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14 juillet 2008

Martha and the Muffins - Danseparc - 25th Anniversary Edition

CD Review, By Martin Hutchinson, The Bolton News

For the first time in the UK, the fourth album in Martha and the Muffins' catalogue, gets a release on CD in a remastered and extended format.

Produced by Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel), it could be described as "Stockhausen colliding with punk funk". It actually serves as a taster for a brand new album from the band in November.

Written and performed by the bands' founding members, Martha Johnson and Mark Gane; along with Jocelyne Lanois, Nick Kent and John Oswald - the band really hit their creative peak with this recording.

Danseparc' is regarded by the band as something of a "concept album" as Gane explained. "When we recorded it we had an obsession with parks and the concept of the park is an attempt by urban man to get to a point of naturalness again."

The nine original tracks (with three bonus tracks) seem to be a mixture of traditional pop with an element of experimentation that raises them above the norm. There's also some social commentary. For instance, the opening track Obedience' and Sins of Children' deliniate the social restrictions and Several Styles of Blonde Girls Dancing' tells about seeking pleasure through dreams. Contemporary topics are addressed in What People Do For Fun' and the title track is about people in their urban city centres.

Whilst the lyrical content may seem profound, the music is generally uplifting and kinds deflects from the seriousness of it all. This album was hailed as the band's most quintessential collection of songs and has been overdue for release. It's been worth waiting for.

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