3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Their best work,but strangely,not the 'Beloved' we knew!!,
This review is from: X (Audio CD)
If,like me,you like some immediacy to the music you listen to,something that grabs and intrigues,you can't go wrong with this,the Beloveds (possibly) final album,'X'.
It certainly is not the Beloved we all came to know and love,but more a development and maturity.Gone are the perfectly fluffy tunes of yore,in roll the deeper house beats and gargantuan bass grooves,ethereal vocals,bleeps and trancey vibes just begging for more and more of your whole-hearted attention.
This album deserves 5 stars alone for the track that is 'Satellite',it just thumps away relentlessly,building and building on the vocal lines,expertly arranged and is one of those tunes that'll keep you moving until exasperation overtakes your head (and your feet!!)
'Crystal Wave' is exceptionally good,9 minutes of thunking,scuttling beats underpassed by a deep,rumbling bass that just goes on and on and on,in a good way...trancy,enveloping,headphone music for the dancefloor...
'Ease The Pressure' follows the same vibe but has a poppier sensibility and really cool,gospel-influenced backing vocals which lift the track to stratospheric heights...it's mind-blowing stuff.
Also here are a few milder chillout tracks,'Three Steps To Heaven' is sublime and Jons vocals are very cleverly mixed deep in the mix so the arrangement of the tune remains slinky and seductive.
'Spacemen' is chillout at it's finest.It sounds like it was recorded on a seabed,all subdued pulsating rhythm and backing vocals that sound like ghosts of angels singing in a cathedral.Just gorgeous.This track also includes my favourite lyric on the album :-
"If you could see that far
See back from where you are
Then you will always be
Somewhere inside of me
You're not alone..."
Nice on its own merit but in the context of the song,that makes you feel like you are SO alone,this lyric really hits home.
'A Dream Within A Dream' is the other chillout track,all twists and turns on the synth-lines and Robert Fripp adding to the most bleak track on the album with his strangely fascinating un-guitars.
'For Your Love' is along the same vibe as 'Ease The Pressure' but with sligthtly less effect,it's dancey enough but not up there with that gem.
Another two tracks ('Physical Love' and 'Missing You') are deep,housey grooves which on first hearing don't grab you but it's these very tracks which add longevity to the album...repeated listens help them to shine for the lustrous little diamonds they really are ('Physical Love' is,in my opinion,the second best track on the album after....)
....'Deliver Me'.Not the funkiest,not the most ethereal,not entirely chillout.
It is,however,the best track that Jon Marsh (and Helena) have ever written and it's this track that opens the album on a gentler note before the head grabbing 'Satellite' takes you into oblivion...
All in all a fantastic and fantastically underrated album.
I hope,one day,there'll be more to come from them because this album was taking them places that i know I would definately like to revisit..
Check it out...