Review: Jack Foley
MAGNUS describe their debut album, The Body Gave You Everything,
as a 'clubbers' record', given that it is 'totally dedicated to
And, to be fair, it has its moments - although you probably would
expect no less from the people behind it, namely Tom Barman, the
heart and soul of Antwerp rockers dEUS, and CJ Bolland, DJ-producer
and key figure in the international techno scene.
The theme of the album is definitely movement, and in some of
the hip beats, it's hard not to imagine the club crowd dancing
merrily along to it.
Opening track, Rhythm is Deified, for instance, is described
as 'a statement of intent', which is an out and out dance number,
designed to be heard with the speakers turned up.
Yet, as with all modern dance music, there is a repetitive element
about it, which restricts its enjoyment, particularly in CD form.
Had the album stuck to more chilled out numbers, such as former
single, Summer's Here, which features on the film, Any
Way The Wind Blows, it may have fared better.
Summer's Here is a chilled out effort, which owes its
roots to the swinging Sixties, as well as the sophisticated beats
of dance acts such as Gus Gus and The Beloved - thanks to its
smooth vocal style - and it marks the album at its most shamelessly
Likewise, the drum 'n' bass-tinged Soft Foot Shuffle,
which benefits greatly from the soulful backing vocals of Angelique
Wilkie, giving it a little extra edge.
But tracks such as the distinctly Euro-tinged, techno-laced French
Movies simply outstay their welcome and would probably sound
much better on the club circuit, than they do in album form.
The middle section of the album feels like a very hard slog,
settling into too many easy rhythms, without really taking them
The Pick-Up, especially, is guilty of under-pinning things
with the same relentless, techno beat, which gets on your nerves
after a while - especially as tracks aren't short on the album.
Once you get beyond that, however, things seem to drift towards
the end of the night, almost towards the chilled out finale.
As Barman states, moody final track, Assault on Magnus,
could quite easily be the 'hangover after the party'.
And there to ease you into it, are the likes of the the fun Rock
Chick, and the David Holmes/Lalo Schiffrin-inspired drum shuffles
and upbeat funk of Pistolero Savvy.
The Body Gave You Everything took three years, in total,
to record, and fuses everything from techno, house, drum 'n' bass,
and rock, to the cool beats of DJ Shadow and the Mowax label.
It is this mixture that proves to be the album's strength...
and, sadly, its weakness.
Editor's note: The Body Gave You Everything is released with
a bonus DVD featuring the videos for the tracks French Movies,
Summer's Here and Jumpneedle. All three videos are directed by
1. Rhythm is Deified
2. Summer's Here
3. French Movies
4. Soft Foot Shuffle
7. The Pick-Up
8. Rock Chick
9. Pistolero Savvy
11. Assault on Magnus
1. Summer's Here
3. French Movies