I stand by my previous comment about this album: it's not as good as their earlier e.p. releases. But listening to it this evening, the first time in what could well be four years (my, doesn't time fly?), it sounded mighty good. In places.
With the addition of some big horns, the Cardiacs first full length vinyl release A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window ended up sounding a lot more prog than punk; at times reminiscent of Genesis, ELP, and even a little like - dare I say it? - The Enid (there, said it!).
It's all done in a wonderfully dramatic manner; beautifully played, gorgeously arranged, but... what?
Did Smith adopt a different approach to this product, compared to those he'd already released?
Maybe the fact that he was now making an album, a full length L.P., required a more serious attitude, an increased studiousness: less larks.
Perhaps growing up listening to all those hyperbolically produced progressive monsters of the previous decade more than rubbed off.
The Cardiacs' sound became orderly, less spontaneous, and a lot more accessible (commercial?).
(The colour drained a little.)
Okay, so compared to their earlier releases, this may have disappointed a little when it arrived, but as I said earlier, listening to it now, it's immediately obvious that this is a very carefully conceived and meticulously crafted piece; and despite my Tynan-esque diss, this knocked spots off much of the indie and alternative product of its time, and frankly, still does.
Cardiacs - A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window (1988)
A Little Man and a House
In a City Lining
Is This the Life
The Icing on the World
The Breakfast Line
The Whole World Window
Excellent vinyl rip @320kbs
Quicken the pulse here