Details about WENDY JAMES Transvision Vamp 'Racine 2' 2xCD new sealedSee original listing
14 Aug, 2015 19:13:27 BST
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Perivale, United Kingdom
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|Title:||Wendy James - Racine, Vol. 2 (2010)|
|Special Attributes:||Bonus disc: 'Racine 1 Demos'||Record Label:||Jungle|
|Style:||Alternative/Indie, Britpop||Number of Discs:||3|
|Country/Region of Manufacture:||United Kingdom||EAN:||5013145209929|
2. I'm Freaking Out
4. Bobby's Going Electric
5. You're a Good Man, Sister
6. There Ain't No Way I Can't Do No Twenny in This
7. Oui ou Non-A Straight Boogaloo
8. Stoned, Ripped and Twisted
9. Essex Dog
10. Those Leg Motherfuckers
11. Bitter Funny
1. The Man
2. Grease Monkey
3. Princess Patience Blues
4. Hip Hop 156
6. Blonde Mink Mimi
7. Heavy Metal Dude
8. That's the Breaks, Junior
10. Life Goes On
In 1993, former Transvision Vamp singer Wendy James released Now Ain't the Time for Your Tears, an album's worth of bespoken songs by Elvis Costello (supposedly written for James over the course of a manic weekend) that received almost universally scathing reviews, most of which were based on the apparently incorrect assumption that on songs like "Puppet Girl" and "We Despise You," James was the unwitting butt of a mean-spirited joke on Costello's part. In fact, the album sounded like a knowing meditation on the costs of pop stardom, as well as a fine collection of scrappy punk-influenced songs hampered quite a bit by Chris Thomas' excessively clean production. (Had the album sounded more like Costello's 2008 rough-and-ready release Momofuku, it might have been treated more kindly, but given how universally hated Transvision Vamp had been by pop critics of the time -- and not entirely without reason -- it's likely that it could have been as good as Armed Forces and it would have still been panned.) Following the failure of that album, James dropped out of music for over a decade before returning to the business as the leader of an indie rock quartet called Racine. Following the obscure 2005 release of Number One under the band's own name, Racine, Vol. 2 was released as a Wendy James solo record, although her bandmates remain the same. Racine, Vol. 2 still has all the winking braggadocio that's been a hallmark of James' act from the beginning -- the tongue-in-cheek faux-blues grind of "You're a Good Man, Sister" includes the lines "On a scale of one to ten, I rate a hundred" and "Got a voice and a body/Put the lights on me" -- but musically, it's far removed from both the Primitives-like C86-derived sound of Transvision Vamp and the polished alternative rock of Now Ain't the Time for Your Tears. Instead, Racine, Vol. 2 is a varied but accessible indie pop album ranging from the vaguely Dylanesque "Stoned, Ripped and Twisted" (powered by an Al Kooper-like organ part) to the country-tinged ballad "There Ain't No Way" to the unexpectedly pretty (given the title) twee pop harmonies of "Those Leg Motherfuckers." Racine, Vol. 2 continues the flaws that have dogged Wendy James' career from the outset -- she's not much of a lyricist, and though her voice has lashings of personality, it's not what one would call conventionally pretty -- but at a point when most of James' contemporaries on the late-'80s Brit indie scene have long since hung it up, this is an unexpectedly solid return. (The CD release contains an extra disc of stripped-down demo versions not available on the digital download versions of the album.) ~ Stewart Mason
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