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1. who's in control3:14 2. we are sound4:47 3. georgie ray3:47 5. mongk ii4:48listen 6. luna4:17listen 7. baby5:46listen 8. living is so easy4:01 9. observe the skies3:2310. cleaning out the rooms7:1111. thin black sail1:4612. once more now11:1313. heavy water
While British indie music remains at the mercy of boom and bust hype cycles and the vagaries of fashion – just how dated do The Libertines sound now? What happened to Klaxons’ second album? – it’s quite possible that the greatest achievement of Brighton’s British Sea Power is to have something approximating a stable, modest, ‘normal’ career. Viewed fondly by the music press but never hyped to the heavens, making accessible music but clearly unburdened by the desire to write a hit, eccentric but never preposterous, BSP’s three previous albums proper have each scored strong reviews and incrementally higher chart positions and fourth set Valhalla Dancehall seems profoundly unlikely to buck that trend.
Mixing the sort of luminescently sinister ballads that have stood the band in good stead throughout their career with chaotic, colourful smears of guitar rock that break with the sepia tones of 2008’s Do You Like Rock Music?, this is an album that neither treads water nor reinvents the wheel. Instead, it sees BSP continue their stately, unruffled progress.
It’s the band’s dense, oblique lyricism that’s generally prevented their oft-anthemic guitar rock seeming regressive, but on tracks like Who’s in Control?, Georgie Ray and Living is So Easy the band warp the music to match the words; stormy, elastic squalls of incandescent sound that lack the hooky polish of the band’s early material, yet seethe and churn with greater force. "Sometimes I wish protesting was sexy on a Saturday night!" roars vocalist Hamilton on Who’s in Control? before pummelling drums and screeds of feedback obliterate the song’s vestigial structure; there’s something of the roiling disorder we’ve seen on the UK’s streets of late to the track, music to bother royalty to.
It’s thrilling stuff, so it’s a shame Valhalla Dancefloor has a flat-ish final third: Heavy Water is a moving closer, but the preceding Once More Now is a pretty staid 10 minutes – if the band wanted an epic finale, they’d have been much better served including the gorgeous Bear from their recent Zeus EP. Still, that record isn’t totally neglected: the stifling Mongk II (a reworking of the EP’s Mongk) is a foreboding tour de force, buzzing with dread, the band’s most powerful song to date.
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I really don't like this CD at all. I made a mistake in purchasing it. One for the charity bag!Published 21 months ago by R J Bower
Having only seen BSP on TV and was very impressed. Been thinking about getting a CD to judge if their music was as good as their TV slots. Read morePublished on 9 April 2013 by Will Stewart
One of the most interesting alternative bands around. I say alternative because they are still something of a cult here rather than a household name but even though that following... Read morePublished on 15 Jan. 2012 by Sammac
Do You Like Rock Music is probably my favourite album of the last few years, so this one was going to have to be something special to get anywhere near that standard. It doesn't. Read morePublished on 9 Oct. 2011 by Duncan
I first heard of BSP in 2003 whilst on the trail of Bowie's European tour in France. I heard some odds and ends travelling in a car from Marseille to Lyon for the next Bowie show... Read morePublished on 11 Aug. 2011 by David Bentley Newman
I am a massive BSP fan and always have one of their 1st three albums in the car or on the mp3. I could hardly wait to listen to Valhalla Dancehall, but must say I am as... Read morePublished on 27 Jun. 2011 by Jim
I bought the first album, saw them live and thought they were ok. Sadly, i sense no progress, often thinking that songs have just been re-hashed from earlier efforts. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2011 by Mr. Nhj Barnes
Another great album from British Sea Power. Slightly different from previous but not straying too far to alienate long term fans. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2011 by by_tor
I bought this for my husband who likes this music. He prefers heavy base music. Although the cd was okay he would prefer less singing on his CDs.Published on 25 Feb. 2011 by Brendap
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