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A Map Of The Floating City

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (14 ratings)
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A Map Of The Floating City album cover
01
Nothing New Under The Sun
4:35
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02
Spice Train
5:09
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03
Evil Twin Brother (feat. Regina Spektor)
5:25
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04
A Jealous Thing Called Love
4:27
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05
Road To Reno
4:00
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06
The Toad Lickers (feat. Imogen Heap)
4:24
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07
17 Hills (feat. Mark Knopfler, Natalie MacMaster)
7:42
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08
Love Is A Loaded Pistol
2:57
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09
Oceanea (feat. Eddi Reader)
4:28
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10
Simone
5:56
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11
To The Lifeboats
3:36
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 52:39

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We've waited a long time, so...

wasit10538

I waited a long time to review this. Unlike eMusic's reviewer, I don't pigenhole Dolby as a "synth-pop" artisit, in spite of his most popular work. I consider Dolby a pop genius; the man's fingerprints are all over the 80s, and it's hard to see what he hasn't done or who he hasn't worked with. Unlike the reviewer, I happen to like the first and last tracks of the album, and I find "Simone" in particular, one of his best ever--a sublime expression of regret and loss glossed over by lovely sunny music. The only fault I find with this album is that it's not as dense with musicianship as, say, "The Flat Earth," but that's praise by faint damnation. This is another fine, mature selection of pop.

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A Map of the Floating City

balloondog

To the official reviewer- Were we listening to the same record? Spice Train, which you panned completely is related to Bollywood. Ever heard of that? Limpid? LOL. Limpid? Of course it is related to 80's pop. How could that possibly happen? Maybe because he was there doing some of the best of it. With the abundance of crap being released these days, this album seems pretty fresh. So what; it doesn't have the token IDM clicks and pops, but it has lyrics and melody and riffs and a beat and if you ever looked into this artist, you would know of his musical skills. It is electronic pop. Get over it. For me, I'm happy to listen to some new stuff by Mr. Dolby.

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They Say All Music Guide

Largely absent from the music scene since 1992′s Astronauts & Heretics, ’80s synth pop pioneer Thomas Dolby appears to be making up for lost time with his fifth effort, A Map of the Floating City, a rather ambitious concept album released in conjunction with a same-name video game based on a dystopian vision of the 1940s. Continuing his maverick reputation, this multimedia approach isn’t the only novel method Dolby has used to stage his comeback, as aside from recording its 11 tracks in a converted lifeboat at his North Sea beach house, the album has also already been leaked to fan club members over three EPs self-described as a “three-part travelogue across three imaginary continents,” Urbanoia, Amerikana, and Oceanea. It’s a shame, then, that the music seems so antiquated when compared to its revolutionary release strategy. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that an artist synonymous with pushing forward the boundaries of electronica would serve up something as limp and tinny as “Spice Train,” whose synthetic brass stabs and retro arcade sound effects suggest Dolby was perhaps spending a little too much time on his other labor of love. Elsewhere, Regina Spektor is wasted in her role as an East European waitress on the muted proggy techno-pop of “Evil Twin Brother,” “Nothing New Under the Sun” sounds like a Prefab Sprout B-side, and “To the Lifeboats” is a messy fusion of lounge pop and reverb-laden art rock that suggests Dolby could have done with someone to rein in his slightly self-indulgent tendencies. Surprisingly, it’s the more stripped-back middle section that manages to claw back some respectability. “Road to Reno” is a jaunty country-folk-pop tale of two jailbreak lovers that best showcases his humorous way with words; the bossa nova beats, bittersweet melodies, and gentle sax riffs of “A Jealous Thing Called Love” recall Bryan Ferry at his most swooning; while the plucked banjos, breezy folk violins, and convincing Midwest accents on “The Toad Lickers” help produce an irresistibly catchy slice of “yee-haw” bluegrass. After such a lengthy time away, it’s admirable that Dolby has returned with such a bold and difficult-to-pigeonhole record, but with its disappointingly flat production, A Map of the Floating City fails to make the most of its abundance of ideas. – Jon O’Brien

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