly rooted to their prog-rock sensibilities. Lyrics are allusively poetic and philosophical, projected with a frantic, childlike energy. They adopt a surrealist pantomime of the traditional rock band format and place it within a framework that is symphonic in scope, complete with separate movements within each fast-moving track. Released at the height of their career in 1988, this is their 4th studio album??and is arguably the best known due to the presence of their only hit single “Is this the Life” (my least favorite of course). This band is fiercely independent and absurdly complex yet charmingly accessible. Renowned for their theatrical, carnivalesque performances, revered by their followers and shunned by critics. This is a piece of history indeed!

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