Top positive review
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Beautiful, Breathy and Atmospheric
on 19 September 2011
Bruce Springsteen once wrote a song that was so breathily beautiful that it drew the listener in and with its acoustic guitar and atmospherics it just eased away the worries of the day. That song was Secret Garden. Imagine a whole album of that kind of intense beauty and arrangements and you are close to the wonder of Gracious Tide, Take Me Home. Acoustic guitars, beautiful arrangements and an overall feeling of joy - that's what this album delivers in spades. There are occasional electronic swashes lots of strings but remember that Bruce Springsteen track because that's the sound and feeling here.
The two vocal parts just counterpart each other well and leave you loving a different track each time you listen. The only real departure from the airy and beautiful approach is A Kingdom which sounds a little like Arcade Fire and still works. Although if you want to compare it to anyone then Sigur Ros might be a decent bet. The crackles and background noises here add to the feel of the album and the atmospherics.
Overall this is going to be album of the year contender. It grows on each listen and it has the kind of beauty and heartfelt honesty that's been lacking in some offerings this year. This deserves to be heard.