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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for best album of 2006!
Far different from the epic guitar anthems surrounding debut The Silent Hours, with Statues The Open had progressed and experimented exceptionally. Much to the surprise of the fans of course, some of whom couldn't accept the new direction in sound The Open had taken. A shame really because, what seemingly starts as a contrived mish-mash mess of an album slowly reveals...
Published on 25 Nov. 2006 by Mr. Sean F. Connolly

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Groan..mumble...whine..mumble
Gloom-rock is a good thing.....fact!
But sadly this ponderous mess of self-pity isnt much cop.
Artistically the lads from Birkenhead(via Stafford) have been brave in ditching their catchy but limited sound for slower,grimmer and whinier fare. The guitar sounds are interesting, the keyboards let light into the mix but the vocals are dull and the inspiration( a...
Published on 27 Mar. 2006


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contender for best album of 2006!, 25 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
Far different from the epic guitar anthems surrounding debut The Silent Hours, with Statues The Open had progressed and experimented exceptionally. Much to the surprise of the fans of course, some of whom couldn't accept the new direction in sound The Open had taken. A shame really because, what seemingly starts as a contrived mish-mash mess of an album slowly reveals itself to be an adept and skilled multi-musical take on the same subject (the break-up of lead singer Steven Bayleys relationship with his long term girlfriend). An album so diverse the liverpudlians seem to have mastered a clutch of music genres. What the listener is offered here ranges from jazz (Forever), metal (My House), psychedelic pop (She's Mystery), standard indie (We Can Never Say Goodbye) to a strange electronic/ambient/jazz hybrid (Moment In Time) which works amazingly well. Of course an album which features so many different sounds and textures isn't going to be as accessible and immediate as the (ever so slightly superior) Silent Hours, herein the reason for much negativity (some displayed on these very pages). But my advice to you is to give it some time, a good few listens in its entireity. Before you know it the hauntingly moody atmospherics of Forever and the crazed pop/metal schizophrenia of Fallen Tree will start to work there way into your cranium, making you feel you've been blessed for hearing such brilliantly crafted music. This is from personal experience, I remember hating the album upon first listen, cursing The Open for dropping the beloved widescreen anthems they displayed so masterfully once before. Now look at me, I'm praising it, all because I endured with it and gave it the necessary time to blossom. If you have to check out one song, make sure it's Two Lovers In The Rain, a song of such pure bliss that when the trumpet solo enters two minutes towards the end you'll feel like you're being elevated into the heavens.

