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Album Review

Advance buzz over the third album by Australian trio the Beautiful Girls was that the once primarily acoustic trio was plugging in and turning up in an attempt to move away from the "mellow jam band" tag and consistent Ben Harper and Jack Johnson comparisons they were getting. Well, Ziggurats is indeed a bit noisier; opening track "Royalty" even features a ton of distorted power chords. But at heart, the songs on Ziggurats are pretty much entirely the same as they would have been if they had appeared on earlier Beautiful Girls albums. The same cod-reggae beat underpins songs like "Sir, Your Fashion Has the Cold Heart of a Killer" (though, to be fair, points for the song title) and "Bring Me Your Cup," and singer/songwriter Mat McHugh (who with the addition of new drummer Bruce Braybrooke is now the band's sole original member) still sings like he's imitating Sting imitating Bob Marley. Anyone still looking for Police albums with all the interesting or quirky bits sanded away in favor of nothing but a certain brand of easy listening skank will be all over Ziggurats. Those with an allergy to Trustafarians, hacky sacks, and patchouli oil are advised to stay well away.

Customer Reviews

Awesome aussie band

Combination of roots, reggae and pop, these guys are great. Fans of John Butler Trio will probably like this, sounds very similair, maybe a bit more organized than them. My favourites would have to be Spanish Town and Royalty, there is no real stand out or bad song on the album though, give it a try if you got the money, i think you will enjoy what you hear :)

hame-o you're a lame-o

if only your review was as honest as it was biased. i dont like either the cat empire or the beautiful girls, but a great live band they are and know how to competely enthrall their fans with a solid base of both musical integrity and musical brilliance. A great band to watch out for in the future if their music progresses into the swan they're capable of.

Bored into a coma.

I recently saw this band in Canberra when they supported the Cat Empire, and I don't think I've ever been more uninterested at a concert in my life. They thrashed through what seemed like an eternity of nonsense, try-hard reggae tunes with wayward delay pedal fuelled guitar solos. That all sounded exactly the same. This album is that experience made immortal by mp3s. The staccato reggae chords of "Royalty" grate when you first hear them and aren't any less irritating by the time "Under a Southern Sky" plays, let alone the end of the album. You're entitled to believe whatever you like... personally, I despise it.


Formed: 2001 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Centered around singer/songwriter Mat McHugh, the eclectic Australian rock group Beautiful Girls make rootsy, folk-inflected pop that has drawn comparisons to such like-minded artists as Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, and Mason Jennings. Formed in 2002, the band put out the mini-album Morning Sun and the five-track limited-edition EP Good Times before releasing their first full-length album, Learn Yourself, on San Dumo in 2003. A year later, the...
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