Top Ten Albums of 2012: # 3

words and music

3. Saint Etienne – WORDS AND MUSIC BY SAINT ETIENNE

On their last album’s penultimate song, this venerable British trio elegized its past while poignantly considering an uncertain future. “Over The Border” kicks off their long-awaited follow-up with a similarly structured track (spoken word verses bursting into a sung chorus) but replaces the earlier song’s melancholy with wisdom sparked by wonderment and possibility. Throughout, Sarah Cracknell, in a myriad of reminisces, recalls the ongoing effect music has had on her life while also pondering where it has yet to take her. It’s as if the pre-teen girl on the cover of So Tough (a photo of Cracknell herself, after all) grew up but still retained a sense of discovery. Since they always came off more like music lovers than career musicians, it’s hardly surprising to see them return after a seven-year hiatus with a concept album about what they most adore: getting ready to go out to a concert (“Tonight”), utilizing an iPod to transform one’s everyday existence (“I’ve Got Your Music”), chatting online about British number one hits (“Popular”, a blog I actually have bookmarked to the right) and completely losing one’s self on the dance floor (“DJ”). Words and Music is Saint Etienne at their very best; that it ends up at # 3 on this list tells you something’s rather exceptional about the two albums yet to come.

Favorite tracks: “Tonight”, “DJ”, “Heading For The Fair”, “Over The Border”, “I’ve Got Your Music”, “Haunted Jukebox”

Video for “Tonight”:

Video for “DJ”:

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One Response to Top Ten Albums of 2012: # 3

  1. Howard says:

    Kept meaning to pick this up. Good to know it’s worth it.

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