5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Their best album,
This review is from: Repetitions (Audio CD)
On 'Fallen Host', Blueneck seemed to be edging toward a noisier, more aggressive sound. Songs like 'Seven' and 'Low' featured loud, distorted guitars and drums, and even quieter tracks like 'Lilitu' showed the band experimenting with a restrained electronics.
The tentative experimenting of the previous album is absent on 'Repetitions', however, which counts as their most organic, peaceful album. Mostly piano-led, guitars play a supporting roll, trilling in the background as on the gorgeous ballad, 'Barriers Down', or making plaintive melodies as in 'Venger'.
The real star of the album, however, is vocalist Duncan Atwood. He contributes some stunning, understanded melodies and for the first time in three albums, his voice is consistently high in the mix. With a halting, confessional tone, Atwood supplements the warm, claustrophobic atmosphere of stand-out track 'Sawbones' perfectly. Patiently, the tension of the track builds and finally breaks into a satisfying, loud conclusion.
In fact, almost all the songs feature some kind of build and release structure, but Blueneck manage this structure so well that it rarely seems forced. 'Sawbones', for instance, introduces perfect strings during the songs crescendo, as does 'Ellipsis'. But there's never any sense that the strings are being glued-on.
In conclusion, the album is an outright success. Bringing Atwood's vocals to the fore and including a wider degree of instrumentation has produced an album that is far more cohesive than 'Fallen Host'. Obviously, Blueneck deserve more exposure, but it almost seems appropriate, given the introspection and rural feel of their music, that they should go widely unnoticed. Occupying a middle ground somewhere between Elbow and Sigur Ros, they capture the feel of the British countryside and its effects on the soul. Hopefully one day someone will give them the credit they deserve, as this is exceptional music.