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The Hungry Years by Chungking

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Reviewed on 21st October 2004.


The Hungry Years

By Chungking

Chungking certainly don't lack ambition. It's an ambition that has songs to back it up. Hailing from Brighton, the 3 piece have released their debut album 'The Hungry Years' on Monday 18th October.

From the opening 'Come With Me' with its vast orchestration and happy-go-lucky sentiment (We'll take in our stride the beautiful sky/As day gives way to endless night) it's clear that Chunking make good company. Escapism through music is easy with Chunking playing on your stereo.

On to the uplifting 'Making Music' where Chungking seem to be stating an intent to create beautiful music while simultaneously fulfilling it. The vocals in the chorus drifting beautifully over the shifting pulse of the backing. Sometimes openly sexual in the Stevie Wonder inspired 'Full On', sometimes openly tender as in 'Angel Eyes', sometimes playful as in 'We Love You'.

There's influences here; or more accurately, a blending of era. There's soul and psychedelic pop redolent at Goldfrapp's recent work. Sometimes, vocalist Jessie Banks can remind us of the flighty Springfield ('Please Don't Talk') then the sultry Martina Topley-Bird ('World of a Thousand Suns'). There's a blend of modern synths in 'Voodoo' amongst others, as well as the sweeping strings expected in soul.

Overall, it's an album of palpably good song writing. Each song is crafted perfectly and each relative section plays its part. Nothing is tacked on, there's never any 'I don't like this bit' moments.

Clearly a labour of love that succeeds in being both epic and personal. If you insist on trying before you buy, check out their sumptuous website for some song bites.



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