Name: Voice of the Beehive
Album: Let it Bee
Similar Bands: Go-Go's, Bangles, Darling Buds, Primitives
One-Word Review: Bubbly Quirk-Pop
Based Out Of: London, UK
Label: London, ffrr Records Ltd
Let It Bee - Cover, Lyrics, Record
Let It Bee - Back, Notes, RecordLet It Bee(1988)
- Beat of Love 4:04
- Sorrow Floats 4:18
- Don't Call Me Baby 3:08
- Man in the Moon 3:17
- What You Have is Enough 2:41
- Oh Love 2:58 /
- I Walk The Earth 3:42
- Trust Me 3:19
- I Say Nothing 3:27
- Barbarian In the Back of My Car 2:43
- Just A City 4:13
Members & Other Bands:
Tracey Byrn - Vox, Guitar (Bill Drummond, Brad Is Sex, The Bomb Party)
Melissa Brooke Belland - Vox, (Bill Drummond, The Bomb Party)
Mike Jones - Guitar, Vox, Keys, Programming (Moths, Xenon, Wallflowers, Cliffs, Brad Is Sex, Clientele, Dark Globe, NIk Turner, The Hit Men, Blood Necklace)
Martin Brett- Bass, Piano (I, Ludicrous, Rosemary)
Daniel M Woodgate - Drums, Percussion, Programming (Madness, Bloodsport, Strawberry Switchblade, )
Hugh Jones - Producer, Mixing, Engineering
Peter Collins - Producer
Vivid ID - Art Direction
Jerry Lee - Artwork
Dave Swarbrick - Fiddle (Fairpoint Convention, Whippersnapper, Ian Campbell Folk Group)
Kick Horns - Horns (James, Erasure, a-ha, Jimmy Somerville, Mighty Lemon Drops)
Heinrick - Keys
Marvin Etzioni - Mandolin, Piano, Producer (Lone Justice, The Satellites Four, Randall Kennedy, Counting Crows, Dixie Chicks)
Jimbo Barton - Mixing, Engineering
Nick Launay - Mixing
Nigel Green - Mixing
Mike Owen - Photography
Andy Ross - Management
Carrie Spaceu - Management
David Balfe - Management
Digby Smith - Engineering
Phil Dane - Asst. Engineer
Unknown-ness: Picked this up (along with the Popguns album) in an Oxfam charity shop in London. From the initial reaction of the artwork, it looks like it could be anything from psychedelic dance like Dee-Lite to alt-glam like the Soup Dragons.Honest evaluation is that it will be far less interesting than either of those likenesses.
Album Review: The Voice of the Beehive is made of two sisters from California, daughters of one of the singers from The Four Preps. But it was not until they moved to London that they crashed the music scene. Being joined in their first incarnation with two members from Madness, they found surprise demo success and quickly joined a major label. It only really lasted for two albums, as the third found the band paired down to just the sisters. Also turns out that Andy Partridge helped write a song from their final album in 1996, so there’s that.
“Beat of Love” is a bit of a wirey stopmer at the beginning, with guitars that ring out, and a fast, sing-song paced lyrics that are basically spoken at a rhythmic pace. The lyrics roll right off the tongue. The chorus slows the lyric delivery down, and finds the ladies harmonizing. Little effects and sonic elements are added into the mix, but the beauty of the song finds two catchy styles blended together to form a rewarding pop song.
“Sorrow Floats” is a slow, swaying ballad. It reminds me of Belly a little from the beginning sleepy guitar sound. The vocals still carry a rhythmic pace, but it is not as fast paced as the opener. It does, however, follow a similar format, where the bridge could be a chorus, but the chorus itself is slowed down in the delivery, not exactly fitting in with the tempo of the rest of the song – in a good way. A rocking out electric guitar picks up right at the end, as the song fades out.
“Don't Call Me Baby” was a single. It begins with a simple kick drum, and adds jangly guitar, making it fit right in with the Bangles catalogue. Not an energetic go-go’s song, but not a slow sleepy song. The bridge into the chorus is where the energy is found. The chorus, which also acts as the verse feels like an oldies melody, or something the short lived US band The Like (or the Pipettes) might have performed.
“Man in the Moon” was a UK single. It is a quirky, bordering on lyrically-embarrassing song that also starts off similar to a Belly song. It is a love ballad to the moon, and the qualities it possesses. The song feels like a peaceful and acoustic midnight canoe outing on a sleepy lake. Strings help out with the gentle relaxing, gliding melody.
“What You Have is Enough” is a fast pace, na-na-na-na song that, like the first track, seems to roll right off of the singer’s tongues. The sisters share singing duties, often moving to overtake, harmonize and solo at all the right times. The song keeps changing in that aspect in the first verse, but they join up by the chorus and rest of the song. The song continues at a driving pace, only relaxing on the dense sound with a dreamy section that moves at the same pace. The song relies on the “na-na-na” mocking tone for the ending of the song, but it feels like it ends much too quick.
“Oh Love” is another swaying ballad, this one sounding more acoustic and upbeat than “Sorrow Floats.” The song, drunk on love, stumbles along at a waltzing pace. The mandolin sets the tone for the mood that the song offers. This could probably be covered quite well by Jenny Lewis in today’s musical world.
“I Walk The Earth” begins with a bunch of overlaid harmonizing vocals. The song then takes off, with a bit of a rock and roll edge not seen previously on the record. By the time the chorus kicks in, the song presents its true hook, which reminds me a lot of what the band Bleached is currently doing.
“Trust Me” has a bit of an “I Want Candy” start. That comparison continues through the sing-song spoken vocals in the verse. The song kicks in at the bridge into the chorus, with a stomping drum beat, and a cut off right before it reaches the chorus…making this a very good potential build-delivery song. The second bridge kind of fizzles out into a plateau, and does not deliver on the build-up. But really, the bridge is catchy enough to sell the song.
“I Say Nothing” was a single. It is a jangly song that starts off with a kicking drum intro. The vocals again feel like they are trying to emulate Belinda Carlisle. I guess they made the singles to be void of the quirky nature the rest of the album has…this and “Don’t Call Me Baby” are covered in radio shine. Still, it is a solid song, with good build up to the chorus. The break down creates the perfect amount of anticipation for the song to break into the familiar instrumental melody.
“Barbarian In the Back of My Car” was played in LA radio station KROQ. This song also has some moderately embarrassing lyrics. It starts with a chugging guitar, which emulates a car engine. The vocals are sung/spoken in rapid fashion as they do, perhaps a little like Joan Jett. The chorus hits with a very simple three chord melody, but is very catchy. They actually edited their own lyrics, as there is an audible bleep in the “barbarian’s” quote saying I’ll f*ck you later, just get me to the bar.” Very unexpected from the naïve veneer they have created up to this point.
“Just A City” was also a single. It is a slow dance. The swaying 1-2-3 cadence would be great for a last middle school dance.
Stand Out Track: What You Have is Enough