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Album Review

Despite the flux they were going through, the Teardrops somehow got it together to record the heavily-hyped Wilder, which unlike its predecessor did nothing in terms of sales or smash singles, outside of the semi-successful shimmering keyboard/crunch of "Passionate Friend." This isn't for lack of talent on the band's part, and the trademark kicky arrangements and horns appear throughout. However, unlike the joyous outpourings of Kilimanjaro, Wilder sounds distanced. Cope doesn't come across as the lead singer so much as he does someone singing with the music, ironic given that he wrote everything on this album. As a subtler pleasure, though, Wilder offers up some good stuff, with more cryptic compositions and performances throughout, while Clive Langer takes over full production after only doing a few on the first album. Strangely, some performances sound like where Sting eventually took the Police on Synchronicity, musically if not vocally, like the layered attempts at tribal drumming on "Seven Views of Jerusalem." More measured, sometimes stiff songs like "Falling Down Around Me" make the overall mood more fragmented, while some of Balfe's keyboards sound like they're only there just because. When it connects, though, Wilder rocks just fine. The concluding track, "The Great Dominions," is one of Cope's all-time best, with a sweeping, epic sense of scope and sound. The angular funk of "The Culture Bunker" has both some fine guitar and a sharp lyric or two on Cope's part — the Crucial Three he refers to was his bedroom-only act with Ian McCulloch and Pete Wylie. Other high points include the moody synth shadings on "Tiny Children," where Balfe's work comes through best of all, and Dwyer's generally sharp drumming throughout, keeping the beat well.

Customer Reviews

Pure Joy!

So glad I found this on iTunes! Soundtrack of my teenage bedroom years... Culture Bunker is such a good song - the depth of emotion in JC's voice when he sings 'I feel cold 'cause you're so far awaaaay' never fails to make me swoon. The rude bounce of Pure Joy sounds to me like a precursor to Reynard the Fox and the singles remain as sharp as I remember them. This download also has, rather brilliantly, 8 bonus tracks consisting of b-sides (hey, saves me having to fork out for a vinyl/mp3 converter for my ancient 45's!) and their last official single, the criminally neglected You Disappear from View. Also my favourite ever Teardrop Explodes song, Soft Enough For You - just utterly beautiful. I may be somewhat biased, given that I worship The Cope as a God, but this is a wonderful, WONDERFUL album and I urge you to add it to your collection!

Pure Joy Wins Out Again!

Quite right, Cat Girl! This IS pure joy and so good to hear it again! Fond memories of first girlfriends, bright sunshine and Christmas jobs at the Post Office go with it. Anyone who had a soft spot for "Reward" and "Treason" but haven't heard this will wonder what they missed. The production on this second LP was far above the first one. Sadly, they'd never make a third, but the superb EP they released later is tucked on the end here and together this collection really is as good as it gets. Buy "When I Dream" from Kilimanjaro as well, and you're away ...

Refreshing!

This album makes for really good listening! It's well worth the money, in fact, it's a complete bargain. I'm really glad I bought this.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

One of the pivotal groups to emerge from the Liverpool neo-psychedelia community during the late '70s, the Teardrop Explodes was a showcase for Julian Cope, a notoriously eccentric figure whose unfashionable love of Krautrock and hallucinogenic drugs set him distinctly apart from the prevailing punk mentality of the era. Cope formed the band in 1978 after a tenure in the Crucial Three (also comprised of Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and Wah!'s Pete Wylie); taking their name from a panel in...
Full bio

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