25 Songs, 1 Hour 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Band members Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs, and Sarah Cracknell draw upon their collective love for yesterday’s tunes and fashions to make this deeply personal album feel both uplifting and bittersweet. Sonically, Words and Music boasts insistent grooves that propel Cracknell’s caressing vocals through billowing synthesizer textures. The songs' glide and swirl make the band’s coming-of-age reflections seem all the more poignant. Tracks like “DJ,” “Tonight," and “The Last Days of Disco” seamlessly blend memories of young romance and musical infatuation. In tandem with coproducers Ian Catt, Richard X, and Tim Powell, the band shifts from gauzy heartache balladry (“I Threw It All Away”) to biting ‘80s-edged rock (“When I Was Seventeen”) and summery old-school soul (“Haunted Jukebox”) with a smooth but never clinical touch. Cracknell’s spoken-word recollections of her teenaged obsessions in “Over the Border” make the autobiographical elements more explicit.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Band members Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs, and Sarah Cracknell draw upon their collective love for yesterday’s tunes and fashions to make this deeply personal album feel both uplifting and bittersweet. Sonically, Words and Music boasts insistent grooves that propel Cracknell’s caressing vocals through billowing synthesizer textures. The songs' glide and swirl make the band’s coming-of-age reflections seem all the more poignant. Tracks like “DJ,” “Tonight," and “The Last Days of Disco” seamlessly blend memories of young romance and musical infatuation. In tandem with coproducers Ian Catt, Richard X, and Tim Powell, the band shifts from gauzy heartache balladry (“I Threw It All Away”) to biting ‘80s-edged rock (“When I Was Seventeen”) and summery old-school soul (“Haunted Jukebox”) with a smooth but never clinical touch. Cracknell’s spoken-word recollections of her teenaged obsessions in “Over the Border” make the autobiographical elements more explicit.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
41 Ratings
41 Ratings
BELLNOTCHPEAK ,

Words and music by...

I have no words for how excellent this album is... Highly relatable to fans of English Music in the 80s, yet stylistically extremely modern....

Bird-fan ,

The Best Saint Etienne Album since Tiger Bay

I've been a huge Saint Etienne fan since their first album came out in 1991, and I've been following their career since then.
This album is not only their best album since Tiger Bay but probably (and almost certainly) one of the best albums you will buy this year.
Saint Etienne always had the problem of putting a lot of weird and/or incidental songs mixed with wonderful pop gems in their albums. Apparently this issue was completely resolved on Words and Music, an album in which there is not one single dull moment.
If you really love music, Saint Etienne has created the perfect shrine.
The opening song "Over the Border" is nothing less than a masterpiece. Every time I listen to it, I have tears in my eyes. They have been able to write a love letter to music that is personal and timeless, sad and hopeful, aging and young at the same time. Pure Saint Etienne heaven.
Besides the wonderful singles "Tonight" and "I've Got Your Music" there are plenty of other potential hits. But this is not the point here. Saint Etienne has ceased to be worried about charts a long time ago. What is important is that they are able to build perfect melodies that linger, something so rare in a world full of clones.
If you are not a Saint Etienne fan, give it a try. If you are, this album is essential like air, or even more than this, like music.

TravBoss ,

What Are Waiting For? Just buy it already!

Seriously, Saint Etienne have consistently produced fantastic pop music and this album is no exception. Every track is stellar and smart. Meaningful pop music is nearly impossible to come by these days, but this album proves it exists and Saint Etienne are the masters. Many have said this is their best since Tiger Bay... I tend to agree. Now if only they'd tour in America.....

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