Charlie The Band

 

Topic: Kitchens Of Distinction

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Kitchens Of Distinction
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Reviews for Kitchens Of Distinction


Kitchens of Distinction

Assault on Societies Idiocies, February 6, 2010
By
BWayne (San Diego, CA United States)




Terry Thomas has launched an assault on societies idiocies in the best way he can, through his music. In many ways, he has summed it all up in the title track, perhaps one of the best songs of 2009 and ending with one of the best guitar solos of the 21st century. The extra edge and extra tasty guitar work has made this an exceptional album. But it still sounds like Charlie even though Terry played nearly all of the instruments and sang all of the vocals. For me, this is his best album and I hope he plans to keep on making albums in the same vane. Everyone I play it for likes it and most were unfamiliar with Charlie (most are too young). Alcohol has a garage feel to it and the pop sound is still there in most of the cuts. But he has managed to place a lot of good guitar in nearly all of the songs which brings it back to the 1970's a bit. If you were a Charlie fan you will like this album as they have been dredged out of the past. If you are new to Charlie you will find an interesting style of music that combines a pop feel with very edgy digs at society and the popular.

Like Good Wine, Charlie Improves with Age, November 28, 2010


I've been a Charlie Fan for almost 35 years. It's unfortunate Terry Thomas waited almost 25 years to put out another album. Yes, I said album. But for those of a certain age you will be pleased. The hook-filled melodies, the biting, cynical lyrics are all in place on this 2009 release. Even though the band line-up has changed more than the Charlie's Angels line-up, this has always been Thomas's band. This album is also one of the hardest rocking albums released under the Charlie banner, borderline metal on a few cuts. Well done Terry! Now if you would only launch a tour!




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Kitchens Of Distinction Review - www.revelationz.net (plus TT's response)
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Charlie - Kitchens Of Distinction
Some eighties' bands reform and record, and you wonder why they bothered.
Brit band CHARLIE are the latest ageing outfit to complete the journey on the long road back from semi legendary obscurity.

There's a bit of poetic license going on of course, as 'Kitchens Of Distinction' is almost entirely the work of Mainman Terry Thomas, writer, guitarist, vocalist, producer, with a little help here and there from erstwhile bandmate, Julian Colbeck, but let me tell you, this is unarguably one of the best comebacks in the world of melodic rock that you're likely to hear.
Since Charlie's last album, 'Mirage' in 1985, Thomas has been making a living and a reputation as a producer, counting Richard Marx, Tesla, Giant and Foreigner among the big names who've used his services.
His most recent piece of work, Tesla's 'Forevermore' is an immensely powerful testimony to the man's skill and vision in the studio.

Charlie's sound was heavily influenced by North American AOR, underlaid with British bite. The US influence has all but disappeared; this is the new, improved, British variant of the melodic rock genre. On 'Kitchens...', Thomas's darkly humorous lyrics, laced with cynicism and sarcasm, are refreshing and provocative, an auditory treat. Not so much songs, as morality tales, targeting cheap celebrity, soporific TV soaps, reality shows and rampant consumerism with unerring accuracy.

Song titles like 'Popstar', '**** TV' and 'Cars' are all something of a dead giveaway.
Musically, it's still Charlie, but it carries more weight now. None of it flab, all of it lean, well defined muscle, powerful, hardhitting, but agile and nimble when it needs to be.
Thomas's mixing and matching in the studio is outstanding. He's no slave to fashion, past or present. The production on the riffy 'Blue Sky Bull****' maybe steely, hard edged; the sound may be current, relevant, but the harmonies go way back to Steely Dan and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

The rippling, jazz-blues guitar intro to 'West Coast Thing' underlines Thomas's overlooked talent as an axeman, as does the suitably sinister, uncompromising axe solo that brings 'Alcohol' to an appropriately ragged edged end.
Ironically, the intimately personal, 'Don't Let Go' is the most affecting song here. A poignant, lingeringly romantic song of regret, beefed up by tough guitars and a huge percussive thump.

Opener, 'Get a Life' is the album's most immediate song. It's loud, it's brash, but its exuberant rush of edgy guitar rock and sweetened, melodicentric harmonies set out the band's stall with a flourish.
That said, breakneck closer 'It's Not Enough', knee deep in giant guitars and slick, industrial strength riffs is maybe the album's outstanding track. Among so much great material, it's a tough call.

Word has it that Thomas is currently remastering the band's old albums with a view to reissue this year. Roll on.

