When We Were Young [Dusted]

So the great iTunes clean up continues, and I’ve created a playlist that I fill with albums that I want to keep but that I have not got round to listening to, or not listened to all the way through.
Tonight, after coming home tired I listened to Nostalgia 77’s  The Sleepwalking Society after which the playlist continued into When We Were Young by Dusted.  I have had this for a while but not listened to it, hearing odd tracks occasionally when playing my collection on shuffle, but listening to it all the way through, I wanted to try and review it.  I’ve been thinking about writing album reviews for sometime, but never actually done it..so here goes..

I know Dusted is the moniker used by Rollo, and looking it up in Wikipedia, apparently it also includes Mark Bates, I have no idea who he is, so I’ll leave that as it is.. When We Were Young is a concept album based around feelings from Childhood, fairy tales and nightmares mashed into an atmospheric sweep of intelligent hypnotic beats and spaced vocals.

The album opens with Childhood, which I also have as part of the Back to mine – Faithless compilation (as yet unheard) which sets the tone, it builds nicely and hints at something more to come.  Time takes Time takes over as with a vocal and again the track builds, with a choral refrain and a break with guitar sounding riffs being followed by mellowed beats underpinning the chorus.  For me vocals can make all the difference to tracks, when out with my mate Andy we tend to go to more deep or techno nights (buzzin’ fly, Dixon, Deetron) but I can’t help but smile when a vocal kicks in, it can make even a monotonous track inspiring.
Want U kicks off with a silky horn and warm piano drenched intro, before a bass led beat carries you through the rest of the song, including a late vocal before it breaks down and segues into Hurt U, whose vocal makes it feel a lot longer than it’s 1:45 time.
If You Go Down to the Woods is instrumental, but no worse off that, the beats intelligent enough to hook your ears by the time which it’s already over and you are listening to the hymn-like vocals of the atmospheric Always Remember to Respect Your Mother (pt.1).  The Biggest Fool in the World picks up the tempo with some rolling beats and vocal underpinned by a subtle uplifting vibe.  next up Oh, How Sweet kicks off with more trippy beats before breaking down into an acoustic guitar and vocal to the end when Always Remember to Respect Your Mother (pt 2) kicks in, stronger than part one, the spaced beats come in with intention and set the tone for the narrative vocal that comes in over the top.  Winter contains softer beats and vocals than the tracks before it, it’s as if you’re the woods in winter, and you can hear the track through a blanket of fog.  The altered vocal end takes you into the short, weird, The Oscar Song, an acceptance speech given over the top of disturbed beats.
If the feeling is darkened, Under The Sun pulls you up, kicking off with a some trippy beats under the male vocal, before it lightens up with the female vocal joins in and bursts through the cloud of beats to a choral fuelled chorus and a acapella ending.
Finally,  If I had a child is a beautiful, haunting end to what is a wonderful cinematic journey through an aural fairytale.


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