Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
SUPERB RECORD, BUT GROSSLY UNDERRATED
on 27 March 2000
This album is one of the best records ever made. It has been slated by critics over the years, with accusations levelled such as "egotistic", "maudlin" and "self-obsessed".
These claims are unfounded and the average listener should buy this album to see for themselves.
It is an album that needs repeated listening to "break it in". At first listen it is hard to pick up the mood, the result being that it sits on the shelf for months on end (this happened to me). But listen some more and concentrate on the musical diversity and craft (ignore the confused lyrics) and you will experience a delicate and varied album like no other record you have ever heard.
Roland Orzabal has produced some amazingly deep pieces in his time, but his work here is excellent.
The opening track is unusual for its slightly discordant harmony that manages to sound acceptable while never quite becoming likeable. Things improve with "Falling Down" which softens the album's mood. "Secrets" adds emotion to the proceedings with some great guitar work. The album then turns to a more "pop-like" sound with "God's Mistake", a clever track with plenty of musical arrangement to keep the most studious of listeners happy. "Sketches of Pain" adds a spanish feel to the record and initiates a biting and moving string of emotions in the listener to prepare for the second half of the album. "Los Reyes Catalicos" is interesting, but becomes tiresome very quickly.
The second half opens with a mood breaking rocker, "Sorry", another Orzabal "event" that snakes through different keys and tempos before segmenting into "Humdrum and Humble", a more laid-back track but keeping in the mood of the previous song. Then once again, Orzabal takes the mood right down with the gentle song, "I Choose You", following which he moves back into "Rock" mode for the excellent and rousing "Don't Drink The Water".
Closing the album, we are treated to the gentle and moving "Me And My Big Ideas", and experience the re-appearance of Oleta Adams, last seen on "Seeds of Love". A repeat of "Los Reyes Catalicos" closes the album on a downbeat finale.
Overall, a brilliant piece of work. Try it for yourself and I am sure you will agree.