Written by Brian
Sunday, August 30, 2009




Hey Brian
Re Charlie Kitchens of Distinction
Refreshing to see someone gets it - spot on as we say.I always tried in the early days of Charlie to write lyrics that reflected my view on life but the corporate entity that was record companies required more generic lyrics.
This was written with no thought of commercial considerations.
I couldn't have wished for a better review.
Terry Thomas

Posted by teztoz
Thursday, November 19, 2009


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Raoul
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RE: Kitchens Of Distinction
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Is it me or is the production distorted?  Perhaps too much compression which spoils a really top class album.  Sorry to be honest.

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Here's a review I originally did for Voiceprint and which I also posted on Amazon.

Steve

Charlie – Kitchens of Distinction

After 25 years Charlie return with their new album.

Originally recorded as a Terry Thomas solo album, it features Julian Colbeck and
Martin Smith over 3 tracks, hence the use of the Charlie name.

Sound wise, the music is instantly recognisable as Charlie, not surprising
seeing as Terry composed all tracks and handles all vocals.

Terry also brings his considerable experience in production techniques
(producing Bad Company and Foreigner amongst others) to produce a well rounded
sound. He has also drawn upon updated sounds and this leads to a far heavier
sound than Charlie of old (a couple of tracks would not be out of place on the
new Porcupine Tree album). No bad thing as it is progression whilst retaining
the original Charlie values.

Charlie in the 70's were an enigma. They were a band out of time as Terry
alluded to in a recent interview with the Yahoo discussion group
(itsinevitable), when he stated the punk explosion was a reason for lack of
touring success in the UK. Too late too be taken seriously due to Punk and too
early for the success that would have followed when the likes of Dire Straits
were popular.

Lyrically, some tracks are a bit close to the knuckle bringing celebrities into
the mix, for example, Popstar being based on Robbie Williams and another, Blue
Sky Bull**** on the rhetoric of David Cameron.

Overall though it is good too see Terry's sense of humour, cynicism (reality and
celebrity TV), and observations on life (greed, must have the latest technology,
and on Don't Let Go (the closest track to the Charlie of old) relationships),
always in evidence on Charlie albums, remains intact.

An album definitely worth checking out - 4 out of 5 I'd say.

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Anonymous
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard edged Charlie, distorted CD!, March 25, 2011
 
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kitchens of Distinction (Audio CD)

Been a Charlie fan since the '70s. Always liked their style of music and their records were always recorded top-notch quality. This CD is very poorly mastered, compressed, loud and distorted, it is hard to listen to with all the clipped maxed out audio. It actually causes the D-A converter in my Pioneer AV receiver to go mute at 4:03 into the first song. Would love to have the music from this newest Charlie offering properly remastered clear and clean like their old recordings. I left a note about this problem on the Charlie-music dot com web site, of course unanswered, no reply. Think I'll crank up "No Second Chance" on the turntable and listen to some GOOD audio!



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Anonymous
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Hi. To me it is only the first track that has any distortion - not ideal I know, but the rest is brilliant!

Steve

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CharlieBhoy
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I love the album, cannot stop playing it at the moment. Terry's songwriting is a strong as ever with a barbed wit I like a lot.

Shame we had to wait so long but well worth it in the end. No distortion problems my end, power and drive yes.

Thank you Terry, hope there is more to come.



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Spookietooth
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Well I waited long and wasn't sure it would happen but lets just agree on that this is a great album. Ok so its not your typical Charlie album and yeah its much heavier sounding maybe even raw but its still Charlie ( Terry ) and its on par with their best work. Forget Charlie the self titled album which let's face it was a shocker, forget In pursuit of romance which was a close second in the crap bin. When I listen to this album I feel like I have just re discovered the Fantasy Girls  album and who said there would be No Second Chance. Thanks Terry.



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David M
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Excellent, excellent album.  I keep this one on heavy rotation at my house (and on the road).  Any chance of another album any time in the near future?



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Anonymous
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Been a Charlie fan since the '70s. Always liked their style of music and their records were always recorded top-notch quality. This CD is very poorly mastered, compressed, loud and distorted, it is hard to listen to with all the clipped maxed out audio. It actually causes the D-A converter in my Pioneer AV receiver to go mute at 4:03 into the first song. Would love to have the music from this newest Charlie offering properly remastered clear and clean like their old recordings. I left a note about this problem on the Charlie-music dot com web site, of course unanswered, no reply. Think I'll crank up "No Second Chance" on the turntable and listen to some GOOD audio!



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