CD Personal Best * (CD 6960911),
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Personal Best *

  • 1. Vampire of Love
    2. Golden Childhood
    3. Oh Boy
    4. Baroque Calypso
    5. It Says Here
    6. Baby's On the Way
    7. Sunny Afternoon
    8. You Built a Path
    9. Remember
    10. My First Gun
    11. Save It
    12. Autumn Song
    13. [Untitled]
    14. Warning Signs 2
    15. No More Words
    16. God Knows
    17. Instru(mental)1
    18. Settled Hash
    19. Last Train To Barry
    20. Cars In the Grass
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): HABITCD 001

  • Credits

    There are probably plenty of people out there who assume the Stuart Moxham story ended with the dissolution of his seminal, short-lived band Young Marble Giants, whose lone album, 1980's Colossal Youth, made U.K. post-punk history. For those benighted bystanders, pouring over Personal Best will be like catching up with a long-lost friend you haven't seen since you went to summer camp together. On his own, Moxham has assembled an impressive post-YMG discography over the years, and the first release from Moxham's own hABIT label brings together the brightest moments from those albums.
    While Moxham's music evolved considerably from the stark post-punk landscapes of his old band, developing in several different directions simultaneously, a connecting thread to his past can still be discerned, and it shouldn't be difficult for YMG fans to find a way into Moxham's solo work. If there's a single predominant quality to the tracks compiled for this decades-spanning collection, it's that of a window being opened up to let a cool breeze blow across the claustrophobic climes of the Young Marble Giants era. Most of the tunes here, which include highlights from Moxham's albums as well as rarities and unreleased cuts, are amiable, melodic, poppy affairs, some of which wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Style Council or Everything But the Girl album. That said, Moxham moves through a number of styles here -- the minimalist funk of "Remember," for instance, brings to mind early Scritti Politti, while "God Knows," with Moxham's brother/old bandmate Philip on bass, evokes a bit of the old YMG mood, and the orchestral-leaning instrumental "Last Train to Barry" feels like the soundtrack to the greatest British indie flick you've never seen. If you've never followed Moxham's moves since he stopped being a Young Marble Giants many years ago, Personal Best is a great place to pick up on what you've been missing. ~ J. Allen

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.87) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "The more complex, layered structures reveal a global set of influences; 'Oh Boy' takes you to Spain, 'Autumn Song' is sepia-tone pastoral England, while 'Baroque Calypso' is exactly that."
    Uncut (magazine) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Moxham's music has been preserved, warmed and informed by his own lights...essentially untouched by any passing fashions."
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