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Too much money, not enough tracks!
on 4 April 2014
Let me start by saying that 'Slo Light' is a good album, but the £14 price tag is ridiculous! There was an MP3 version somewhere on the web a few weeks before the release of the CD, featuring the 10 album tracks, plus 3 bonus tracks including 'Sensor' which is my favourite track by Davidge. I decided not to buy the MP3s at the time for £8 because I wanted to buy the CD, which I thought would cost £10. Call me crazy, but I still like to 'own' the album in a physical sense so I always buy CDs that I really like rather than MP3s.
However, this release is £4 more than I thought it would be and the three bonus tracks are not even included! I noticed that the album was listed as 'currently unavailable' on its release date and I can't help but think that the reason it now costs £14 is because of a limited release of some kind. But, I am still disappointed by the exclusion of 'Sensor' and 'Hummingbird', both of which would have been great album tracks.
The rest of the album is pretty good, in some places very good. 'Slo Light', 'Riot Pictures' and 'Anyone Laughing' are my favourite tracks on the album; each one bursting with rich, atmospheric music and hauntingly beautiful lyrics. Davidge applies this formula of strong female vocals and dense, moody music throughout the album, but I found certain songs like 'Gallant Foxes' and 'How Was Your Day?' were a little lacking in their execution. I would have gladly abandoned either of these tracks in favour of the two excluded songs that I already mentioned.
Comparisons with Massive Attack's later work were always going to be inevitable and I can't avoid making some myself. For me, this album is basically 10 tracks that all sound a little bit like 'Teardrop' and 'Paradise Circus'. 'Slo Light' lacks those epic imaginative tracks like 'Antistar' or 'Atlas Air' as well as any kind of strong male vocal tracks like 'Pray For Rain' or 'Angel' which might have given it a little more depth and variety. Plus, it would have been really interesting to see Neil team up with his old pal Robert Del Naja for at least one track
So, in conclusion, I won't be buying this version of the album. I might still get the MP3 pack if I can find it, but I would have greatly preferred a hard copy. But then again... maybe i won't. The music is predictably top notch and most of the lyrics are brilliant too, but I just found that it never quite reached the dizzy heights that it was expected to.