This album is quite brilliant.
I concede that there are issues around it - 'Christenings' is reminiscent of Bowie's 'Space Oddity', other tracks sound like Pink Floyd circa Division Bell.... but does it follow that these are bad things?
Whilst it's true that Steven Wilson only contributes 3 whole tracks here (which did concern me a bit), his production and instrumentation nous, along with Geffen's flair for melody and construction ensure that there is never a dull moment. Poppier tracks like 'Where Is My Love' take a bit longer to love, perhaps, but the textures and dynamics that Wilson creates utterly gloss over any perceived shortcomings for me.
There is also criticism of Geffen's "adolescent" lyrics. Well, this album is what it is, and won't please evryone. For example, in "This Killer", there is a really clunky-sounding couplet at the top of the chorus: "This killer on the run, He steals from me the sun". OK, sounds a bit tortuous in terms of being a slave to the rhyme - but on reflection, I like the poeticism of having the word order messed with. And the song is so beautiful, I ultimately don't care.
I have no idea if Geffen's first language is Engish or not, but the Israeli certainly sings English with an accent. If his songwriting is seen through the filter of communicating via his second language (which I suspect it may be), then it adds a layer of alienation to the angst which I find touching rather than simplistic.
It's all about the tunes for me, on this album - and it has them in spades. I'm normally a stickler for lyrical prowess but, like a brilliant film with subtitles, I soon forget I'm having to work to interpret at all. The body of work speaks for itself.
If you like PT, SW or Blackfield 1, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.