Beaumont embody everything that is perfect about pop. After "This is Beaumont" (2000) LP and "Discoteque a la carte" (2001) we release the second full length from this well-loved British pop group featuring Paul Stewart and Keith Girdler (Blueboy, Arabesque), Probably this is their most immediately accesible record to date by some distance. Cath Close's female vocals are totally immaculate and heavenly, with fabulous multi-part harmonies throughout the record. Beaumont is ready for the new assault without losing none of their elegance or cool, while musically lavishing more delectable moments of emotional bliss with keyboards, vox, and bossa nova guitars. More importantly, it all falls into place, on most tracks, sounding a whole lot better, for instance, than what St. Etienne have been trying to achieve for all those years. "Tiara" is a very worthwhile modern pop album with indelible nostalgia. Beaumont neatly encapsulate the label's trademark understated pop sound and remain among the most beloved cult bands. "Tiara" is a very well balanced, miscellaneous 8 tracks disc that flows into a cohesive whole. It has nods to the sixties and seventies, London, John Barry and 007, the old public school, Arabian nights, black and white films, Sophia Loren, scooters, lunchtime drinks in the city, Burt Bacharach, girls in grey skirts, falling in love, arriving late for an appointment, cigarettes and Sundays, Sophia Loren and Britt Ekland; Baudelaire, Tom Jobim, Marcos and Astrud Gilberto, Leopardi and Mallarmé, sports cars, Noel Coward and Cole Porter, Él records, Soidemersol (La Buena Vida), Words such as "slinky," "sultry," and "sexually suggestive" may occasionally be bandied about in reference to these beautiful sounds. Only occasionally does this record reflect the classic guitar pop of Blueboy. There is a mellow and abstract blend of surprising and evocative sounds and the songs themselves rotate very well, from ballad to mid-tempo tracks, to dance tracks. In short this record encompasses the retro and cosmopolitan Arabesque, the pastoral Blueboy sounds and the sophisticated urban dance pop a la Dubstar, Kylie or Pet Shop Boys. Paul Stewart has created an amalgam of inspired orchestrations and British cosmopolitan flair. Cath's British melodic inflection and suave chorus vocals completely offset the songs sentiment, in a sincere vocal style that is both haunting and extremely unique. The production by Paul Stewart and Julian Tardo is superb both on the the sugary dance-pop pieces and on the autumnal, dreamy "melancholy feel" songs. The performance of the string quartet is great too. Beaumont's music is hard to pinpoint, but easy to recognize, coloured with strokes from bossa nova, pop, disco, lounge, jazz and easy listening. It certainly refreshes and relaxes the weary ears of the hard-suffering music fan. Songs are little stories with right on target arrangements and a lighthearted escapism. Sometimes you feel like looking through a translucent kaleidoscope at a stylish scene of polite and trendy people... "Tiara" inspires confident and judicious use of the "Repeat" button in your CD-player. You'd better pour the pink champagne, as the romantic mood on this album is downright irresistible!
item # 7821