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Séance

4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Dec. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Second Motion
  • ASIN: B00454U25U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,529 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Randall on 18 Dec. 2010
Format: Audio CD
The 3rd album by the Church found this brilliant band venturing boldly into previously uncharted territory, embracing electronica and psychedelia in equal measures to thrilling effect. Much has been said about Seance being marked by melancholic strains but no more so than any of the records that followed in its wake. To be frank, this claim is sorely over-stated & only works if you happen to find, say, Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon a bit gloomy. For me, Seance is one of the most exciting albums of the 1980s with genuine riches to savour. It also contains in 'One Day' one of the group's most musically joyful tracks which is guaranteed to expel any inclination towards melancholia around these parts. Why the record company didn't think to issue this sublime offering as a single (instead of the lengthy 'It's No Reason', a terrific track but a no-hoper in the singles stakes) defeats me. Couldn't they recognise a potential hit when they heard it? To be fair, the company did release another potential hit in 'Electric Lash' in a bid to crash the charts, but only in Australia! For many fans of the first 2 rock-orientated albums Seance was something of a shock to the system and Steve Kilby was spot-on when he remarked that this record signalled the band's departure from traditional rock forms, for it represents a decisive move into new sonic landscapes of frequently exhilarating adventurism. In the sleeve notes to this magnificent sounding remastered re-issue Marty Wilson-Piper writes at length of the band's discomfort on hearing what was done to the drums in the final mix and although one can appreciate their having been a little piqued by the process it is good to find him beginning to get over it some 30 years later!Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Phil Miles on 17 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Seance: the height of melancholy depth! An album for reflection, loneliness and darkness. The record, some twenty years old this year stands almost alone within the back catalogue of a band known for it's flirtation with introspection. Seance is slow and sad, pausing occasionally to lift the spirits- but rarely (Electric Lash is the only track to get going, sort of). However, its excellence lies in its darkness; songs about transience, loss ('Alone, at the end of the day, as I stand before the relics of what used to be, you and me': Electric), suburban boredom and even flirtations with psychedelia. It may seem strange that this review drifts towards a warning of impending depression ('it's no reason to be sad' Kilbey sings in a lullabye of the same name to make everything OK you know!), but Seance is an album that reminds me of being 18, falling in and out of love in a summer and is forever etched on my conscience in strangely positive ways- simply because its beauty lies in the fact that somehow Kilbey's lyrics/vocals soothed the soul. Check out Marty Willson-Piper's (or is it peter Koppes?) solo at the close of 'Disappear' and I defy you to be blown away as you float away; reflect on past summer evenings with 'Fly', 'Travel By Thought' and 'Now I Wonder Why' and drift into your armchair with 'It Doesn't Change'. Soft, melodic, bitter-sweet and ethereal. A masterpiece- if a sad one.
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Format: Audio CD
Séance is my favorite album by The Church, though I guess some fans find it difficult. There’s a definite lack of the Pop side the band had shown on their first two albums, and it’s been replaced with a more Gothic tone, though still definitively The Church. They increased their use of keyboards but didn’t sacrifice excellent guitar work. The single ‘Electric Lash’ is among my all-time favorites. It has enough of a catchy chorus that it did make an impact in some countries. Although, the single ‘It’s No Reason’ is just a little too bland. ‘One Day’ is another personal top of the list, and perhaps the closest to an upbeat Pop song on the album with some excellent New Wave drumming. ‘Travel By Thought’ is a tremendous nightmare of schizophrenic drumming and eerie vocal echoes, and I love it. ‘Electric’ is the closest thing to one of the epic tracks The Church love to do, though this one stays pretty consistent throughout.

The CD contains two bonus tracks, which were single B sides. Both ‘Someone Special’ and ‘Autumn Soon’ are just as good as the best songs on the album, and are welcome additions. The CD remastering was sourced from the over-loud 2002 remasters from Australia, so this is little more than a single CD repackaging minus the videos, which are not easy to play anymore anyway because the technology is long out of date.
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By Kaz on 14 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
brilliant album
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
At Their Best 25 Aug. 2004
By OgreVI - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I know, I know, everyone loves Starfish, presumably because of "Under the Milky Way." And those that want to go back farther always mention Heyday and The Blurred Crusade. But, for my money, this is the greatest Church album ever, and I include it on my personal list of the seven greatest rock albums, period. "Disappear?" is my favorite Church song ("Wake to find you gone, a note pinned to my sleeve/and it wasn't just the things you took, it was the things you had to leave"), "Electric" is the essence of their famous discordant, moody sound, "It's No Reason" is as simple and beautiful as anything they've done, and "Electric Lash" and "One Day" are just a blast; you turn 'em on and immediately just start feeling good. Nobody since Dylan has gotten as much out of a bad singing voice as Kilbey, and this is the record where he stopped being self-conscious about it. And the ethereal guitar sound is already fully developed here. If you don't have this album, you don't really know the Church. It is a must buy.

