Saint Etienne “Home Counties”

It’s been a five years since the excellent “Words and Music”, so album number nine is warmly received from the pop institution that is Saint Etienne (Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell). Home Counties is very much in the mold of their early releases – 19 sprawling tracks interspersed with soundbites and all feeling very British. In fact, the whole album is an ode to English suburban life and casually flits between styles in a somewhat laid back fashion. It’s a difficult album to criticise, but we can’t help feeling it is a little too pleasant and is certainly lacking killer tracks (see any Saint Etienne singles collection), although “Whyteleafe” is really rather good. Nice. 6/10

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