In the early 1990s, Saint Etienne's innovative meshing of '60s songwriter stylings and deep-house beats helped lay the framework for the formation of Britpop. This playful blend is still very much at work on Tales From Turnpike House. Baroque string arrangements swim through much of the album, and singer Sarah Cracknell struts smartly through character portraits and a steady plotline of life in a London apartment building. Both "Lightning Strikes Twice" and "Milk Bottle Symphony" boast lifting, catchy melodies over danceable beats, while "Goodnight" serves as a fitting final chapter, with an intricate choir of Turtles enthusiasts bidding a most soothing farewell. It's colorful listening, tinged by electronic mischief and a healthy fascination with the London of 1967.
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