All that having been said, if you DO already have the original release (and judging from sales figures, most of you don't), I can't really recommend buying this in addition just to get the added material. The bonus songs, it turns out, were left off the original record for the simple reason that they aren't very good. But, if you're a serious fan, it's probably worth the money.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Demonstrates The Church's diversity 22 July 2005
By trainreader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Of all The Church's albums, "Seance" is probably the most representational, in that the various styles of the band are present. For instance, "One Day" and "Dropping Names" contain one guitar (I think Koppes) repeating a phrase, and the other (I think Willson-Piper) creating the framework of the melody. Some of The Church's best songs (i.e. "Reptile" from the later album "Starfish") fit this pattern. "It's No Reason," "Disappear?" and "Now I Wonder Why" represent The Church in their dreamy melodic mode. "Fly," "Electric," "Travel by Thought," and "It Doesn't Change" show off the band's more psychedelic, experimental side. "Electric Lash," could have been a top forty hit, if only The Church had received their fair share of radio play.

All the songs include Kilbey's enigmatic lyrics, heavy in metaphor and allusion (i.e., from "Fly" -- "Baby smiled like a tiny child/ She talks her head off, and the land lies wild/ tossed and turned on a teardrop sea/ and all those dark clowns (clouds?) that are following me." From "Its No Reason" -- "Crocodile skin water, city shadows wait/ Put your head in your hands, the ending is so great"). I'm not sure what it all means, but it's certainly unique and thought provoking.

"Seance" is definitely one of the better Church albums. In my opinion, the transition from "Fly" to "One Day" is one of the band's best moments. I also think, however, that some songs go on a bit too long and become somewhat tedious. In the coming albums, The Church would occasionally have this problem, but this does not detract from the music of what I think is one of the most underrated rock bands of all time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Undiscovered gem 7 Dec. 2007
By Everyones A. Critic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This, the "difficult third album" for the Church is one of their best. It was originally released in 1983 during a period when the music world around them was moving from post-punk/new wave into the new romantic era. Significantly, Seance is the final full-length album of the band's "autocratic" era, after which songwriting became a more co-operative effort involving the whole band rather than songs penned solely by Kilby.

It goes without saying that the Church never really followed mainstream trends, however this album does feature a much more production-driven sound than their earlier albums - this perhaps in response to the synthesized sounds of the era. The band were reportedly uncomfortable with Nick Launay's drum treatments at the time, and unhappy about the guitar processing which they felt obscured some of the fine playing, but today the album sounds gorgeously crisp, and is much more sympathetic to the band's songs than the later reverb-soaked efforts like "Heyday".

The songs themselves are mostly excellent, especially the ethereal opener "Fly" which segues beautifully into the rousing "One Day". The album includes the strangely forlorn "It's No Reason" and the follow up single "Electric Lash" (which charted in the the top 10 in Australia). The closer "It Doesn't Change" is another standout track.

The album contains some of Kilby's strongest lyrics, and contains a diversity of moods and ambiences missing from some of their later albums. This is an undiscovered gem in the Church's extensive discography. Highly recommended.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Good Again 13 Sept. 2002
By Wallace V. French III - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
EMI recently re-released four Church cd's. Each one of them with b-sides and videos on the second cd. Unless you have a very well trained ear for such things you can't notice a difference in the "digitally remastered" recording as compared to the original cd. However, if you don't have this on cd now would be a good time to buy it. Even if you have it on cd already it is worth the purchase because the b-sides and videos cd is very cool. You need a plug-in for your computer in order to get the videos to work. Once they work though it is very cool to watch them again since they don't play them on T.V. anymore. The videos are not full-screen, but they are big enough on your monitor to enjoy them. Quality of the video is very good. A must purchase for The Church fan.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
classic. perfect. 24 Nov. 2013
By souprman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
the church are brilliant. this one of their finest lp's. this remaster sounds great. if you don't know the church they are excellent jangly psychedelic dream pop and this, i believe, is their 3rd record from the 80's (1983 i want to say). i don't know what to compare them to because i've been using them to compare other bands to for 25 years. fans of the cure, echo & the bunnymen, the jesus and mary chain, my bloody valentine, the smiths, and um, other bands from the uk in the 80's, will most likely love these guys. the records that these guys put out in the 80's have songs that have been stuck in my head for into the 4th decade now. if you like this get "heyday" "remote luxury" "starfish" and "the blurred crusade".
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