Saint Etienne- Travel Edition (Subpop)
review by Joe del Tufo

Track Listing

1. Primrose Hill
2. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
3. Nothing Can Stop Us
4. Avenue
5. Mario's Cafe
6. Hobart Paving
7. Hug My Soul
8. Like a Motorway
9. He's on the Phone
10. Burnt Out Car
11. Sylvie
12. Lose That Girl
13. Good Night Jack
14. How We Used To Live
15. Heart Failed (In the Back of a taxi)
16. Action
17. Fascination
18. Finisterre

Songwriter/ music journalists Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs founded Saint Etienne in the late 80s as an effort to integrate dance rhythms into British pop music in a way that had never been attempted. They were largely successful, at least in the UK, with their catchy tunes which both recalled 60's/ 70's pop with elements of the burgeoning electronica scene. Saint Etienne's debut Fox Base Alpha was their only release without Sarah Cracknell as a full-time vocalist, whose trademark vocals and highly stylized image would quickly come to define the band's persona. Fox Base Alpha sported the bands first breakthrough single, a cover of Neil Young's Only Love Can Break Your Heart, with vocals by Moira Lambert. A less-stylized version of what would come, Nothing Can Stop Us became the seed for the successful formula that would follow.

He's On The Phone has always been my favorite Etienne track, and it acts as a nice center point to the disc's 18 tracks. Cracknell's voice riding about the thumping bassline and noodly keyboards verges on the elemental. Lyrically vapid as many pop songs can be- "She never meant to call, but she did anyway. And now he's trying to find the words to say..." - the tune is nevertheless one I dare you to dislike.

Cracknell's voice has always been as smooth and alluring as her smile, and she is undeniable on the 18 tracks here. There are no low points, only points of interest, daring diversions (check out the song structure of How We Used To Live). Their recent offerings Sounds Of Water and Finisterre show the band as strong as ever. Indeed, some of the more recent tracks like Lose That Girl, Finisterre and Sylvie are some of the band's finest moments. Sylvie is a great Abba by way of Ibiza power ballad. The abrupt tempo changes on Goodnight Jack and How We Used To Live found the band verging into an almost progressive sound, but this exploration never veered beyond these isolated instances. They were both tasty surprises nonetheless, that showcased another side of the band, and it's nice to see that they saw fit to include the tracks on their best of.

Most of the band's high points are hit on Travel Edition. The only notable omissions would be tracks like Join Our Club, You're In A Bad Way and the sublime Who Do You Think You Are, but really I can't tell you which tracks I would remove to make room for them. The collection also includes the breathy new track Fascination as well as the previously very-difficult-to-get Primrose Hill, an early instrumental track.

Listening to Travel Edition, it becomes clear how influential the band have been to pop, dance and Britpop music in the last 15 years. In the end, this is simply two bookish guys on keyboards writing catchy as hell candy pop for a voice as flawless as they come. With Travel Edition, Subpop have done an superb job distilling the best from Saint Etienne's illustrious career.

