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4.2 out of 5 stars58
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 January 2004
I totally agree with the earlier review by 'a music fan'.
The problem is, with so much same-sounding musical dross being churned out, anything that sounds a little different is seized upon by bored critics before being hyped up as the next big thing.
Unfortunately for anyone with an interest in thoughtful composition the offerings on 'Decline' are for the most part unremarkable and unmemorable. Even average albums normally have a redeeming track or two, but apart from perhaps 'Carrion' there was nothing I really wanted to hear again. I'd be surprised if anyone were still playing this in one year's time.
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on 22 April 2004
As a debut album this is pretty good. Reminiscent of the Pixies,musically, though slightly more poppy and jangly, the songs are rewardingafter a few listens. My only critisism is the vocal melody which isn't asinspired as the musicianship and as for comments comparing BSL with theSmiths in terms of lyrics forget it, the Smiths were about 100 levelsabove this. The lyrics are barely audible and even after several dozenlistens through the album it is not possible to comment on what the singeris saying, except he does generally seem a bit miserable about somethingnot very specific.
I have seen BSP live and I think the live performanace is a preferablemedium for enjoying BSP rather than on your stereo.
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on 7 March 2004
I don't why the other reviewers thought this album was so good. With the exception of the first track, a gregorian chant-like thing which is truly inspired, the songs on this album are so similar it's beyond belief.
Once you get past the beautiful album cover and the first song, it's downhill all the way. Listen to a song, any song, in isolation and it sounds good. Listen to more than one and you're left wondering if they have more than one tune, one guitar sound, one set of chords.
This is one dull, dull album, seriously short of ideas.
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on 7 January 2004
Apart from the too short "Men Together Today" and uplifting "The Lonely" this is pretty disappointing stuff, especially considering the rave reviews elsewhere.
To be honest, I am not a great fan of groups like The Hives, BRMC or The Strokes, but even those bands try hard to provide variety within the scope of their style. The Decline Of British Sea Power contains far too many variations on the same thrashing guitar, downbeat vocal theme.
There is some promise, but BSP are not yet ready to conquer Britain, let alone the world. Maybe next time.
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Having read a complimentary review of this band in The Guardian (I think), I caught a glimpse of BSP on 'Later' surrounded by their foliage and was impressed enough to take a chance on this album. The short opening vocal track built my interest further, but what followed was immensely disappointing. I have read a few of the other reviews on here which reference art and BSP's intentions in pursuit of the same. The trouble with rock bands who go on about their music in this way, however, is that they are usually doing little more than spouting a lot of flannel.

'Apologies To Insect Life' has one of those shouted, unintelligible lyrics that loses out to a tuneless thrash. The same crime is committed elsewhere. Rock bands of the 1970s have long been pilloried by their critics for creating overblown epics, but many of them were works of beauty. Here, we have BSP's take on the symphony, the eleven-minute 'Lately', which, for the most part, is as interesting as a soundcheck and ends with another thrash. It is drivel and it isn't even original. Bands have been spouting this sort of pointless white noise for nigh on thirty years.

It isn't all bad news. 'Something Wicked' is a good song, though it highlights vocal shortcomings, while 'Carrion' is better still and the three tracks in between are passable. The rest is hardly worth mentioning. I'd love to be able to say something complimentary about 21st century music, but seven years in the list of worthwhile releases is pitifully short.
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on 23 July 2014
We saw them in concert at Lake Widermere 2012 and thought they were geat. Unfortunately chose this album to download and chose the wrong one. Avoid!
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2004
I really loved the maritime concept and saw them live. A barrage of noisy, overlong songs lacking any obvious merit didn't put me off, I hoped it was just the live set-up. Sadly not. There may be something different in the image, the World War 2 stunts and the plastic owls, but these guys have not musically created anything particularly new and fall into the category of modern bands who think that repeating riffs from the past and adopting the quiet-loud-quiet-very loud-even louder-quiet break-loud for 5 minutes pattern will see them through. It'll keep you entertained for a few plays but there's always someone else who'll rearrange the formula and tempt you into buying their version a week later. Disappointing.
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on 25 February 2014
If you can listen to 'Apologies to Insect Life' without thinking it sounds like a pastiche of half a dozen Pixies songs, then you probably haven't listened to the Pixies much. Probably the most derivative album I've ever heard.
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