- Audio CD (3 Mar. 2014)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Domino Records
- ASIN: B00HS7C03S
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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‘Atlas’, the new album by New Jersey’s Real Estate, is a triumph of highly evocative, perceptive songwriting and graceful, precise musicianship. Carefully refining the brilliantly distinct artistic vision that made its predecessors ‘Days’ and ‘Real Estate’ so beloved, ‘Atlas’ is intimate and spare. It conjures quiet, late night drives down wooded highways, rural rambles with friends (and maybe a love interest) on the sunniest afternoons of the year, and hazy summer evenings spent alone, thinking back to those times and the people who were with you for them.
The cover art for ‘Atlas’ features a detail taken from ‘Alexander’s Mural’, an iconic North Jersey landmark created by artist Stefan Knapp that once hung on the side of Alexander’s department store for over twenty years, not far from the band’s hometown of Ridgewood, NJ.
Top Customer Reviews
Things start well on "Atlas" and get better. Indeed this reviewer has had to be dragged screaming from playing the first three tracks on repeat. The lovely opener "Had to Hear" jingles and jangles with Gene Clark like chords and a melody to kill for. It is splendidly bettered by the forlorn "Past Lives" destined to be the soundtrack as the dying embers of a summer barbecue fade into a dark night sky. Best of all is the joyous single "Talking Backwards" where the mix of Martin Courtney's bittersweet vocals and the flowing guitar lines of Matt Mondanile's pulsating guitar melodies reach a true synthesis. The joyful instrumental "April Song" reinforces this but the clinchers come later with the brilliant chiming chords of "Primitive" which is the best Norman Blake song he never wrote; concluding with a nice guitar workout to seal the deal.Read more ›
"Atlas" (10 tracks; 38 min.) kicks off with "Had to Hear". which immediately feels like seeing an old friend again after a long absence: it sooths and is comfortable, with great interplay between lead singer/guitarist Martin Courtney and the lead guitar from Matt Mondanile. It's my favorite track on the album. "Past Lives" is a dreamy song. "Talking Backwards" is an up-tempo tune, rocking gently. Side A closes with the 5+ min. "The Bend", a beautiful pensive song. In the second half of the album, the good vibes continue, with an outstanding "Crime" where Courtney sings "I don't wanna die/Lonely and uptight/Stay with me/All will be revealed", wow. The album concludes with another breezy/dreamy tune, "Navigator", which captures the overall mood of the album perfectly. Bottom line: this is the best album from Real Estate, showcasing a band growing in confidence and skill, and sure to end high on my year-end list of "best of 2014" albums.
I saw Real Estate in concert at the MidPoint Music Festival here in Cincinnati a few months ago. They were one of the headliners of Day 2, playing to a massive crowd. The band was in excellent spirits and played a 70 min/14 song set that relied heavily on "Atlas", I think they played all but 1 or 2 songs from the album. When they played "Had to Hear", I wished it'd never end, so beautiful and enticing.Read more ›
While it doesn't have some of the amazing hooks present on the self-titled debut and even better 'Days', it has a beautiful, dreamlike flow that just takes you away on a bright summer's day. It's the very definition of laid back but not in a stoned, aimless way. As is their modus operandi, the band find a groove/melody and lock onto it in a mesmeric fashion - you just need to give yourself to the music, the universal lyrics and drift...
Highlights for me are 'Talking Backwards' and closer 'Navigator' but it's probably best to enjoy as a delicately shifting suite of chiming Anglophilic indie-jangle beamed in from the late 80s/early 90s.
Another winning summer soundtrack from the ironically tight ensemble who deal with looseness.
Every year it gets to spring and i really fancy a soundtrack to while away the days - i thought it might have been Beck's Morning Phase - but whilst it is great, it lacks the hook to drive along the M4 to! This release has lovely guitar notes, gently hazy singing, but also enough energy to turn your head.
Teh influences are obviously deep and wide - but not in the retrograde 'Yuck' way - instead we get a whisper of very early REM, a hint of 'Surf's Up', and little taste of 'Bandwagonesque all mixed in with a wash of 'Van Occupanther' hooks.
Listen to it on Spotify first, but buy the LP - beutifully housed in an embossed gatefold sleeve with a great little postcard and a download.
Soundtrack to the Summer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An almost great album, with nine excellent tracks - notably Had to Hear, Talking Backwards, The Bend, Primitive and best of all Crime. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ag Man
Absolutely love this band and This album west Coast American album. Cant recommend Highly enough Go and buy. pithfork gave it one of the best reviews Of This year 5 starsPublished 2 months ago by kinkafro
A truly outstanding album for those who enjoy melody and harmony....every track is excellentPublished 5 months ago by P Killen
What a great album. Beautiful, catchy songs that lift the heart. I cannot remember the last time my favourite song on an album was an instrumental. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mr C Brown