A species on the brink of extinction?

After going to the cinema, I went to Saturn and came across the album „Prelude to Ecstasy“ by a band called The Last Dinner Party, decided to buy it, without ever having heard anything by this band. The cover photo shows five young women in extravagant clothes on what pretends to be a painting on a wall above a fireplace in an apparently prosperous old living room crammed with candles, flowers and other knickknack.

There was a two-page article about the album (or the band) in DER SPIEGEL not long ago (headline: „A species on the brink of extinction“), but I hadn’t read it, merely removed it from the magazine and kept it on a pile of articles „to be read sometime in the future“. I came across it earlier today, but still only read the short abstract: „The music year 2024 starts unexpectedly – with a rock band. The Last Dinner Party, five women from London, are the hype of the hour. But why is that?“

Surprised to find out, months later, that there was supposed to have been a „hype“, seems funny. But also raises questions: Was this „hype“ one of those that only music writers had longed for and simply claimed was going on? Usually, as someone reading a lot about current releases in a variety of international print and web magazines, one notices at least that something like that is going on. I guess I didn’t pay much attention to the release at the time, because I may have had the impression it was just another girl-band à la Goat Girl, Wet Leg (Wet Kiss? Long Leg? What’s that hyped duo called again?), Warpaint or something… Was it possibly just a „hype“ that happened during the first week of February? Normally, something is only considered as such when many magazines write about it and you can’t help at least hearing about it repeatedly over a certain period of time (a few weeks or months or so, like with Floating Points & that late sax Altmeister whose name I can’t think of right now, or with Kamasi Washington, being a „hype“ again with every album he puts out, or with Nils Frahm or Adrianne Lenker). Has anyone around been aware of the „hype“ around The Last Dinner Party? If so, can they briefly enlighten me where (and on what grounds) this hype took place, if it did?

Looks like the album did get a lot of positive reviews, and I somehow didn’t even notice it. That was probably during the Berlinale, when it passed me by.

Now I just listened to it. Interesting album. Well-produced retro pop like this is always kind of fashionable (aka „hype“?); particularly in the 2020s, when it’s done by an all-female band. I’ve only listened to it through once so far and was a bit startled at one point wondering „Which album did I actually put on? I don’t even have any ABBA albums…“ (or else: „Is this genuinely an ABBA cover? And if so, why?“)
Yes, ABBA just always seems to go down well with both the general public and special interest listeners… I’ve never been able to get excited about them. Anyway, interesting album. Very upbeat and charming.

Ein Kommentar

  • Michael Engelbrecht

    Und wie gut findest du das Album nun? Nach zweitem Hören? Ein schöner Text über Ambivalenzen. Ich erlebte das, etwas anders vielleicht, mit Arooj Aftab. Sie ist ja in aller Munde, und scheinbar sind alle voll des Lobes. Ihr neues Album könnte man auch als marketingtechnisch geschickten Schachzug bezeichnen, wenn Arooj in solchen Kategorien denken würde: ein Hauch von Mainstream, eine Version von Autumn Leaves, das alte Urdu wohl dosiert, und ich möchte wirklich kein Album von ihr mit lauter Standards hören. Gestern nahm ich mir die Zeit, und hörte Stück für Stück. Die vier Sterne sind wohlüberlegt. Richtig gut, obwohl sich manchmal die kleine Tante Skepsis meldet. Alles so verdammt voller good taste, in einer sanften Kuschelzone zwischen Cassandra Wilson und Sade. Aber ich kaufe es ihr ab. Und, ja, ich mag es sehr. Marjan tanzte zu einem Lied, very charming, vielleicht hat das den Ausschlag gegeben😉…

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