December 19, 2018

Glass Candy - Deep Gems (2008) ☠

*This is a compilation release. It contains a collection of singles, B-Sides and other rarities. Contains 13 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Synth Pop
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2008 Italians Do It Better
Review by Marc Hogan for Pitchfork.com
Glass Candy sure have themselves a nice haunted-disco niche, but you wouldn't accuse of them being original. On 2003 debut album Love, Love, Love, the Portland, Ore. duo of Ida No and Johnny Jewel caught the no-wave wave; back then, they had a drummer named Ginger Peach. Since moving to Italians Do It Better and focusing on dark-alley Italo disco, they've released upwards of three dozen tracks spread out across 2007's occasionally great but overrated B/E/A/T/B/O/X, the same year's excellent After Dark compilation, a couple of killer 12"s, a few 7"s, and now "singles, B-sides, and rarities" disc Deep Gems. After you throw out alternate mixes, godawful skits, and a reworking of their 2005 reworking of "Iko Iko", you're left with at most 22 discrete Glass Candy songs-- only 19 originals. Even then, the quality has been mixed.
Few bands really need a rarities collection. Glass Candy aren't one of those bands. Although Deep Gems maintains the after-hours glide of Jewel's recent work for Glass Candy or labelmates Chromatics, along with No's heavy-lidded Debbie Harry purr, it underscores just how few essential tracks Glass Candy have made so far. A hypnotic melody, murky bassline, and echoey keyboard splash-pulse help make "Animal Imagination" the most interesting "rarity," but the lyrics would embarrass "Celebration of the Lizard"-era Jim Morrison, and it shows up again, in an abbreviated lo-fi version, as "Soft Boundaries". Also pleasant enough is "Geto Boys", the aforementioned "Iko" update, a worthwhile purchase for anyone clamoring to have Glass Candy revisit the Mardi Gras favorite over the Geto Boys' 1991 hip-hop classic "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (and who hadn't already downloaded the track's widely posted free "MySpace Demo" version).
Belle Epoque cover "Miss Broadway", one of Glass Candy's best tracks alongside the 12"-only "I Always Say Yes" and B/E/A/T/B/O/X's "Rolling Down the Hill", is still decent in an unnecessarily busy, demo-ish "Ms. Broadway (Remix)" form. "Poison or Remedy" is just a cheap-sounding version of B/E/A/T/B/O/X's "Beatific". If you paid 99 cents for it on iTunes because you thought it was a new song, I'm sure Glass Candy are sorry.

tags: glass candy, deep gems, 2008, flac,

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