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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNDERSTATED DEPTH & BEAUTY, 22 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Is This Desire? (Audio CD)
I love this album- but if im completely honest.. if 5stars is an absolute msterpiece then this really for me is a 4.5.. why?..
The narratives / stories here have a strong sense of continuity and tie the album together completely. There are 2 tracks i dont like as much- Joy & Electric Light, even these however sit well in the context of the album, but wouldnt have the strength to stand on their own.. unlike the rest..
ITDesire is an incredibly rich dark poetic & layerd piece of work, with extremely beautiful & original arrangements- none of your predictible rock godess stuff here. Yes there is a brooding darkness about it- stories of pain & desire, & tortured mainly female characters from stories etc. It ties in with To Bring You.. her Nick C influenced album, but this one is far more original & is the stronger of the two in my opinion. There is far more going on which takes time to reveal itself. Understated songs- as an album it captures your attention initially -then reveals more & more of itself with every listen, layer under layer. Great for late night insomniacs! It is different but equally as powerful as the bluesy punk styled ROMe, albeit slower & darker.
Absolute standout tracks are The Garden, The River, The Sky.., Is This Desire, The Wind. The River is exceptional! - with some of the most heart achingly beautiful music & lyrics ive heard.. Though so many of these songs are essentially sad, they envelope you with such beauty that they transcend that feeling & leave you wanting more!.. except Joy that is. The arrangements in TRiver build layer upon layer until they crecendo. Piano & a muted 'moaning' horn, sounds off in the 'distance' giving a sense of space descriptive of the lyrics.

The production however does frustrate me as i keep wanting to hear all those subtle / unique sounds more clearly.. not louder.. just more clarity. I have wonderd if this was of course intentional. Muted horns, key boards, kickdrum, her own background vocals whispering eriely & seductively repeating, "shhhhh..." "& listen to the wind blow... ".
Theres tinkering, scraping, scratching, fuzzy electronic sub bass sounds, there is an industrial techno feel to the bass of Catherine & E Light., a muted pounding bass, and more stubtly in other tracks.

I think that what makes pjs music so unique & special is that it sticks to no 'rock' or 'indie' format. A true sign of the level of achievment here, is that it is obvious this album is has been so intensly laboured over to the tiniest detail, with its myriad of experimentation & effects, Yet it NEVER SOUNDS IN THE LEAST BIT OVERPRODUCED. Instead it is completely understated and leaves the listener to work a bit and listen out for its hidden beauty. It is not the kind of music that has you analysing what is going on technically whilst your actually listening to it.. it works too well for that, instead youll be absorbed.. afterwards... well you can see..
So there you go, different to ROM & DEMOS & STORIES, but EXTREMELY GOOD! An album you can put away but will always reward you however many years down the track when the mood takes you...... how many albums can you think of that can do that?!!
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Location: Perth Australia

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,084,171