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Rosebud

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Album Review

The most obvious reference point for Winona's music is the dark, glossy, achingly elegant sound of late-'90s downtempo electronica and trip-hop, in particular its more commercially palatable exponents: Thievery Corporation, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Zero 7, and vocal-oriented acts like Mono and Dot Allison. It's not a kind of music that's particularly prevalent in the late 2000s, but it's still an effective style when done well, and these guys definitely have the chops (and more importantly, the taste) to pull it off. Which isn't too surprising, considering the résumé of central member Craig Armstrong. He had a hand in the creation of at least one bona-fide trip-hop classic — Massive Attack's Protection, some traces of which are discernible here — while his years of scoring films make the description "cinematic" (the genre's go-to adjective) even more of a foregone conclusion without being a meaningless cliché. For example, the stabbing, dancing, classical-sounding piano figures that flit throughout "Max" sound very much like something one might hear in the soundtrack to a slightly edgy art film, in a vaguely familiar but not obnoxiously overt way. With a sound palette drawn almost exclusively from vintage synths and drum machines, the album veers from tense, mildly menacing beat workouts like bleeping opener "The White Room" to ambient reveries like "De Nada" and "Winona Falls" and a curious hidden track that's equal parts stately and squirmy. There are also a handful of vocal numbers scattered across the track list — the heavily vocodered, somewhat faceless disco-pop attempt "Celebrity," sleek, Massive-esque single "Without You," subdued electro-ballad "Indigenous," and some spoken French on the lush, melancholy "Always" — which blend in fairly well with the overall mood, being a bit more direct than most of the instrumental material but not glaringly poppy. Contributing vocalist Lucy Pullin claims that Winona's music is "definitely not nostalgic," and it's true that Rosebud often summons a kind of austere beauty which seems to exist outside the realm of human emotion and sentimentality. Considering how flagrantly and fragrantly it recalls a particular, bygone approach to electronic mood music, however, it's bound to make some listeners of a certain age at least a little bit misty. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Loving Winona!

I want to meet Winona! I want to dance with Armstrong and Fraser and sing with Pullin and Ashley. This is awesome - sometimes pensive and thoughtful and sometimes sexy and exciting. Always is beautiful and The White Room reminds me of the iconic album As if to Nothing by Craig Armstrong. Buy it. Buy it all!

Love this album

Beautiful album.Worth buying.

Biography

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

The atmospheric, decadently stylish electronic pop of Winona is the brainchild of a couple of Scotsmen, Scott Fraser and Craig Armstrong, the latter an acclaimed and award-winning film composer, perhaps best known for his work with director Baz Luhrmann. Also a producer and string arranger for the likes of Massive Attack, Madonna, U2, and the Pet Shop Boys, Armstrong has released a number of albums under his own name. After collaborating on various projects over the years, and batting around the...
Full bio
Rosebud, Winona
View In iTunes
  • £7.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music
  • Released: 10 March 2008

Customer Ratings

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