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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Indeed !
It's just over two years since BSP's last album hit the airwaves.
'Valhalla Dancehall' (Jan 2011) was a very strong collection and
'Machineries Of Joy' continues to find this splendid Brighton-based
ensemble in fine fettle and firing on all six cylinders. There is real passion
and energy in this material and these ten new numbers jump out of the...
Published 17 months ago by The Wolf

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not their best
As others have said, not the best BSP album.In fact to be honest I'm struggling to like most of it.It may grow on me but my initial listen to it left me feeling abit flat.It just hasn't got the strong melodies of previous albums.I will persevere and repost if my first impressions change for the better!
Published 16 months ago by wholeworldwindow


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Indeed !, 1 April 2013
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
It's just over two years since BSP's last album hit the airwaves.
'Valhalla Dancehall' (Jan 2011) was a very strong collection and
'Machineries Of Joy' continues to find this splendid Brighton-based
ensemble in fine fettle and firing on all six cylinders. There is real passion
and energy in this material and these ten new numbers jump out of the
speakers into the room with a remarkable sense of spontaneity and power.

There are moments in the project where I found myself thinking about
XTC, especially their early eighties albums 'Black Sea' (1980) and
the double disc set 'English Settlement' (1982). There was something
quintessentially "English" in their style which BSP continue to tap
into; it's a music whose roots are about as far away from The Blues
and R&B as it is possible to get. There's a kind of strange prog-punk
sensibility about their inventions which I find totally enthralling.

It's very hard to pick out the winners. There's not a weak song in sight.
Force my hand however and I'll point you towards 'Loving Animals' which
struts and snarls about irresistibly on the back of a teriffic lumbering
riff and some really tasty quasi-psychedlic vocal harmonies; 'What You
Need The Most', an evocative melody threading its way through a nicely
conceived 6/8 time arrangement full of pathos and a sense of dark romance;
'Spring Has Sprung', a truly uplifting anthem if ever there was one and
'Radio Goddard' whose quirky almost-Mariachi brass punctuates one of the
finest compositions it has been my good fortune to have heard this year.

A terrific show gentlemen. Your best work so-far methinks. A joy indeed!

Highly Recommended.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Relatively Modest, By BSP Standards, 8 April 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
I have to say that this latest album release by Kendal's finest, British Sea Power, is, for me, something of a disappointment. I say this, of course, in the context of what is probably my favourite (certainly British) band of the last 10 years, producers of two of the greatest albums of this (or indeed any) era, in The Decline Of British Sea Power and Do You Like Rock Music? That is not to say that Machineries Of Joy is a poor album - far from it, at its best it would still leave the vast majority of currently produced music in its wake. But, for me at least, there is little here to match the band at its absolute finest, on songs such as Carrion, The Great Skua, Oh Larsen B, Lights Out For Darker Skies, We Are Sound, Bear, Remember Me, Atom, Zeus, Fear Of Drowning (the list, as you can see, is pretty much endless). I also appreciate that the songs included here are (essentially) revamped versions of the 33 songs included on the recent monthly Krankenhaus EPs, and I guess it was inevitable that some personal favourites would be omitted (Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, Lullaby For What You Are, Facts Not Right and Wishful Thinking to name but four).

Having said all of this, the album gets off to a great start with the title song, whose dreamy instrumental opening gives way after a minute or so to a typical wondrously obscure set of Yan lyrics, kicking off with, 'With primitive ablutions, like a hobbyist of deranged proportion....', before embarking on one of the man's trademark sublime melodies. For me, other standout songs include the (ironically rather premonitory, given the Paolo Di Canio saga) wonderfully vibrant Monsters of Sunderland (together with its Roker Park reference), featuring the most memorable Noble riff here, Hamilton's Spring Has Sprung, with its throbbing beat and gradual building climax (reminiscent of the man's No Lucifer), the beautiful melody, and backing brass, of Radio Goddard and the straight-ahead, full-on rock of K-Hole.

Hamilton again shows the quirky side of his composing skills on the idiosyncratic Loving Animals, whilst each of What You Need The Most and A Light Above Descending typify the band's composing for the album, being relatively slight, albeit nicely melodious tunes. For me, this lack of substantiality is then taken too far on each of Hail Holy Queen and the album closer When A Warm Wind Blows Through The Grass, which just don't cut it for me.

