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4.8 out of 5 stars
Pygmalion [Vinyl]
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2007
For their final album Slowdive show themselves to be far more diverse than their indie rock contemporaries. Each of Slowdive's albums are unique and very different from one another: Just For A Day was a classic dream-pop album, that leans towards The Cure's Disintegration and the gentler side of the Cocteau Twins. Souvlaki was a more focused indie rock album, which showed the band to be stronger songwriters than any of their contemporaries in the shoegaze scene, as well as more being more experimental: the album had strong dub and ambient leanings, including a collaboration with Brian Eno on two tracks. Finally Pygmalion, the band's last album, shows Slowdive moving entirely beyond the conventions of dream pop and shoegaze and fully embracing ambient music and influences from contemporary electronic music.

Neil Halstead used delay and reverb to create an effect not unlike that of a sustain pedal on a piano. He coated the vocals with these effects to sustain each individual note so that they clash with adjacent melody notes to create a similar effect to a cluster chord, but without the harshness. These reverberations hang in the air, combining to create a textured, ambient sound, which is dense but, at the same time, much more sparse than the band's sound on their earlier albums. This kind of approach brings to mind artists like Steve Reich, Aphex Twin and Brian Eno much more so than indie rockers like Ride or The Boo Radleys.

This album is evidence that Slowdive were one of the most forward thinking and creative acts of the '90s. Even the band's closest contemporaries Seefeel and My Bloody Valentine sounded nothing like this. Pygmalion is one of the most original and essential album of the shoegaze movement.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 March 2009
Having enjoyed Slowdive's 'Souvlaki' album I decided to pick up this - their next, and final, effort. I didn't really know what to expect. Basically, it's a stripped down affair - consisting mostly of delayed guitar and vocals. It is certainly not an immediate album, requiring a lot of patience (and a lot of spins) to sink in. Be prepared to give this album a lot of your time before you truly appreciate it!
It's not the most upbeat collection of music either... but fans of Souvlaki probably won't be expecting anything happy. It's great for late night, introspective listening. Blue Skied An Clear, in particular, is a one of the highpoints.
In summary, not for everyone, but an enjoyable piece of music if you're prepared to invest some time in it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 March 2002
With their last full-length, Slowdive stretched the limits of the sparse soundscape. It sounds like melodies floating in and out of a dream. A very artistic and abstract record. Recommended for any fan of other-worldly music. Definitely their best work ever, unforunately it's impossible to find in the US (I need a copy).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2000
This album will always remind me of the cold candle lit room where I first heard it. It was the ideal setting for an album of music that can be appreciated most when the world stops for the night. Those opening reverby droned guitar chords and Haltsteds' haunting vocal on 'Rutti' pave the way for a beautifully introverted musical landscape. For this album, Slowdive shed the layers of music they used so well on previous releases, but still manage to capture your deeper side just like before. 'Crazy For You' hooks round a psychedelicy guitar phrase which compliments the up-beat rythm of the song. 'Miranda' and 'Trellisaze' connect well with the candle flames that should accompany the album. Rachel reminds us of the power an airy voice can achieve during 'Miranda', complimented by the eastern sounding sampled voice loop and the continuous chord. 'Trellisaze' evokes feelings of being in a room full of old clocks in an old fictional house. The lonely 'Cello' takes you further inwards and reminds you of Slowdives ability to fuse such an instrument into their music. 'J's Heaven' is a beautiful song to listen to it build up gradually and then drift back. Rachels voice drifts in to remind you of her beauty. The simplicity of 'Visions of La' is masked by its haunting effect that Rachels voice and Neils acoustic guitar produce. 'Blue Skied an' Clear' has to be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. The chorous always provokes images of a once stormy sky clearing into a beautiful blue horizon. 'All of us' ends the album nicley, but you can't help wondering if it is is all of theirs. It comes across as being Neils album, with a little help from Rachel and the others. This will always be one of those albums that makes your imagination run wild in to beautifully lonley places.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2006
I can't say how much i love this album. It has such a psychedelic atmosphere without strictly being of that genre. It is really hypnotic and definitely a late night album that wil lull you into another world of eerie and spectral shadows. The music is almost solemn and ceremonial but has a suggestion of unease all the time. it is just brilliant. For my money the best thing to come out of the so called shoe gazing scene (whatever that stupid media invented term meant).own it.NOW.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2014
With a lot of reissues suffering from poor mastering, this is very pleasing. The disc plays beautifully. It's quiet and clear. Dare i say, arguably better than the Creation original?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2005
incredible album from the legendary british band.amazingly i did not hear this album until about 2004, it was released in 1995.never in the u.s. though. i purchased a copy on e-bay,mint condition for a fair price,can't beat that! a very strange and mysterious album, but very beautiful also.i sure wish the band were still together creating music like this. listen carefully to the tracks and you will hear all sorts of wonderful , mysterious sounds in the background.a little difficult to understand neil halsted's lyrics,wish they came with the album. but i guess thats part of the enjoyment,trying to figure out what he's saying and what it means. blue skied 'n clear is my favorite song, 'rutti' and 'all of us' are great tracks also.overall a great one of a kind album. some of the material will take you back to the previous slowdive albums, as far as even recognizing that it's slowdive,but for the most part it is very unique and stands alone as a shining masterpiece.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
I bought this as a present for my husband who is a Mojave Three fan and he loved it. he says it could be described as lovely ambient music.
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2007
Slowdive always seemed to me to be 2nd division shoegazers and this album, while a worthwhile progression away from their pedal-laden indie beginnings towards a more mature, spacey and psychedelic style, still suffers from the same weaknesses as their previous material. This is not what I would call an all-time classic album. There is a lack of musical ideas leading to a repetitive, padded feeling to a lot of the tracks; they start promisingly but fail to develop, relying instead on dense layering of fairly generic reverb and echo laden guitar sounds. My Bloody Valentine showed that a psychedelic guitar sound requires more than just a rack of digital effects. Both Halstead and Goswells vocals are weak and I actually find Halsteads somewhat nasal tones irritating, even when drenched in the everpresent (and overused) reverb and delay effects. The organic, rich quality found in Talk Talk's 1988 masterpiece "Spirit of Eden" is lacking here although "Blue skied 'n' clear" comes close. In all, an interesting but flawed album.
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on 7 July 2015
Great for chilling
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Original Album Classics by Slowdive (Audio CD - 2012)

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