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Souvlaki

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 Jun. 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Creation
  • ASIN: B0000270RS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,068 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Slowdive for some years now and their songs have never lost the power to give me goosebumps. For me, their ability to make uncomplicated yet beautiful soundscapes, impressionistic, emotional songs reminiscent of a Turner painting rendered in audio, makes it impossible for me to stop listening to them. While the guitars of My Bloody Valentine roared, Slowdive made theirs sing.

While sound is all important to what they did (try 'When the Sun Hits' and crank up the volume & bass and I defy you not to feel your heart start to pound), this album benefits from lyrics that are both audible and appropriate. 'Alison' is a Slowdive classic blending exquisite harmonies from Rachel and Neil, beautiful, meaningful words that really paint the flawed but attractive character of Alison ('Your messed up life still thrills me'). '40 Days' is so sad it makes my lip wobble; if you've ever missed someone you'll recognise the emotion immediately - if you haven't missed anyone, you'll know what it's like!
OK - maybe it's not music to put on before you go to a club! On the other hand, why not stay in and experience some of the finest, most affecting music available.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME on 29 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Slowdive became a much more interesting band in the period between debut album Just for a Day (1991) & this 1993 release. It did get some decent reviews then, but does feel overlooked- which might be due to the music press passing over the "shoegazing" bands they feted in 1990/1991 and focusing on "Grunge"- which was in turn exchanged for tokenist dance music coverage and the horror that was "Britpop".
This collection showed that Slowdive main-man Neil Halstead was advancing as a songwriter- their earlier material might have relied too much on chimes & drones. Here She Comes & Alison (about a charming girl who used to work for a record chain in the Maidenhead/Reading region?)show advances in songwriting that would lead towards the song-orientated secret that is Mojave 3. Not that the soundscapes have been abandoned- Melon Yellow fuses a great Syd Barrett/Robert Wyatt style song with acoustic guitars & dubby basslines. Whether this was the influence of too much smoking, On-U-Sound dub albums or The Orb I don't know- the title track Souvlaki Space Station (too much watching Solaris maybe?) has a sound like Lee 'Scratch' Perry meeting...well, Slowdive.
Souvlaki remains a highlight of imaginative guitar-orientated music, though it has more in common with the ambient sounds of the era (such as The Aphex Twin- who would remix their 5 ep the following year). Hopefully this will get re-released at some point in the future, perhaps in a manner as attentive as the Ride reissues of 2001. I think it's a lost classic, but any album that blends Eno's ambient works, MBV inspired guitar sounds & dub-basslines equal to those on PIL's Metal Box must be worthy of investigation by the open minded...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Janis on 13 Jan. 2006
Format: Audio CD
It seemed during their lifespan that Slowdive never received the credit they deserved; in light of them emerging around the time of "Loveless" can't have helped. But I found their music to be perfect for late night drives in the car, or relaxing at home with the headphones on. Their early EPs were especially good, notably their cover of Syd Barrett's "Golden Hair", just gorgeous beyond description.

However, "Souvlaki", to me, was their definitive album. Though I don't think of every track as perfect, the truly great songs on this album make me give it 5 stars. "Alison" is a gorgeous start, languorous and atmospheric. "40 Days" is even better, with a simple but stunning guitar line that is simply transcendent, and Neil's vocal seems deadpan on the surface but strikes me as full of emotion. Above all, the peak moments could very well be the brilliant "Souvlaki Space Station" and "When The Sun Hits". Both are absolute masterpieces. In the former, Rachel's vocals are somewhere between waking and dreaming, and are more another instrument than anything else, complementing the washes of guitars perfectly. In the latter, Neil and Rachel share vocals to spine-tingling effect. Oddly, this track always seems to end too soon, I enjoy it that much. In addition, the extra disc with B-sides and the wonderfully hypnotic "In Mind" single are a great incentive to check out this release.

I can't pretend to know all the lyrics, nor do I care a decade on from my first listen. Honestly, I believe this album is more about overall feeling in that the lyrical content isn't such a crucial factor, much in the same way as the best Cocteau Twins records. This is truly music to take you to another place. Sadly, Slowdive only released one more album, "Pygmalion", after this one, but they left a solid, albeit brief, recorded legacy that truly deserves a chance at re-assessment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Number Six on 21 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
Damn, but I wish I'd heard this a long time ago.

I bought this album purely on spec after hearing Slowdive being mentioned alongside the likes of Engineers, Pure Reason Revolution & Oceansize. I could never do MBV's sonic blitzkrieg and missed the rest of the so-called `dream pop' thing, and had no idea what to expect. What I heard was a beautiful lost gem filled with stunning spaced-out guitar soundscapes, drifting ethereal vocals, some serious dub rhythms and the delicate touch of Eno (albeit through a slight psychotropic haze), plus evidence of a growing song-writing talent in Neil Halstead.

This is definitely a songs album, but the band is pushing at the boundaries all the time. Mellow or acoustic songs elegantly draped with atmospheric light and shade (Here She Comes, Altogether & Dagger); great melodic pop songs in vast spaces full of ebbing and flowing layers of guitars and vocals (Alison, Machine Gun, the fine cover of Some Velvet Morning and the excellent When The Sun Hits); ambient songs with voices weaving between shifting patterns of sound and rhythm (Sing, Country Rain); and truly epic songs, soaring celestial vocals and indie reverb guitars surfing into deep space on a current of heavy cosmic dub (the magnificent Souvlaki Space Station).

Considering it was released in 1993 the music here is bold experimental stuff, and it's easy to hear why they are such an influence on some of the aforementioned bands. On this album at least, Slowdive seem to be probing the borderland between indie rock and atmospheres, crafting some fine songs and creating soaring ambient spaces to perform them in. They were definitely ahead of their time and got swamped by the successive waves of Grunge & Britpop, but they left us a masterpiece. Wonderful stuff.
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