Still, there is certainly enough here to warrant a purchase of an album that most (other) bands would be proud of.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, 1 April 2013
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
On the whole I like this album but there are a couple of low points for me which prevent me awarding a full 5 stars. Others may disagree with me but I find the album sags a bit in the middle, Loving Animals and Monsters of Sunderland seem a bit too arch for their own good and come as a bit of a disappointment after the storming opening tracks. Things get back on track towards the end, the breathy and insistent Radio Goddard and A Light Above Descending leading into the subtly magnificent When a warm Wind blows through the Grass. For those new to the band my parallels would be a hint of Echo and the Bunnymen, a soupcon of Suede and a tad of Flaming Lips - sort of. To be honest this album really defies categorisation but is well worth a listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Joy, 5 July 2013
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
Excellent - an acquired taste perhaps but possibly their most accessible cd yet - the wonderful title track sets the mood nicely as they veer between complete screamo rock outs like K-Hole to the more reflective. And its got a polar bear on the sleeve - whats not to like ?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Machineries of Joy: British Sea Power – What you need the most?, 13 Sep 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
This 2013 release is the sixth from British indie rock group British Sea Power. Having heard a few bits and pieces from it on Radio 6 prior to release, we were aquiver to obtain this as soon as it came out. It follows in the footsteps of their previous great albums, though not quite scaling the heights of the impressive ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’.

It’s a superbly produced slice of British Rock, with a distinctively British flavour. It’s mean, moody, abstract, pacey and punchy. All at the same time. There are influences of Clash, Sex Pistols, Specials, U2 that come to my ears, along with a big slice of something unique, that comes together to make a sound all of their own. A great album, I look forward to number 7!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back on form!, 13 April 2013
By 
James A. Needham (Darkest Cheshire!) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (MP3 Download)
This doesn't quite live up to the simply superb "Do You Like Rock Music?" (but not much can - from any band, and from any era - and *that's* quite a statement) - but it's definitely a big stride up from the distinctly average "Valhalla Dancehall".

I'd played this album a number of times while I'd been doing other things and each time it finished quicker than expected. Whether that was because I enjoyed it so much, or whether it was because I ignored it for much of the duration, I couldn't decide. I finally made time to listen to it properly - and, guess what - it was the former!

Some of this reminds me of Julian Cope ("K Hole" and "Monsters Of Sunderland" for example), which isn't necessarily a bad thing!

This may be an occupant of the CD player in my car for some time. It's GOOD! If it hadn't been for DYLRM I might've graded it as a 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb album from the Best of British, 13 April 2013
By 
Paul Blaney "blazctid" (Herts UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
This is a cracking album, make no mistake. I also have a couple of the limited ep's that were the fore-runner to the album. It's clear that the guys wrote a shed-load of great songs on those ep's and maybe they struggled to condense all of this work into one long-player. I also feel that with all those songs in their armoury - why only 10 songs on the album?? On the two ep's that I have, surely Wishful Thinking and Chrysanthemum were worthy of inclusion (and dare I say a few more off the others).

So why only 4 stars - maybe writing so many songs, they failed to concentrate on the old "killer tracks" to base the rest of the album around. The album doesn't have a true focal point. Machineries of Joy is a lovely song but as a single - hardly shaking the foundations.
Monsters of Sunderland I found a little lacking at first but after hearing it live, I like it a bit more. For me, the best song is the slightly worrying Loving Animals. Hamiltons song-writing is some of what makes BSP so alluring - madly deranged topic to write a song about but the sound of the music (contorting towards the end as the listener puzzles over the lyrics) creates a great soundtrack for the song topic.

All-in-all, a thoroughly pleasing listen but when you know what has gone before and the process behind the construction, I do feel ever so slightly let down.
BSP are THE most innovative and interesting band of these shores and should be celebrated as such. Their music should be held in the same high regard as the likes of Elbow and Radiohead - truly great British song-writers so as such, if you are a fan of great songs and tunes - buy this album. All BSP fans will buy and love it in their own way anyway. Once you love this band, you'll love them forever - fact!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fine fine album (but not great), 10 April 2013
This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
Reading the various reviews here & in the media I was expecting BSP finest album and on the first few listens I was disappointed. Now having played the album 10 times or so, I can say it's really grown on me, but it's not a 5 Star album.

I loved Valhalla Dancehall, but thought it suffered from having too many tracks (10 is the correct figure) & this does indeed have 10. However 3 of them pass me by & that's a shame

The opener (title track) is excellent, a typical BSP stomper. `Hail Holy Queen' is a slow burner but very good & track 4 `Loving Animals' is one I now really like. The album picks up pace with `Monsters of Sunderland' another standout track. The highlight of the album is the penultimate track `A Light Above Descending' which has a hint of BSP's finest song in my opinion `Bear'.

It's a shame they didn't include `Facts Are Right' from the bonus disc - a Transmission-esp guitar driven beast of a song.

Looking forward to Sheps Bush in 7 days time - Follow up, Sheps Bush was great!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good album, 22 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (MP3 Download)
Got every BSP album and this is up there with them all, some top tunes on here, would like to see them perform some of this live...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another stunning BSP album, 18 Jun 2013
By 
R. Abrook (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Machineries of Joy (Audio CD)
A real grower. As a BSP fan I know that each track will take a few listens to adjust to and this album grew on me after a couple of weeks. A handful of standout tracks and well worth a purchase.
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Machineries of Joy by British Sea Power (Audio CD - 2013)
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