33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
This is what ears were invented for,
This review is from: The Decline Of British Sea Power (Audio CD)
Ive owned this CD a few months now, and its hard to know where to start to being to tell you how highly I rate it. Its up there with OK computer as one of the greatest records ever, yet its nothing like it. The bands influences are worn on their sleaves without shame, yet theres a striking originality in what they are doing. Sure, they do sound like Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, and The Smiths at different points of the record, but then they sound nothing like you've ever heard before. The music is divine and the lyrics pure poetry (dont let that put u off, its so much better than arty rock stuff u may associate that word with)
The album starts with 'Men together today', 41 seconds of Gregorian monk chant... nice start just to kinda clear ur head of any misconceptions u may have had. Then suddenly the album explodes with 'Apologies to insect life' a punk track, changing time on a couple of occasions, and just knocking u sideways with roaring guitar and drums. Right, so they've got that out of their system, whats next, 'Favours in Beetroot Fields'. The best song title from anyone ever, and a song that lasts barely over 1 minute, another little burst of rocking guitar.
Then it all changes, and you've rocked out, feeling better, you get to calm down with some beautiful music starting with 'Something Wicked' with its roaming guitar and organ, and lyrics that u cant help smiling at like 'it starts with love for foliage, and ends in camoflage'.
Then comes one of the albums more instantly loveable songs, 'Remember Me'. Starts with an infectious riff and driving bass and creates a song that Joy Division would have wrote had they been from the Lake District, and gigged wearing World War 1 uniforms and stuffed birds. It has a distinct britishness that makes you embrace it instantly.
Next, 'Fear of Drowning'. one word, beautiful! Makes the hairs on your neck stand on end, although you wont notice until you've heard it a couple of times. Starting with swishing sea noises, it develops into a gentle swelling brilliant song about swimming from these island shores.
How do you follow such a song? Easy, you write one just as good, maybe better, give it a haunting piano riff, and echoing guitar, some brilliantly emotionally sometimes stupid lyric. What other band could sing 'I'll drink all day and play by night, upon my casio, electric piano' and 'I will return to haunt u with, peculiar piano riffs' and still make you believe them, and take the poetry of the lyrics seriously enough to love them? (which u will, by the way)
Next, 'Carrion', released as a single and many say the albums centre piece, though i cant pick one personally. This is an Echo and The Bunnymen / Joy Division type wonder, yet still is original. More beautiful poetry about Lapping of Ebbing tides (rhyming it with From Scapa flow to Rotherhithe, and formaldehyde). This is amazingly atmospheric, and also has the underunning britishness that you cant explain, only love. Blackout is sung by hamilton, the guitarist, who provides a whispy soft voice, which when backed by a tinkling of a piano, and providing some more poetry that makes you want to write songs, provides a brilliant song.
The next song is 14 minutes long, and strangely, in a way Yes never managed, every one of them is nessecary. In short this song is amazing, one of my favourites ever. More wonderous lyrics like 'Lately, you seem like another language' and 'You know how they say the past it is a foreign country, how can we go there'. Building into a brilliant crescendo of distorted vocals and noise. For the finale, 'A wooden horse'. Starts with morse code beeping, this song is so simple, and reminds you of why 'Nightswimming' by REM was so good on Automatic for the People. Its simplicity and emotion are outstanding. 'When wooden horses were in use I would have built one And left it for you'
The best band in Britain? maybe, definitly one of them. I hope this ridiculously long review makes u you buy the record, because trust me, its worth it. Also, if enough people buy it, maybe the bands profile will be raised, and they will provide us with more beautiful records.