Tram


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Heavy Black Frame , 6/10
Frequently Asked Questions , 5/10
A Kind Of Closure , 5.5/10
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Tram is the London-based duo of Paul Anderson and Nick Avery, whose Heavy Black Frame (Jetset, 1999) offers subdued, melancholy, minimal dirges in the "slo-core" vein of Codeine, Low and Red House Painters, wrapped in the depressed soliloquy of singer-songwriters such as Smog. Occasionally highlighted by oboe (Thibault De Montford) and other acoustic instruments, the songs are personal and absolute in the way Nick Drake and Tim Buckley were (Nothing Left to Say, I've Been Here Before, Expectations, Reason Why, When It's All Over). The instrumentals Like Clockwork and You Can Go Now are fascinating while incomplete.

Alas, the joke is on them on Frequently Asked Questions (Jetset, 2001), a major disappointment that reveals how cruelly dated and superficial their soft-rock is.

The jazz and the orchestral elements are further emphasized on A Kind Of Closure (Jetset, 2002), which marks a compromise, or, better a complete retreat, from their original program. The instrumentals are still the best portion of the album (The Hope Has Been Taken Away) but most of it is occupied with atmospheric songs (Forlorn Labour, Only Then) that simply return to pop's traditional format.

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