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This review is from: He Who Saw The Deep (Audio CD)
After three years of waiting iLiKETRAiNS now return with their follow up to 2007's darkly reflective debut album `Elegies to Lessons Learned'. In that debut iLiKETRAiNS proved themselves to be one of the few bands that manage balance the post-rock principals of bands like Mogwai with the brooding vocals of others like Joy Division, Editors and Hope of the States. It is a balance of sound that produces an intriguing and powerful experience. This album then focuses more on personal mistakes as well as looking forward to the future and what the consequences of some mistakes might be on both a personal and social level.
The tracks on this album are varied and balanced in their content and delivery to create a cohesive flow to it as a piece of work. `A Father's Son' for example is a relatively quiet in its delivery with a focus on the personal content. Whilst, `We Saw the Deep', `Sirens' and `Sea of Regret', demonstrate the bands ability to create wonderfully building and insistent pieces of music that carry you from start to finish in a lush sonic landscape. The soft ticking and stripped back intro to `Hope is not Enough' focuses you on the almost desolate vocals which talk about a human need to survive rather than grow complacent. `Progress is a Snake' is a commentary on a history of human mistakes that we have to live with ("We made our beds and now we lay") and how though people grow and develop they will make the same mistakes again ("A snake can shed its skin but never change"). The specific example used in this case is that of global warming referenced through the lyrics "...Europe slips into the sea". `A Divorce Before Marriage' is like a gently crescendoing epitaph at the end of a life. The vocal whispers over the top of this gentle serenade like a fond farewell ("Close your bright eyes"). The album then closes with `Doves' which starts off feeling like the numb silence after a funeral whilst you consider the loss. The gentle washes of music in the background add a grey atmosphere to the proceedings and the final lyrics of "Nothing says its over quite like the way you hit the sea" act as a beautifully understated full stop to the album.
So once again iLiKETRAiNS have managed to create an album of lush sonic soundscapes that carry the listener on an emotional journey of worries and consequences without at any point being depressing. This is mainly achieved through some wonderful song craft creating very memorable songs that work together as a complete composition. This album is wonderfully elegant in its simplicity.