The Spinners

Tales from Turnpike House (Saint Etienne, 2005)

In Alternative Rock, British, Synthpop, Thor Balanon on January 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Short stories in light synth-pop, Saint Etienne’s latest studio album is appealingly cold. Cold in a distant, third person voice way. “Milk Bottle Symphony” with its airy la-la-las over breakfast preparation is pure contentment with predictability; the sing-song chorus is quietly claustrophobic. The thoughtful bossa nova of “Side Streets” is deceptively smooth. Under the sheen lies a middle-class paranoia of getting mugged, getting downright dirty. And Tales from the Turnpike House succeeds in its fragileness, in its refusal to crank up the volume even when fear and desperation thread the songs together. Now, that’s genius.

– Thor Balanon

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