on 13 February 2001
It's easy, when listening to this album, to compare it to the many Neil Young-influnced bands in the US. Although these comparisons are not unfair, they won't help you get a feel for the quality of this album.
While maintaining a wonderfully downbeat tone, the music manages to avoid the dreariness that plagues so many bands of this type. It may need a few spins to let the subtlety get under your skin, and it's definitely one of those CDs that sounds better after dark, but the delicately sparse arrangements and beautifully constructed melodies are both pretty and engaging.
on 27 February 2001
What can i say about Tram that will do this excellent album justice? Think of Low but more melodic, think of Neil Young at his mellow best,and think of Lambchop without all the instrumentation. The first Tram album "Heavy Black Frame" was a little sparce for my liking although the songwriting was excellent.This second album has even better songs which have been produced in a fuller manner which takes the album to the next level. Although the album is strong all the way through standout tracks include giving up, this sacred day, and once i was.There is also a great cover of Tim Buckleys once i was and the album is split neatly into 2 sides with an instrumental. I think that with a little assistance from the music papers this album deserves to lift Tram into a higher league which certainly deserve.
on 28 August 2007
The term 'slow core' doesn't really do justice to this album, conjuring as it does images of painfully protracted, po-faced minimalist post-rock. This is nothing of the sort. I bought this album on a whim on its release in 2001 and still find myself playing it periodically six years later. It's not just the seductive swoon of its music that draws me back but also the strength and permanence of the songwriting. Yes, its slow, but not by some willful act of experimentation, but in a reverie of loss and love that imbues every sound with a resonance and extraordinary ambience. Every note is clear and precise, glowing in space; nothing is wasted. There is a folksy Englishness to it, but also an ethereal quality to it; both intimate and unworldly.
The percussion has a shuffly, dinner-jazz quality to it, a soft foundation embellished with guitar - acoustic and steel - trumpet, strings and oboe. My personal highlights include the mournful trumpet on the opener, 'Are You Satisfied', which segues into the music so seemlessly it could make you weep. Elsewhere, the guitar refrain on 'Now We Can Get On With Our Own Lives' mirrors the vocal melody in a oddly sedative slow-motion call-and-response. Futhermore, the cover version of Tim Buckley's 'Once I Was' is actually better than the original. Go on, take a chance like I did, and be forever grateful for having bought this criminally underrated album. A somnambulant mini-masterpiece of dream pop!
If you like this you might also like Lambchop's 'Nixon', the Iron & Wine collaboration with Calexico 'In the Reins' or Belle & Sebastian's 'The Boy With the Arab Strap'.
on 6 July 2001
this is one of the most chilled out cool gathering of music i have heard in ages - if you like elbow, low, turin brakes witness or any acoustic music then this is for you. its deep, full of true feeling and emotion and take you away from the world your living in - to another uncontrolled level where all is at peace. its good!