marillion- happiness is the road
tilt- million dollar wound
mickey simmonds- the seven colours of emptiness
ukz- radiation
pain of salvation - scarsick
icon- icon II, icon live
the pineapple thief- tightly unwound
planet p project- levittown (go out dancing part II)
nosound- lightdark
dengue fever- venus on earth
art of all- morgan
marillion- somewhere else
abigails ghost- selling insincerity
blackfield- blackfield II
damien rice- 9
the who- endless wire
the beach boys- good vibrations
the pineapple thief- little man
the killers- sam's town
tom petty- highway companion
hem- funnel cloud
emm gryner- the summer of high hopes
jeremy enigk- world waits
razorlight- razorlight
gps- window to the soul
iron maiden- a matter of life and death
thom yorke- the eraser
richard butler- richard butler
the flaming lips- at war with the mystics
ray davies- other people's live
david gilmour- on an island
nosound- sol29
jackson browne- running on empty 5.1
neal morse- ?
king crimson- 21st century guide to king crimson
shriekback- cormorant
depeche mode- playing the angel
pallas- the dreams of men
my morning jacket- z
riverside- second life syndrome
roger waters- ca ira
various artists- backs against the wall
riverside- out of myself
sigur ros- takk
killers- hot fuss
queen + paul rodgers- return of the champions
journey- generations
yes- the word is live
emmylou harris- heartaches & highways
van der graaf generator- remaster series
rob dickinson- fresh wine for the horses
annie- anniemal
dredg- catch without arms
foo fighters- in your honor
dream theater- octavarium
belle and sebastian- push barman to open old wounds
the go-betweens- oceans apart
porcupine tree- up the downstair (remaster 2005)
coldplay- x & y
nine inch nails- with teeth
aimee mann- the forgotten arm
van der graaf generator- present
christopher o'riley- hold me to this
glen phillips- winter pays for summer
new order- waiting for the siren's call
ben folds- songs for silverman
john doe- forever hasn't happened yet
trashcan sinatras- fez
adrian belew- side one
kaki king - legs to make us longer
longview- mercury
stereophonics- language. sex. violence. other?
for against- echelons
over the rhine- drunkard's prayer
kathleen edwards- back to me
kasabian- kasabian
porcupine tree- deadwing
the wedding present- take fountain
super furry animals - songbook
arena- pepper's ghost
snow patrol- final straw
rpwl- world through my eyes
tori amos- the beekeeper
kino- picture
monarch- the grandeur that was rome
spocks beard- octane
the wonder stuff- escape from rubbish island
richard barbieri- things buried
the pineapple thief- 12 stories down
the pineapple thief- 8 days later
the innoncence mission- now the day is over
zero 7- when it falls
pain of salvation- be
california guitar trio- white water
jelly jam- 2
tim bowness- my hotel year
van halen- the best of both worlds
glen burtnik- welcome to hollywood
charlie mars- charlie mars
porcupine tree- voyage 34 (2004 remaster)
saint etienne- travel edition
lanterna- highways review
hellboys- cha cha with the hellboys review
persona non grata- the fine art of living review
tegan and sara- so jealous review
guadalcanal diary- 2x4 reissue review
voices in the wire- signals in transmission review
roger waters- to kill a child/ leaving beirut review
luna- rendezvous review
jim white- drill a hole in that substrate and tell me what you see review
the drive-by truckers- the dirty south review
the blue nile - high review
lovedrug- pretend you're alive review
twilight singers- she loves you review
keane- hope and fears review
winds- the imaginary direction of time review
kristeen young- x review
asia- silent nation review
macha- forget tomorrow review
crystal method- legion of boom dvd-audio review
kevin moore- ghost book review
marillion- don't hurt yourself singles review
attrition- dante's kitchen review
rush- feedback review
tortoise- it's all around you review
division of laura lee- does not compute review
peccatum- lost in reverie review
iq- dark matter review
bass communion- ghosts on magnetic tape review
the push stars- paint the town review
virgin black- elegant... and dying review
marillion- marbles review
the streets- a grand don't come for free review
the veils- the runaway found review
all about eve- let me go home review
john young band- live review
mary lou lord- baby blue review
the divine comedy- absent friends review
pink floyd- the final cut (2004 remaster) review
prot-kaw- before became after review
jeffrey gaines live review
mocean worker- enter the mowo review
starsailor- silence is easy review
pineapple thief- variations review
lloyd cole- music in a foreign language review
david sylvian- blemish review
spock's beard- feel euphoria eview
guy manning- press pack sampler review
magellan- impossible figures review
the tangent- the music that died alone review
john gorka- live from grace church photos and review
hothouse flowers- into your heart review
charlotte martin- on your shore review
rasputina- frustration plantation review
stellastarr*- stellastarr* review
vast- nude review
sparks- lil' beethoven review
the damnwells- bastards of the beat review
dave gahan- paper monsters review
king crimson- power to believe review
fish- field of crows review
porcupine tree- in absentia dvd-audio review
new model army- great expectations review
antimatter- unreleased 1998 - 2003 review
catie curtis: dreaming in romance languages review
the gathering- sleepy buildings review
twilight singers play blackberry belle review
vienna teng- warm strangers review
opeth- lamentations dvd review
courtney love- america's sweetheart review
blackfield review
anathema- a natural disaster review
nearfest 2003 coverage
neal morse solo photos- metuchen, nj
porcupine tree broadcast
alpha- stargazing review
david sylvian at the tla
emm gryner at the point
barry andrews at the tin angel
tweaker:2 am wakeup call review
cure- join the dots review
fish live from the tla with john wesley
spearhead- everyone deserves music review
miles hunt (wonderstuff) live

full archives coming soon!


Studio M Live
818 North Market St, Suite 2R
Wilmington, DE 19801



Copyright © 1997-2004 Studio M Live, Inc. All rights reserved. All content on is owned by Studio M Live and may not be reproduced without written permission. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this policy. If you are looking for Custom Injection Molding you are at the wrong site, and should really be at Applied Tech Products.