It came out yesterday, and I spent the whole night listening again and again, constantly changing my mind about which track is the best.
A lot of bands get compared to Coldplay, and alas I'm going to have to do the same thing here. It at least gives an idea of what kind of sound they produce. It has similarities to "Parachutes", Coldplay's equally impressive debut, although Will South's vocals are a little more ethereal and fragile (he reminds me of the lead singer from Danish band Mew). They also have a hint of Travis, and are similar to Keane, albeit with guitars.
I bought this album on the strength of the singles, and because I saw that they were supporting Embrace on a forthcoming tour which I'm attending. This album surpasses Embrace's great new offering (Out of Nothing); in fact, it surpasses everything I've bought this year (even Keane).
Finest tracks for me are "Into the fire", "Thru the glass", "The Salt Wound Routine", "Last Forever", and "Automatic". Or 1,2,5,8 and 12 if you prefer.
If you like melodic, moving, inspiring, soaring, and truly musical Indie/rock/pop, then spending a tenner of this fine new masterpiece will be a tenner well spent. You mark my words.
For me this is a band that would be more seriously damaged by unfair comparisons than most- not only because the recognition they so rightly deserve is still shockingly not being paid to them, but also because very little on The Invitation is similar to ANYTHING else that was released around the same time or that's around at the moment. And without comparisons it's seriously hard to pinpoint exactly where Thirteen Senses deviate from their forebears. But suffice to say, this is an incredibly stylish collection of songs, each imbued with an extraordinary sincerity.
While the various aspects of all the songs fuse perfectly and deconstruction would be a little unfair to the band as a whole and this product of their souls - I must say that Will South has such an amazing voice, unlike anything I've heard before, for me it's a special voice and makes the songs that bit more emotional for me. Also, the tracks where the piano is allowed to dictate the tone and leads his haunting and earnest vocals into the poetry of the songs are for me the stand-out tracks on the album, songs like 'Into the Fire,' 'The Salt Wound Routine' and 'Undivided,' which rate among my favourites. But the first 5 tracks are definitely the ones to pay the closest attention to, trust me- you'll never hear their like again...
(1) 'Into The Fire'= Simply a superb start. Lyrics, vocals, instrumentation....all gel effortlessly and the result is mesmerizing.
(2) 'Thru The Glass'= The climbing from the wrecked car into a desolate landscape in the video was an excellent metaphor for this song. The lyrics are bitter, the guitar work harsh and piercing and the vocals straining, yet still this is an uplifting, musing melody, which only improves with repeated listens.
(3) 'Gone'= This has such a great introduction that delicately winds itself around corners and in circles, questioning and remarking on the experiences that shape us.
(4) 'Do No Wrong'= "...Satellites contain us, traffic lights control us..." Could it get any more insightful? Oh yes! The first line from this song struck a personal cord with me, as a monotonous, tormented beat drove home the profound message. Incredibly moving and perceptive stuff.
(5) 'The Salt Wound Routine'= Gosh, these lyrics are great. I won't give any away this time, but trust me...they're superb and the strings in accompaniment here mingling with the piano only compound the effect.
In summary...I accepted the Invitation, never once regretted it and now eagerly await the second instalment.
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