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The Czars make their eagerly-awaited return superb third album, Goodbye, the follow-up to The Ugly People vs The Beautiful People, which was released to great critical-acclaim in autumn 2001. Goodbye is filled with incredible songs notable for their rich production, high levels of musicianship and, of course, John Grant's beautiful baritone vocals, painting broad textures over dense sonic space. Lyrically, the album deals with themes of loss, regret and change. It begins with a haunting piano solo, lightly sketching out the structure of the astonishing title track.
Goodbye is an exploration of feelings and emotions that are often in conflict with one another. Sometimes angry, sometimes tender, always inspired, it is hard to imagine a band who can match The Czars for power, gravity and grace. As an artistic endeavour for The Czars it is the statement of a group that has reached both a sonic and aesthetic maturity.
Top Customer Reviews
The central themes of the album are loss, loneliness and isolation and Jon Grant's sonorous and chocolatey tenor suits the haunting elegiac feel of the album (except where bizarrely vocodered on the mushy-sounding "I am the Man").
The centrepiece of the album is the terrific "Los". The interplay between violin, piano and Grant's voice works beautifully and when he sings the central line "I want you to give back to me the child I never was", I defy your neck hairs not to stand to attention. Clearly this is heartfelt.
My only criticism is that the sound is occassionally cluttered. Grant's voice can stand on its own, but rarely does. Particularly for such personal material, I wonder whether a "less is more" approach may have worked better. This was true also of "Ugly/Beautiful". Now if Rick Rubin could get his hands on them...
The recorded album is not a disappointment and will go down in my collection as being one of the best I have. An always thoughtful and passionate mix of styles but blended fairly well on the album. My only (minor) complaint is that the production of some songs disguises the natural beauty of John's vocals.
Heartily recommended, you will find yourself listening to this album over and over.
This album should appeal to anyone who likes Air, United (the band not the team), etc. I don't write reviews that often so if your're tempted give this album a try
Goodbye is more of the same and whilst I've not had it long, so it has not had the time to creep into my psyche the way "ugly/beautiful" has, I can already feel it starting to dig.
Haunting and gorgeous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How cthey are so good and I only hear of them after they break up.Published 18 months ago by Mr MartinT Taylor
Paint the Moon is the masterpiece on this album. Sublime harmonies. It does outshine the rest of the album by quite a margin, but the rest is definitely worth a listen.Published on 19 Jun. 2013 by JW Bradshaw