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|1. My Lighthouse|
|2. Earthly Pleasure|
|3. The Waves|
|4. Judgement Call|
|5. Nothing Arrived|
|6. The Bell|
|8. Passing a Message|
|9. Grateful Song|
|10. In a Newfound Land You Are Free|
|11. Rhythm Composer|
The mood this time round is tangibly different. Seemingly more of a collective effort (O’Brien lauds the musicianship of his band members in the accompanying notes), the angelic harmonies of opener My Lighthouse, or the gently lulling “ooh”s of the otherwise instrumental title track endow the music with a new lightness.
Strings mimic the ebb and flow of a tide on Grateful Song, reflecting a general loose atmosphere of the sea also created with the album’s lyrical references to “the barrier reef” (The Waves), the singing of sea birds (Nothing Arrived), a “paddle fish” (Passing a Message) and In a Newfound Land You Are Free’s lovely description of how “the windows reveal the spinning sea”.
The macabre does occasionally bare its fangs, but this time round it’s restricted to the odd glancing reference that makes you do an aural double take. The delicate My Lighthouse mentions skinning a corpse (of a ghost); Grateful Song describes a God of “pain… tragedy… hatred and deceit… of a hapless, helpless agony”.
Later, the twist of In a Newfound Land You Are Free – ostensibly a touching ballad to a newborn – seems to suggest that the baby has died: “I am burned by a lifetime too brief / With this newfound land comes a newfound grief.”
The evocative lyrics sometimes suffer from overly mannered or just overdone phraseology – O’Brien’s use of “thee” instead of “you” (The Lighthouse) or “for to” instead of “to” (Grateful Song) jars slightly – and the vocal enunciation is sometimes a little oppressive in its intimacy. But these are ultimately prices worth paying for the pleasingly poetic, adventurous and occasionally florid use of words that mark Villagers out as one of the more interesting, literate and imaginative storytellers of recent years.
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The best song on away land is track five, nothing arrived. Rythm controller is not bad either.
A bit better than becoming a jackal
A really interesting album and way way better that the first one. The music is well written and you can really see a movement into new areas of writing some great lyrics too. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Tao
Love almost all the tracks on this album. Heard `Waves` first, via social media, then read an interview with Villagers in a music zine. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lampgirl
I really liked ' Becoming A Jackal', and in many ways this is a move forward, a lot more electronic,better songs and production.
A few good songs: in particular, 'The Waves', 'Nothing Arrived' and 'In a Newfound Land You Are Free'. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Our Mutual Fiend
Villagers are so underated. If you appreciate interesting music supported by haunting vocals then this album is a must. Haven't stopped playing it.Published on 12 Aug. 2013 by D
Villagers come of age. A more electronic sound on this album, but the songwriting remains as strong as on 'Jackal'. The production is lush and the it sounds big. Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2013 by Dave