The Fatima Mansions Bertie's Brochures
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Bertie's Brochures, another eight songs, is a mixed bag of stuff that evidently didn't fit elsewhere; its tone is low-key, sad and rueful. R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" becomes a snide hip-hop diatribe against the British government ("go g-go g-go go fuck yourself"), but the condemnation of career terrorism in "Smiling" is anything but frantic, leaving room for a little grief to breathe amid the bile. The title song is a touching little number about a curiously misguided life. Plus, it's all sandwiched between three simple, strong, straightforward songs about the vagaries of (gasp) romance: Coughlan's own "Behind the Moon," Scott Walker's "Long About Now" and Richard Thompson's "The Great Valerio." While not a representative record, Bertie's Brochures is Fatima Mansions' most broadly appealing work.