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4.0 out of 5 stars49
4.0 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(2 star).Show all reviews
9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2011
Rating: 4.5/10

A pattern seems to be emerging at XL recordings - artists make edgy, interesting earlier albums, then have all the elements that made them fascinating 'rounded off' to create something that's easier to listen to. It's like they get people interested in their artists, then expect to widen the fan base and simultaneously make the music sound more, for want of a better word, 'palatable' using more studio resource. Certainly that's how i view recent output from the label anyway.

So, onto this album. I instantly knew this album maybe more about image and promotion than engaging music just from the opening track. It faded into the background after a minute or so, a theme which continued for much of the album. For this album, the approach appears to have been an electronic wall of sound style, which either works and appeals to you, or doesn't. Largely one-paced songs follow each other (with the exception of Endless Blue & Monica Gems), with not a lot to really hang your hat on, in terms of memorable moments, instead a kind of faux anthemic feel permeates across large swathes of the record. Similar to the friendly fires latest effort - the music seems overproduced, at the expense of, or instead of, real songs. This album is very much a shoegazing album (the sound and structure of the music plus the less abrassive vocals than last time out make it so), and therefore has far less energy and attitude than 'Primary Colours' - gone are the Joy Division comparisons with this latest effort. If you enjoyed the darkness and raw vocals of the last album, then let me warn you, you may not like this. Because of the absence of proper songs, i was left wondering if the title should have been skyving rather than skying.

Like someone else mentioned, it's a little too Simple Minds for comfort. In some respects it reminds me of Ulrich Schnauss, but with vocals, and without the delicate beauty of Ulrich's work. The second track sounds very much like a track by Dreadzone with vocal & wall of sound elements added. 'Dive In' seemed promising but certain vocal parts sounded like, and made me actually sing, (well, in my head) another Horrors track from the previous album.

Some tracks are alright, but, for these ears, a lot of it was quite unremarkable stuff that didn't really capture my imagination or make me think, 'oh yeah! i really like this!', or even, 'that's interesting, i'll listen to that again' I just can't imagine me coming back to this album very often, if at all. This is music for a particular mood, but even then i can't imagine it ever being more than background texture. After a lot more listens perhaps some interesting nuances in the music will come to the fore, but only time will tell - it's certainly true to say that over time some albums soar while others wither. Perhaps better to borrow off a friend and see whether it's worthy of a purchase later. It certainly left me non-plussed, to the extent that i can't even say which of the tracks are highlights :(
I could perhaps say that Primary Colours didn't contain highlights for me either, but somehow that album worked - sadly, this didn't.

Update: Tried to give this space to grow on me, but it hasn't really. I think the first 3 songs (Changing the rain, You said, I can see through you) are a reasonable opening to an album, and 'Dive In' is decent but the rest is overblown and not worth listening to.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2011
Firstly, this album sounds nothing like Simple Minds. Just because a group offers keyboards as its main instrument [ although Simple Minds used guitar too ] doesn't mean it sounds like Mr Kerr's band, it patently does not. Also, in conclusion to this false similarity, Simple Minds, around their peak; Empires and Dance, Sons and Fascination, Sister Feelings Call, were far far rockier, inventive and more aggressive sounding than The Horrors. The Horrors, are, like a hell of a lot of modern bands, sadly weak kneed, derivative, and ultimately lacking in invention. This album is pretty poor, even in terms of a pop sphere it just doesn't deliver. Another band lauded to the skies by the NME and other music papers starved of anything which really excites. As Mr Lydon once said "Terminal boredom"
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2011
I was looking forward to listening to The Horrors as they were recommended by a friend and seemed to get pretty good press. On first listen I thought that it was fairly tuneless, with a distinct lack of melody. So I left it for a while thinking that it would be a grower. Looking at the art work with all the vintage synths and keyboards I thought It would definitely be for me. Sadly after more listens I still find it very bland. So it just goes to show, it doesn't matter how cool the sound is, without a good tune and melody, it's not going to work.
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