This is a glorious collection of songs, wonderfully inventive and diverse and moodier than the first album, at times brighter and louder. However, this acts as both a strength and a weakness; with such a variety of songs it's hard to get bored as the album shifts through world/ bollywood style, to dub, and then the 'safer' straight pop-songs. Yet the album lacks cohesion, feeling like a compilation of several different bands rather than just one. It shows a very talented band, but one that doesn't want to be pigeon-holed, to the point where they shy away from the style at which they are best. At times it feels like quality gives way to experimentation, and that's a shame because with the right balance this album would be simply stunning. The better tracks on the album are the ones that are simple and free of too much experimenting.
This album will only sound better with repeated listens. 'Falling Out of Reach' and the funky 'Big Dog' catch straight away, as does 'Words', but the other songs have more depth. Yet it may not be an album that you will want to listen to straight through, instead skipping some of the tracks that aren't as accessible due to their style. If you're just discovering the Guillemots then begin with their first album and then look at this one. It's good, but not as breathtaking as the first nor as epic. 3.5 stars.