If I were British Sea Power, I would right now be feeling a little cheesed off with the press.
Not that the reviews have been bad, far from it, but most have said that Valhalla is basically another British Sea Power album with a few tweaks and enhancements.
For me, nothing could be further from the truth.
The band have clearly spent an awful lot of time on this album, and to be frank, although there are moments when it's unmistakeably them, these are in the minority.
Some parts put me in mind of Arcade Fire, others Blur and Kasabian.
Whereas Do You Like Rock Music was a fine album, it didn't excite me, it never drew me in so that I HAD to play it again and again. To be honest, the only way i can put it is that I found it a little two-dimensional.
VD, on the other hand, has so much more depth and variation of sound; the guitar heavy tracks interspersed with more keyboard-centred and bass heavy songs; vocals are much improved, and with more variety of tone.
In short, this is a much more grown-up album whilst still retaining bags of charm and most importantly, FUN !!
I've had a passion for music of many kinds for 40 years now, and for me, this is one of the finest albums I;ve heard in the last 5 years.
Yes, the cover may look a bit chap and nasty; the contents are far from it. Approaching genius. Buy !!