Rolling Stone (12/29/94-1/12/95, p.190) - "...[LAID] is the (relative) crowd pleaser--70 minutes of intelligent moody pop songs..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/15/93, p.76) - "...Another endearing folk-pop- rock marvel from the cult [James] band, and this one could finally put them over stateside....[A] juicy alternative to the Alternative Parade..." - Rating: A-
Q (11/93, p.122) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...LAID benefits from a lean, stripped down sound and it sparks a spontaneity sprung from James' penchant for studio improvisation..."
Melody Maker (9/25/93, p.32) - "...[LAID] combines reflective, introspective musings with a heartening reassurance...mix[ing] yearning and intelligence with a naked honesty....an endearing, devastating, honest triumph..."
Musician (11/93, p.85) - "...LAID is gentle without being wimpy, smart without being snotty and moody without being morbid....its beautiful melodies are sung honestly, without a trace of distance...."
James: Tim Booth (vocals); Saul Davies (guitar, violin); Larry Gott (guitar, background vocals); Mark Hunter (keyboards); Jim Glennie (bass); David Baynton-Power (drums).
Additional personnel: Brian Eno, Martine McDonagh, The Kitchenettes (background vocals).
Engineers: Benedict Fenner, Steve "Doc" Williams.
Recorded at Real World, Box, England and The Windings, Wrexham, Wales.
Personnel: Tim Booth (vocals); Saul Davies (guitar, violin); Larry Gott (guitar); Mark Hunter, Brian Eno (keyboards); David Baynton-Power (drums).
Audio Mixer: Benedict Fenner.
Liner Note Author: Phill Savidge.
Recording information: Real World; Real World, Box, England; The Windings, Wrexham, Wales.
Photographers: Nigel Schermuly; Kevin Westenberg.
This Manchester-based band had already been around for 10 years by the time this seminal release hit stores. The band had always experimented in the studio and had long wanted to work with Brian Eno--and for LAID their wish was granted. The results are a combination of crowd-pleasing anthems, quiet ballads, and lullabies, all of which benefit greatly from the atmospheric tones of the sparser Eno-led production.
Leading off with the spectacularly paranoid slow number "Out to Get You" and then moving straight into the upbeat "(Sometimes) Lester Piggott" and then see-sawing between the two states from there, LAID mirrors the therapy enriched lives of its creators. Lead singer Tim Booth's vision especially shines through in this collection, which was the band's first commercially successful record in the U.S. (Morrissey fans take note--Booth is allegedly who Morrissey is referring to in the single "We Hate it When Our Friends Become Successful.") Best known on LAID is the title track, a joyous paean to obsessive love. Play very loud.