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Tiger Bay (Deluxe Edition)

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Album Review

After three years (and two albums) of stunning development, Saint Etienne's disco-llision of '60s pop, '70s dance, and '90s club reached the peak by which they are still judged, with an album that is alternately heartwarming, heartbreaking, electrifying, and impossibly captivating. From the dramatic opener, "Urban Clearway," to the mysteriously Kraftwerk-ian "Like a Motorway" and on through "Pale Movie" (which could make Valentino weep), Tiger Bay is everything that two generations of post-Beatles wannabes have labored to create but have always been too in awe to complete: a melding of mood with momentum and emotion with eccentricity, and an endless succession of divine verses sliding into sad and sexy hooks. Tapping veins of nostalgic romance that bring a tear to the eye before you even know what the lyric is (once you do know, you're a goner, no questions asked), the tracks then explode out of rhythms that could make a dead dog dance. Tiger Bay is alternately seductive, silly, and sassy. But it was also constructed with such an eye for sensuous detail that any attempt whatsoever to toy with the track listing can only shatter the crystal.

Biography

Formed: 1988 in Croydon, London, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like most bands formed by former music journalists, Saint Etienne were a highly conceptual group. The trio's concept was to fuse the British pop sounds of '60s London with the club/dance rhythms and productions that defined the post-acid house England of the early '90s. Led by songwriters Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, and fronted by vocalist Sarah Cracknell, the group managed to carry out their concept, and, in the process, Saint Etienne helped make indie dance a viable genre within the U.K. Throughout...
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Tiger Bay (Deluxe Edition), Saint Etienne
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