Dusted – Safe from Harm

In 2005, five years after it had originally been released, Dusted performed a makeover on their album When We Were Young, and reissued it as Safe from Harm. We’re just a handful of weeks after the fifteenth anniversary of the original album, which makes it a decade since the reissue, and an ideal moment to take a listen.

New opener In the Beginning starts with the sound of a baby crying, which can be a little overused in music sometimes, but here, on an album about the journey of childhood, it’s entirely appropriate.

The driving force behind Dusted is Rollo, most famously from Faithless, and so it’s entirely apt that his sister Dido turns up to lead the vocals on Time Takes Time, a beautiful song which stood out on the original album, but here is magnificent. In fact, all the way through this album we’re blessed by extremely strong vocal performances.

DIdo stays on for Hurt U as well, but it’s difficult to remember that once the exquisite Always Remember to Respect and Honour Your Mother (Part 1) begins. Released as a single in early 2000, with a serene and ethereal animated video, it remains one of the most beautiful songs of the last couple of decades. If you aren’t touched by this, there really is something wrong with you.

Whereas When We Were Young had a few minor blips, the quality on Safe from Harm really doesn’t relent. But it’s best viewed as a single entity, rather than a group of songs – pieces like Rest are lovely, but you’re not likely to listen to them outside of the album context.

Biggest Fool in the World brings another fantastic vocal, and then Always Remember to Respect and Honour Your Mother (Part 2) follows, an instrumental driven by pounding beats and a spoken word section. Then Winter, a deep, atmospheric piece, with another fine vocal performance from Dido.

Oscar Song and In Memoriam both have their place, but are probably about as close as this album comes to filler, and even that would be a pretty unfair word to use here. Under the Sun and If I Had a Child are both exceptional songs – it’s hard to find any more superlatives for them at this point, but both really are very good indeed.

And that’s about it – unless you leave the CD playing a little longer, and come across the hidden bonus track, which I suspect ought to be called I Am a Monster (Discogs suggests it’s actually called A Typical Monster Song, but offers no evidence for this). It has very little to do with the rest of the album, but it’s a fun epilogue nonetheless.

So Safe from Harm may be a remake of an earlier album, but while both are good, Safe from Harm really took it to another level. It’s an exceptional album, and perhaps one day Dusted will come back for another go. If we’re lucky.

You can still find Safe from Harm at all major retailers.

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Music for the Masses 39 – 7 May 2005

For the final run of Music for the Masses, from April to May 2005, I had secured the coveted Saturday night slot, building people up to a stomping night out in Leeds. Or alternatively helping them to revise for their exams. Or potentially neither; it was rather difficult to tell. But looking through the playlist, I can see a slightly more uptempo seam running through the show, culminating with the Electromix at the end of the show.

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Show 39: Sat 7 May 2005, from 6:00pm-8:00pm

Broadcast on LSR FM, online only. Artist of the week: The Shamen.

  • Morcheeba – World Looking In
  • Erasure – Here I Go Impossible Again
  • 1 Giant Leap feat. Robbie Williams & Maxi Jazz – My Culture
  • Mylo – In My Arms (Sharam Jey Remix)
  • The Shamen – Comin’ On (Beatmasters Mix)
  • Sylver – Make It
  • Aurora – Ordinary World
  • BT – Orbitus Terrarium
  • Kraftwerk – Aérodynamik
  • The Shamen – MK2A
  • Depeche Mode – Freelove (Live) [The Live Bit]
  • Stereo MCs – Connected
  • Technique – Sun is Shining
  • Felix – Don’t You Want Me
  • Yello feat. Stina Nordenstam – To the Sea
  • New Order – Jetstream (Arthur Baker Remix)
  • The Shamen – Indica
  • Binar – The Truth Sets Us Free
  • Talk Talk – Talk Talk
  • Mirwais feat. Craig Wedren – Miss You [Electromix]
  • Elektric Music – Lifestyle (Radio-Style) [Electromix]
  • Front Line Assembly – Everything Must Perish [Electromix]
  • Fluke – Absurd
  • Bent – The Waters Deep

The Electromix feature from this show still exists, and will be included on a future Playlist for stowaways.

Chart for stowaways – 19 September 2015

Here are the top albums this week:

  1. The Future Sound of London – Environment Five
  2. Little Boots – Working Girl
  3. Leftfield – Alternative Light Source
  4. Delerium – Rarities & B-Sides
  5. Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?
  6. Sarah Cracknell – Red Kite
  7. Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
  8. Marsheaux – A Broken Frame
  9. Moderat – II
  10. Peter Gabriel – Hit

Greatest Hits – Volume 6

Time for a quick breather, and a chance to catch up on some of the previous posts that you might have missed. Remember these?

The Other Two – The Other Two & You

The New Order side-project The Other Two is unusual in having been born of two other side projects – in the early 1990s, Bernard Sumner was off having enormous hits with Electronic, and Peter Hook was, well, doing whatever it was he did in Revenge. So the other two, then called Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris, were left to form The Other Two.

Having grown out of such forced circumstances, it’s not, unfortunately but not entirely unexpectedly, a particularly good album. Having spent a couple of years in gestation, it actually appeared the same year as the rather better RepublicIt opens with Tasty Fish, a nice enough Stephen Hague-produced song, which has a pretty catchy chorus, although you would be hard pushed to define exactly what it’s about. It was a minor hit, landing just outside the top forty in 1991.

The Greatest Thing is a surprising second track, and does stand out somewhat. A couple of tracks in, and you realise that between them, Morris and Gilbert are every bit as good at writing lyrics as Sumner, and Gilbert’s vocal delivery is possibly technically better than that of her bandmate. If nothing else, it’s refreshing to hear very New Order-like songs delivered with a female vocalist.

But none of them are entirely memorable, as second single Selfish demonstrates. Also a minor hit, it had some impact in the US, but has been largely forgotten by most people, and when you listen to it this is understandable. It’s nice – probably largely due to Hague’s production – but ask me in a few hours how the melody line went, and I’ll have totally forgotten.

The fourth track is Movin’ On, and even while listening to it, you’re hard pushed to find anything to say about it. Great production, good lyrics, and an entirely forgettable melody. If this was the first album you had ever owned, it might mean something to you, but I’m afraid I’m lost for words here.

Side A closes with the nice instrumental Ninth Configuration, which might actually be the best track yet. There’s a nice driving bass part, which does remind you of the lack of Peter Hook on this release. That’s not entirely a bad thing, especially if it leaves him with one less thing to be bitter about, but it is notable just how much this sounds like New Order otherwise.

If the rule of albums says that Side B is always less good than Side A, that could mean some interesting diversions here. But actually things start to look up a bit with the opening track Feel This Love. This is much closer to what you might expect The Other Two to be. Next is the slightly acid-inspired but very much late 1980s sounding Spirit Level, largely instrumental with some weird vocal samples. Despite having absolutely no melody, it’s strangely compelling.

Then comes the soft and gentle Night Voice, another short instrumental, but this time a pleasantly atmospheric one, in the style of film music. Finally, a more rhythmic introduction brings us to Innocence, the last track, and one of the more catchy. It’s every bit as unmemorable as anything else on this album, but it’s nice enough while it lasts. Which isn’t especially long – this is a very short release.

So The Other Two & You is good – sometimes even up to the standard of New Order. It’s just very forgettable – so maybe it’s one best left for the fans. If you have one of the CD versions (I don’t) you also get the earlier promotional single Loved It, and optionally a pile of remixes by the brilliant Pascal Gabriel and Moby.

The special edition of The Other Two & You is still available here.