It may or may not be a claim to fame, that this album contains possibly THE most embarrassing lyric ever recorded (see above). But then, The Mission were always at the slightly ridiculous end of the Yorkshire Goth spectrum, notwithstanding their reputation as an awesome live rock band. Fortunately, by the time "Carved in Sand" came out, The Mission had been around long enough to know that it wasn't worth taking themselves TOO seriously; and with the advent of Nu-Metal, it's refreshing to find how well their music holds up compared with a host of younger, more earnest - and at times almost as embarrassing - songwriters.
The odd cringeworthy lyric aside, this is The Mish at their finest as songwriters. At its very best, the music and lyrics have a visceral intensity to them - whether it be the grim horror of the chilling opening track "Amelia", the tragic balladry of "Grapes of Wrath" or the fey poetry of the beautiful "Butterfly on a Wheel". At their worst - well, The Mission were always at their worst when writing about sex, but at least they do it in such a way that you can't help but marvel at their sheer cheek. "Paradise", the offender in question, should have been the theme song to one of those Michael Winner "horror" films of years gone by. Somewhere in between, The Mission produce a classic, high-class rock sound, drawing on imagery from ancient English mythology ("Deliverance") to good old-fashioned narcotic episodes ("Into the Blue"), without ever sounding like they're having anything less than the best time of their lives. A few of today's earnest rock pretenders would do well to listen and learn.