It truly was an injustice that The Open felt they had to split up due to being underappreciated. Give them the chance they deserved and check out Statues. An album loaded with genuine heartbreak and emotion, especially when listening to it post-split, where songs such as We Can Never Say Goodbye and Alone take on new meaning and relevance. Joyously uplifting yet unremittingly sad. Please come back guys!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital cult classic album, 8 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
The Open launched into the music scene in 2004 with debut "The Silent
Hours". With immaculate reviews but little media exposure, the band built a
loyal live following and were often compared to Doves, The Cocteaus and U2.
Words like epic and ambitious often graced their reviews. Troublesome
vocabulary really, because their big, epic music just got even bigger with
the release of "Statues". Now they are more developed encompassing even more
genres including jazz (Forever, Two Lovers), leanings to Massive Attack
(Moment In Time), Cure-esque Art rock (My House), the collosal string-led of
the Bunnymen (Alone), Jeff Buckley (Statues) along with a further developed,
familiar brand of stadium filling epic soundacapes that made their debut
such an artistic trumph (Seasons of the Change, We Can Never Say Goodbye).
Of course, The Open only have leanings and influences. Their impressiveness
comes with their lack of complacency and willingness to experiment.
One thing that threads the album bringing the musical diversity into order
is a European feel (the LP was recorded in France)Such a comment without any
descriptive explaination may sound odd, but in places it sounds like it
could be a European film soundtrack - when you hear it you'll see what I
mean). The vocals also provide a coherence through an honesty and integrety
that only comes along very very rarely. These are the lyrical truisms of universal matters.
If Silent Hours was a great debut, "Statues" is their first classic. If the
Top 10 evades them right now, this will certainly be a 'cult-grower' that is
acknowledged and heralded in later years. This scenario is not unthinkable,
it is not full of quickfire pop-songs, but like many other albums that have
been awarded the "classic" status, the rewards are great and longer lasting.
Maybe people will go crazy about Arctic Monkeys or Franz Ferdinand today,
but The Open album really puts them into a more vunerable, short-sighted
context. Those bands may become millionaires, but long after careers die
down, it is Statues that will stand tall. Think "OK Computer" or "Dark Side
of The Moon". It is in that league.
It's a brave statement and whether my prediction is true or not matters
little, if I am wrong but you buy this, you'll be owning the best kept
secret ever. I cannot advise this album strongly enough. It's very existance
is crucial for proving one thing. It's ok for the human race to be
ambitious, because as verified by "Statues", ambition can pay off. And
goodness-knows we could do with a bit more ambition and a few more grand
statements in these stagnant times.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You may have heard of these, 8 Feb. 2006
By 
tom (Notts United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
The Open's debut album 'The Silent Hours' was one of those albums that came out of nowhere a couple of years ago and blew me away. I read a couple of things about them and decided to take a chance. The album hasn't left my stereo since. The only problem for me was that the band didn't get the recognition they desrved either from the public or the industry.
It is with situation that the 2nd album arrives - no hype, no build up, no front page magazine covers declaring them to be saviours of the world etc. I found out very quickly at HMV that the album would be out on 6th Feb so penciled in that date.
What can I say? Like 'TSH' 'Statues' has ambition to burn. I've listened to the album 5 times now and already had 6 favourite tracks. The Open don't follow a generic middle of the road route with their songs, rather they create their own soundscapes that don't instantly jump out at you with commercial intent. Perhaps that's why the public haven't taken to them. Who knows.
Anyway this album is shaping up to be a corker. It's different from 'TSH' but only in the sense that 'OK Computer' was different from 'The Bends' - it expands upon their sound with new layers and dimensions.
Never is this more present than on the gorgeous opener where a jazz style trumpet plays over simmering guitars and Steven Bayley's delicate vocals whilst the drums build and build. It's nearly 7 minutes long but so beautiful you don't notice it. It's only when The Open play it straight and simple they faulter, but it's a small quibble. A couple of tracks ( 8 & 10) didn't grab me as much as the rest of the album but taken on their own are alot better than most bands being hyped each week. The rest is stunning - melodic yet on occasions ferocious (tracks 6 & 9), epic and intimate ( 1,4,7 ), down beat yet beautiful (3,5) and catchy and anthemic (2). It doesn't get the full 5 stars like 'TSH' but over time it just might. I feel you have to really live with an album before giving a true verdict.
If I were to try and pinpoint the band's sound for those unfamiliar yet curious about The Open I would say they are an emalgamation of Talk Talk , Echo & the Bunnymen, Mansun, Doves, Jeff Buckley and New Order to name but a few.
If you are new to the band 'Statues' is worth a try. If you've been waiting like me to see where they go next it's unmissable. You may have to give it time but it does not disappoint on any level.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Groan..mumble...whine..mumble, 27 Mar. 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
Gloom-rock is a good thing.....fact!
But sadly this ponderous mess of self-pity isnt much cop.
Artistically the lads from Birkenhead(via Stafford) have been brave in ditching their catchy but limited sound for slower,grimmer and whinier fare. The guitar sounds are interesting, the keyboards let light into the mix but the vocals are dull and the inspiration( a relationship break-up) is lifeless.
This isnt all bad though, The Open havent gone for the big multi-seller, they have pushed their musical boundaries and offer a lot more, just in one listen this all too much of the same.
They want to make a record that sounds like The verve circa 1993, this sounds more like a sulkier,slower version of Placebo but with far superior instrumentation.
A mixed bag but not a shocker by a long way, atmosphere over idea's I would say in summary!
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars SHAME...IT AINT LIKE THE FIRST ALBUM!, 5 April 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
Well, the second Open album arrived from nowhere and based on my liking of the first album, which most people who have heard it agree that it is very good indeed, the new album was acquired forthwith. However (with a big H) the band have moved off at a tangent into territory where I'm not convinced they are that happy.
It's a real mixed bag of songs containing both laid back and up tempo numbers with a distinct smattering of jazz element finding its way into a number of tracks. Half the tracks are very good and although somewhat experimental, gel very well into a new direction for the band. The other 5 tracks? well I dont really know what the band are playing at. Disjointed and ill thought out melodies ruin what could have been an excellent second album.
It hurts me to write this as I am a big fan of the Open and will still travel to see them live, however, in my view this is an opportunity missed here with Statues. It feels like they had a superb EP ready to go, but chucked in some chaff to bump it up to an album. Buyers beware, you may not be blown away as you probably were with their excellent debut! I certainly have not been. It gets 2 stars for the good tracks that are well worth listening to.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What went wrong?, 1 April 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
The Open's debut album 'The Silent Hours' is sprinkled with catchy pop/rock anthems and is one of the most promising pieces of work from the emerging British indie scene.
Needless to say i was eager for the follow up. I anticipated a slight change and development in their writing, and reading a few early reviews of Statues i was prepared for a "jazz-fused" album.
On first listen there are some moments of beautiful melodies, notably in the opening track 'Forever'. But the album suffers from a hangover and spirals into a very moody and depressing listen, gone are the catchy upbeat tunes like 'Elevation' and what we're left with is a bizarre change of direction which leaves the listener confused as to what they were trying to achieve exactly.
The Open clearly are talented musicians and songwriters but for me this album feels disjointed and very difficult to listen to. I find myself skipping through tracks after a minute or so to stop prolonging the agony.
For anyone hoping for more of the same from The Open, you're likely to be disappointed.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh., 3 May 2006
This review is from: Statues (Audio CD)
The Open's first album was nothing short of spectacular. Instantly catchy, beautifully written and packed full of awesome songs. Unfortunately, where 'The Silent Hours' was an upbeat, enjoyable affair, 'Statues' is the Open experimenting with depression, and doing it badly. 'Forever' is a superb track, but from there the album just gets less and less exciting. By the fifth track, you feel much the same as you may have done when 'Kid A' came out. All that anticipation, all that hype and all you're left with at the end is a boring, slightly misfired experiment.

The Open do not do moody well. They never have and never will. More catchy riffs please.
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Statues by Open (Audio CD - 2006)
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