Review: Jack Foley
HOT-on-the-heels of their adventurous Blueberry Boat
long-player, The Fiery Furnaces have decided to unleash a compilation
album, rather confusingly titled EP.
As you might expect from the quirky minds of Matt And Eleanor
Friedberger, it is an oddball collecction of tracks previously
released as singles (both A and B
sides) plus a couple of new, previously unreleased songs, including
Here Comes The Summer.
The common factor with the tracks is that none have previously
been on either of the two Fiery Furnaces' LPs to date.
Billed as 'the other side' of The Fiery Furnaces, the compilation
is designed to 'vividly show their more immediate and poppy side',
but remains as quirky and borderline annoying as most of their
Kicking off with the edgy Single Again, a kooky lament
about a wife-beating husband ('he beat me, he banged me, he swore
he would hang me, I wish I was single again'), the album sets
about trying to deliver The Fiery Furnaces' charms in an upbeat,
And there's no denying the pop-factor in many of the tracks,
which could well have you bouncing around the living room.
But there is also something distancing about their style that
occasionally grates - as though it is trying to be too experimental
for its own good.
A track such as Here Comes The Summer isn't really summery
enough, while Sullivan's Social Slub comes across as
borderline pretentious and seems to go on forever.
When it's good, however, the EP does deliver some gems - none
more so than the deliriously chirpy Tropical Iceland,
which seems to have overdosed on happy pills.
Fans should lap it up, although whether it will reach beyond
their grasp and into the hands of new listeners remains to be
Editor's note: There's more good news for Fiery
Furnaces fans, in that Matt and Eleanor are currently working
on their next album, which they are recording with their grandmother
The album will feature Eleanor and her grandmother singing duets
juxtaposing a young woman’s point of view with that of the