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- Posted on Sep 23rd 2008 2:00PM by Rob Smy
From 1995's 'The Sound of McAlmont and Butler'
'Yes' by McAlmont and Butler is one of those tracks where I can remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard it. I was standing in my friend's bedroom at his parent's house in London in 1995, and he had just bought himself a shiny new stereo system and was dying to show me how great it sounded. He put on a CD he had purloined off the front of a music magazine, and lo and behold! On came 'Yes.'
The song opened to the sound of a guitar being tuned and then a cool muffled Motown-esque backbeat accompanied by swirling strings. This in itself was nothing too unusual, but then David McAlmont's astonishing falsetto came in, grabbed my attention and held it tight. Of course my comment about the drums having that lo-fi sound would not have gone down well with my pal, who was all about his new rig sounding quite the opposite.
But check out the tune and you will, I think, have the same reaction I did. The song builds in a gospel-like style as McAlmont's other-worldly, three-octave voice takes off and then soars above that big orchestral sound. It's a surprising pairing: brooding indie guitar whiz Bernard Butler (formerly of Britpop darlings, the London Suede) and the lanky, cross-dressing, vocally super-sonic McAlmont, but the end results speak for themselves.
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