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on 9 April 2009
I first heard of Ride on a 'Best of Year' tape attached to the front of VOX magazine - my first introduction to Indie music. The song 'From Time to Time' was their contribution. I was overawed by the layered melodies and ghost like vocals. I was smitten and bought the album as soo as I could. Overall, the rest of the album doesn't disappoint. The songs are varied enough in sound. Some of the lyrics are a litle lacking in thought and depth but hey I'll forgive them that. As one of the previous reviewers points out this is a different style from their earlier albums which, whilst I find enjoyable, don't have the same tightness and quality in production of Carnival of Light. This version of the album has three extra songs appended to the end that are in the same vain as the album and I'd only previouslyheard on an obscure Tour album called 'Live Light' - I always thought they merited being on the album. I've never heard the studio versions but expect them to not disappoint. I've just placed my order for this extended version.

Ride - you changed my life. Shame you couldn't polish up Tarantula!
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on 30 September 2001
A CLASSIC ignored, mainly due to a complete change of style and genre at the wrong time. A truly inventive indie band just say stuff it - we'll do a hippy album. Changing so drastically didnt hurt 'Primal Scream' but I feel sure Ride's die-hard audience felt betrayed and confused and they were not known enough to have any success with it, but hey, on its OWN merits it is brilliant!!
Flowing melodious emotional warmth and real confidant belief in what they were doing oozes from this album. Opening with 'Moonlight medicine' they declare ther aural intent using synth guitar and vocals to seduce you in. '1000 miles' harmonies flirt with your emotions and 'From time to time' has brooding harmonies from heaven washing through your brain like water.
With 'Natural grace' they pick up their guitars and blow you away with their intent change of pace and power seamlessly through wafting melody.
'Only now' is a true lovesong but the hook grips you, the chorus giving a lump to the throat as the guitar takes over. 'Crown of creation' is beautiful and has psychedelic guitar breaks within comfortable well structured melody and harmonies, and its Floydian sound makes you feel almost stoned as does 'Endless road'.
'How does it feel to feel' reminds you of their previous glory, much more intense although a little out of place on here but a good single.
'Magical spring' is a hippy rock song which grows on you.
'I don't know where it comes from' is upbeat again
and 'At the end of the universe' shows their psychedelic modern edge.
The brilliant vocalless more electronic remixed single of this and others from the album show that they still experimented.
It is perfect in structure, track order, variety of both content and instrumentation and obviously careful mixing (all reminding you of Pink Floyd in their "Meddle" period at times), but still fresh and modern with seamless timing and changes in mood and tempo - within and between tracks. Ride decided to mellow out a bit and express themselves, without conforming to their 'NME indie saviours niche'.
Yes 'Drive Blind' and Chelsea Girl' etc. are classics, what they will be remembered for and purists may dismiss this as an indulgence of infleunces, not loud enough, but....if you arent musically blinkered and actually listen this really is a groundbreaking, experimental CLASSIC.
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on 6 April 2012
Carnival of Light was a major flop when released, surprising as it was superior to most records produced in the mid 90s and fitted well with the Britpop era of the time. Its a decent record with some fantastic songs (Moonlight Medicine, From Time to Time, Lets Get Lost [on the special edition]).
If you are looking to check Ride out, try Going Blank Again or Nowhere first.
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on 7 February 2000
This is one of the sweetest records I have ever heard. It will make you dance and smile all day long. If you like british pop bands - Stone Roses, Blur, Pulp - this is the record for you.
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on 28 July 2010
This album is well worth a second thought even better than i remember well worth a purchase.
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#1 HALL OF FAMEon 26 August 2001
'Carnival of Light' (title derived from an abandoned play written by Paul McCartney for Jane Asher) appeared after an abscence of two years. Like Spacemen 3's 'Recurring' it is an album of two halves.
The first five songs are the best- written mostly by Mark Gardener (the better vocalist). 'Moonlight Medicine' features Jon Lord from Deep Purple and picks up where 'Leave them all Behind' left off. Its opening sounds very 'Apoclaypse Now!'; '1000 Miles' takes in more of the distance related melancholy of 'OX4' with a 'Mr Spaceman'-riff. 'From Time to Time' is a better attempt at what they attempted on 1991's 'Unfamiliar'; Bell provides some great Fender Rhodes!...'Natural Grace' is a Byrdsian track, written by Colbert,and as with many Ride songs details hedonism & the movement of a present towards another. Plus, it's as poppy as early classics 'Like a Daydream' or 'Taste'...'Only Now' is a mature ballad, written with 'Surf's Up'-collaborator Jack Rieley (and could fit on the album of the same title with ease!).
The single, 'Birdman', begins Bell's half of the album; a trippy Ride song which would have been improved if the appalling lyrics hadn't been printed on the album sleeve!...'Crown of Creation' was re-worked after the 1993 co-tour with The Charlatans and sounded too close to REM's 'Losing my Religion'. As for "I'm getting off at your station/I want to be your relation"!...The Creation's 'How does it feel to feel?' provides welcome respite and takes Ride back to the sound of the 'Play' e.p...'Endless Road' sounds like a cross between Paul Weller circa 'Wild Wood' & 'Electric Mainline'-Spiritualized. It sounds like a poor imitation of Gene Clark's 'The True One'...'Magical Spring', despite similarity to the earlier 'Walk on Water',is a classic jingle-jangle Ride track. A cracking chorus and a lyric about the kind of 'girl who lives on heaven hill' (to quote Husker Du)
'Rolling Thunder' (Bell's Dylan obssession!) is a great interlude- similar to the opening of 'Moonlight Medicine'. Sadly, it gives way to the crap tribute to 'You can't always get what you Want', 'I don't know where it comes from'. This is pastiche on an Oasis/Ocean Colour Scene/Black Crowes level. Terrible.
On the whole a good album- the first half offering signs of greatness. Things were never going to be quite the same again...
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on 30 March 2015
Enjoyable
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on 7 April 2015
Apart from How does it feel to feel?, I would say overall, that this album is crap.
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