Broadcast - Tender Buttons
'Tender Buttons' is the third studio album by Broadcast. It was originally released on 19 September 2005 by Warp Records. Now a duo following the departure of guitarist Tim Felton, Broadcast have swapped the rich textures and multiple layers of previous records for a much rawer and grittier sound, based on dry electronics, bass, processed guitars and singer Trish Keenan's deadpan voice. Stripped down to its bare essentials, the music shows Broadcast under new lights, bringing Keenan's bittersweet and often surrealist lyrics right at the forefront. Recorded entirely at Keenan and Cargills home in Birmingham and produced by the band, 'Tender Buttons' is a far more intimate record than its predecessor. The recent single, 'America's Boy', hinted at more minimalist soundscapes, and this is confirmed on the album. Yet, this serves Broadcast rather well. On songs such as the 'Superb Black Cat', 'Goodbye Girls' or the annoyingly catchy 'Michael A Grammar', Keenan and Cargill work around frail distorted electronics and interferences on which they add guitars, bass and linear drum beats. Elsewhere, on the more subdued 'Tears in the Typing Pool' or 'You and Me in Time', they craft delicate backdrops out of guitars and subtle sine waves, evoking in places a space-age velvet underground. If 'Tender Buttons' reveals a more purely electronic approach, Broadcast are miles apart from the electro glam of Goldfrapp. Their soundscapes have more in common with that of the Radiophonic Workshop than that of Giorgio Moroder.
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