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Open Season is the second album by British Sea Power, the Brighton-based quintet based who dress in old British war uniforms and surround themselves with taxidermised animals. Open Season has attracted big names to the helm: the majority of the album was produced by Mads Bjerke (Spiritualised, Primal Scream, Girls Aloud) and mixed by Bill Price (Sex Pistols, The Clash, Sparks). Two tracks were recorded and mixed by Graham Sutton (The Delays, Bark Psychosis) and Phill Brown (Sly Stone, Led Zeppelin, Talk Talk). The band believe that you see great things from the valley, and small things from the peak, and have aimed, with Open Season, to bring both perspectives.
Brighton's British Sea Power are a band that perhaps shouldn't exist in the 21st Century, but a listen to their fine second album Open Season ought to be enough to convince you that it's a good thing they do. BSP are antiquated in sound as in style although their music doesn't quite hail back quite as far as those WWI-style military jackets might suggest, stabilizing round about the mid-'80s in empathy with post-punk-touchstones Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. It's a keen sense of the theatrical and the absurd, however, that ensures tracks like "It Ended On An Oily Stage" and "To Get To Sleep" are anything but museum pieces: frontman Yan BSP don't do surnames overcomes his slightly limited range by investing every utterance with Box Of Delights wonder, imploring the listener to "drape yourself in greenery/become part of the scenery" on 'North Hanging Rock'. That's rock'n'roll the British Sea Power way: live fast, die young, leave a good-looking copse --Louis PattisonSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Single 'It Ended on an Oily Stage' is a prime example of this, a great pop song frayed at the edges. [The fade-out reminds me slightly of Wilco's 'A Ghost is Born', a reference point perhaps]
But otherwise most key BSP motifs remain. Their pastoral fixation [The song 'Oh Larsen B', a standout track, is an ode to an Antarctic ice shelf!], angular guitar from Noble, Yan's breathless vocals.
Bassist Hamilton also has his share of lead vocals, most memorably on the closing, seven and a half minute, 'True Adventures'. Opening with peals of thunder and a general cacophony that recalls Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the track then morphs into a quite exquisite ballad - epic, widescreen rock at its finest.
'The Decline of British Sea Power' is a great record that rewards the more patient listener, although many find the rawness of some of the tracks at bit hard to take.
'Open Season' dispenses with most of the rough edges, and replaces them with an expansive sound which although perhaps less challenging, is at times bold and upfront, and at others beautiful and reflective (the cello on 'The Land Beyond' being one of many highpoints). Stomping pop tunes and brooding epics a speciality.
An apparent obsession with UK wildlife and World War II may not invite mainstream attention, and even the most attentive listener won't have a clue what they're on about most of the time, but in truth this is a great rock/pop album that offers something with that bit more magic than your usual Zutons/Arctic Monkeys/Futureheads etc etc plodders.
My favourite album of 2005 by some distance
Buy this and you will see what I mean.
That's until you really get under its skin. When you do, you'll discover every song's a carefully composed gem and they flow from one another with such sublime excellence that is seems like a steady stream of musical harmonies. The album is perfectly balanced to be up-lifting and soothing, but powerful and evocative at the same time. The songwriting's as good as their previous outing but a lack of ambition musically could have killed off this band. However, BSP somehow manage to make it work for them.
This album lacks songs with the same gusto as the incredible Remember Me, with the possible exception of Please Stand Up, a song that oozes glorious pop bliss. Other stand-outs include How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?, a song that unleashes the otherwise sub-dued guitars to good effect. Also, Tracks 7 and 8 are as catchy as hell, and the Land Beyond has Radio-Friendly written all over it. True Adventures is a fine sequel to their epic Lately and North Hanging Rock blooms and blossoms over time, but I can guarentee your personal faves will differ as all of the songs are worthy of mention.
Overall, it lacks the Oomph factor of The Decline of... and offers less stand-out beauties and Apologies to Insect Life is an unfortunate casualty as BSP attempt to broaden and mature to compose a masterpiece. Not a revolution, just a carefully-plotted evolution of a great band
There is a sweeping power to their music which reflects their grand name and the wonders of Britain. They have been going for a few years now and have always been at worst an interesting band.
Everything from the Polar Bear illustration on the cover, to the last song (True Adventures is a particular favourite teach of mine) pleased me immensely.
Of all their albums Open Season is the only one to leave me with a slight feeling that the band may be neglecting a bit their usual raw sound for one than is a little bit more chart friendly (and this albums two singles did sell noticeably better than others before or after). In my opinion its not a very British Sea Power thing to do and so, as a whole the album suffers a little bit because of it. But only a little bit because, if you pluck out the best songs from this album (naturally the ones that aren't so compromised) then they rank as some of the very very best the band has ever recorded.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw (and met) the boys at the O2 in Leicester...lush melodies over chilling music. Good.Published 9 months ago by Dan Smith
Superb album, I advise anyone looking for a first BSP experience to put Open Season top of the listPublished 13 months ago by Steve
I thought the album was just stunning right the way through . It left you coming back for more every time that you played it.Published on 1 Nov. 2013 by Peggie Johnson
Nothing really wrong with this but what I really wanted was the soundtrack to the film/tv programme From the Sea to the Land Beyond but this seems to only be available as a... Read morePublished on 30 July 2013 by Muskrat
I first discovered 'British Sea Power, after purchasing 'From the sea to the land beyond' so bought this album to check them out. Read morePublished on 2 Mar. 2013 by Mrs. D. Fox
I have to admit I was a little disappointed with Open Season when it first came out. The Decline Of British Sea Power had an immediacy and edge that Open Season appeared to lack... Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2010 by Sean Gibbins
British Sea Power's 2003 debut album, The Decline Of British Sea Power was a noisy, angry, full-frontal body slam of a record. Read morePublished on 20 Aug. 2010 by P. Frizelle