This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall

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This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall
This Nation's Saving Grace by The Fall

Album Released: 1985

This Nation

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1.Mansion1:21
2.Bombast3:08
3.Barmy5:20
4.What You Need4:49
5.Spoilt Victorian Child4:13
6.L.A.4:09
7.Gut Of The Quantifier5:15
8.My New House5:15
9.Paint Work6:38
10.I Am Damo Suzuki5:41
11.To Nkroachment: Yarbles1:22

Reviews

Again, my CD copy adds extra tracks to the original vinyl album, but this time that takes away rather than adds to the experience, as the CD's two closing songs don't work within the context of This Nation's Saving Grace.

I could pretend those two songs don't exist of course, but that would be cheating, as this is the only version of the album that's available nowadays. It's not like those particular songs are even listed as bonus tracks - there's nothing to indicate they are. Incidentally, the cassette version was the same. Why the band made a habit of issuing different versions of their albums, I'm not sure.

This Nation's Saving Grace is the kind of album that gradually builds - the opening songs build and reach a climax of sorts with "Barmy", which is all catchy guitar and vintage Smith, sounding clear as a bell thanks to the wonderful John Leckie production.

"What You Need" has a repeating guitar figure but not much else, although it's still fun; "Spoilt Victorian Child" is a fantastic yet vicious trek across the kind of delightful Smith lyrical imagery that makes getting drunk and waxing philosophically at some bar so much fun; "L.A" is spooky / hypnotic electronica, the first such instance of The Fall plugging into 'dance' technology. They do it well, mind.

Sat in the middle of a couple of lacklustre tunes is the perfect 2+minute bonus rocker "Couldn't Get Ahead"; "My New House" wears its jaunty guitar very well; "Paint Work" and "I Am Damo Suzuki" are two of the more enjoyable 'strange' Fall experiments.

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by Reviewer: Adrian Denning (blogging at Adrian's Album Reviews)


Along with bonus tracks, this is another sixteen Fall tunes - same as the last time - but this album receives a much higher rating because (a) the tunes are much better, and (b) the tunes don't all sound the same. This one's got variety.

Critics often cite This Nation's Saving Grace as the best entry point for neophytes into the wackily wonderful world of The Fall, and - to quote another noted Manchester poet, Morrissey - 'they were half right'.

The half they got right is that this album is as brilliantly inconsistently consistent as any Fall release, covering nearly all the aspects of the band up to this point, and ´╗┐tantalizingly pointing in a few new directions as well, particularly with the ace "L.A.", which reflects the interest in electronica Smith would pursue so relentlessly in the 90's. Similarly, "Paint Work" shifts The Fall into an interestingly dreamy corner of the pop universe that they'd never explored before.

There's a nagging sense however - and I may be alone in this (judging by every other review on the net, I probably am) - that there's something missing. There doesn't seem to be any unified sense of purpose or vision as on previous Fall albums, which - love it or loathe it - Hex Enduction Hour certainly had. What's here instead is a collection of sixteen unrelated Fall songs, randomly distributed throughout the album in terms of quality and style, such that the album would flow just as well on random play, which is to say not at all, no doubt aggravated by the original album being padded with A/B-sides from singles thrown in as bonus tracks at random.

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by Reviewer: Creative Noise (blogging at Creative Noise)