Album: Saint Etienne, Words and Music by Saint Etienne (Heavenly)

 

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The Independent Culture

The handover between "Over the Border" - a semi-spoken memoir about the powerful hold of pop over the young mind - and "I've Got Your Music" encapsulates everything that's great about Saint Etienne: one minute they're singing about great pop, the next they're actually doing some.

Words and Music, the first full studio album in an aeon from Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs, is a masterclass of pop theory and practice in perfect harmony, often within the same song. Saint Etienne once laid down the challenge "Do you believe in magic?" That magic lies in the way that changes between chords, and the interplay between allusions and associations can have an almost narcotic effect. Words and Music is these magicians' perfect show-and-tell.

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