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casiotone for the painfully alone - The First Two Albums By
Compiling 'Pocket Symphonies For Lonesome Subway Cars' and 'Answering Machine Music', this package bundles together the first two albums by Casiotone For The Painfully Alone as a single disc volume, all remastered. From the very opening of the first track you know you're in the presence of a witty, insightful writer, and it's very rare indeed that you could say that about anyone penning lo-fi electronic pop songs. At their finest these songs capture infinitesimally small incidents or spots of time that carry an enormous emotional significance. The opening tracks of both albums are particularly effective in this respect: 'When The Bridge Toll Was A Dollar' documents an exchange of glances between a couple at a tollbooth and articulates affection in all its beautiful, kitchen sink ordinariness. It's not all sentimentality for Owen Ashworth though: there's room for a little japery now and then, as on 'A Normal Suburban Lifestyle Is A Near Impossibility Once You've Fallen In Love With An International Spy'. Regardless of how charming this is from a songwriting point of view, the uncompromisingly lo-fi aesthetic of early CFTPA outings may be something of a barrier to some electronic pop lovers (The Postal Service this ain't), but the small-scale, rundown, bedroom recordings on these two albums carry a disproportionately huge emotional gravitas. Highly recommended.