1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Different but still the same,
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This review is from: Yes It's True (Audio CD)
I've loved this band since the start but after three albums (not including their excellent "Holidaydream" Christmas collection) something had to change, their almost symphonic, gospelly, almost cultish pop becoming a little tired. Their last album, "The Fragile Army" saw things begin to shift away from that technicolour sprawl and into darker territory, and "Yes, It's True" shows that things have changed once again.
The opening track, "You Don't Know Me" immediately showcases the changes. A drum machine provides the backing, along with the usual riot of instruments and voices, and despite that electronic backing sounding different they're still the same band at heart. The next two tracks, "Popular By Design" and "Hold Yourself Up" are the stand-outs for me, the former with an almost spoken chorus by the backing choir, the latter a massively uplifting air-punching anthem almost in the same vein as "Reach For The Sun". The songs are all shorter than before, mostly three or four minutes long, and in the opening half of the album the quality remains excellent. At the end of the catchy "Carefully Try" the band apparently send themselves up a little, a radio announcer describing the song as "the sounds of the 70s". "Heart Talk" is another great track, a saxophone honking away and lending the song an almost Bowie-esque feel as has been commented in other reviews.
The second half of the album is a little variable. "Blurry Up The Lines" is enjoyable but feels almost like the band set out to make something that sounds like The Polyphonic Spree, its see-sawing melody a little parodic in a sense. "Let Them Be" is an oddity, the sound fading out at the start, guaranteed to make you look towards your speakers wondering if the CD has a fault, before it resumes with an odd tale about life in the ocean which doesn't quite work for me. "Raise Your Head" sees a return to the up-tempo pop sound of the early tracks, "What Would You Do?" is an anthemic mini-musical of a track, before the closing "Battlefield" brings the album to a slightly subdued piano-led close.
It's a very enjoyable album, and since I first listened to it it has grown on me a lot, especially in the first half. The variable quality of the second half lets the album down a little for me though. If you're not a fan of the band "Yes, It's True" probably won't change that, but if like me you've loved the band for years it's great to have them back and there are some absolute gems to be found here.