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Thomas Dolby
The Sole Inhabitant
Lost Toy People Inc.
www.thomasdolby.com


This concept of live records is still astounding to me at times. That people want a recording of an artist performing in front of others still seems a bit alien to me… great shows that I actually attended are definitely worth listening to again… but usually live records tend to leave me feeling a bit alienated. And electronic acts doing live records seems even more alien in conceptuality - but not with Thomas Dolby, the man who seems to be the originator of electronic rock music for most of the masses. It's been an awfully long time in the making, and seriously, I had no idea Mr. Dolby was still making music. I was happily surprised to see this record come out, and even happier about it after listening.

From the opening slow groove of "Leipzig Is Calling" to the closing strains of "Airhead", Dolby turns in a spectacular one-man performance. The crispy and slightly schizophrenic feeling of "One Of Our Submarines" attains an almost Roger Waters' Pink Floyd-style feeling. Nobody does vocoding better than Dolby, and "I Live In A Suitcase" is a prime example, with some classic vocal lines floating above a thick bed of analog synthesis. The glorious days of synth-rock live on in the amazing techno-blips of "Flying North", perhaps one of the grandest and moodiest of all Dolby's compositions. The set lays back a bit for great tracks like "Budapest By Blimp" and then bounces back for the quirky and trippy "Europa And The Pirate Twins". By the time the classic hits "Hyperactive" and "She Blinded Me With Science" hit, there is little doubt that Dolby is as much a showman and musician as he's ever been… possibly more so. "Hyperactive" is gritty and soulful, filled with brilliant syncopation and jazzy scatting. "Airhead" ends the set on a boppy tone, much lighter than I would have expected for a closing song, but classic nonetheless.

While listening to Thomas Dolby play through some of these fantastic songs is really great, it would be a much more exhilarating experience watching the show… so while the CD release is great for the car, I believe the truly great experience would be watching the DVD release of the performance. Second best thing to being there, you know.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Leipzig is Calling
2. One Of Our Submarines
3. I Live In A Suitcase
4. Flying North
5. The Flat Earth
6. Budapest By Blimp
7. Windpower
8. Europa And The Pirate Twins
9. Hyperactive
10. She Blinded Me With Science
11. Airhead


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