First Listen Review: The Clientele – “Alone and Unreal: The Best of the Clientele”


The Good: I had never heard of this band before they released this greatest hits album. I’m wondering why that is. They have so many elements from historic artists. There are the poetic lyrics and use of baroque instrumentation like something found on a Belle & Sebastian cd. “Losing Haringey” sounds like an English version of all those classic Belle songs that perfectly mix spoken word with atmospheric acoustic post rock. This song describes London and the feeling anyone gets when a place they grew up with begins to change to something. “Reflections After Jane” sounds as if it was taken from the late 60s with a recording style similar to something heard on a Velvet Underground LP. “Missing” similarly captures the beauty on acoustic driven Simon and Garfunkel tracks like Old Friends/Bookends, perfectly summing up the distant, yet enchanting, feeling of Autumn. Although it’s cliche to say, “Bookshop Casanova” sounds dramatically like a Beatle track with the vocalist saying words like lovers a lot like Paul McCartney would have done. All of this is done in a manner that allows the band to still sound unique. This album is really a delight.

The Bad: Not much, but maybe they don’t mix up their sound enough.

Would I Listen Again: Definitely


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