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Yanqui U.X.O.

Yanqui U.X.O.

4 Nov 2002
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Yanqui U.X.O.
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album certainly doesn't make for easy listening so it's definitely not one to soothe or relax. Perhaps it has its quiter, calmer moments, but on the whole this is an album to grab you and shake you with the force of a tornado. This ain't sweet or romantic business that speaks of heartbreak either, unless heartbeak be seen in cosmic proportions. This is somber, heavy music on the less optimistic side - it inneffably speaks about pain and sadness and injustice in the world (see bombs on cover, and politicized inner sleeve notes) and it does so through such intense a material and on such gradiose a scale that it can hardly be listened to in one go. But this is hardly the artists' fault, and one can only admire the force of this legendary instrumental rock group at its peak. This album will leave you drained to be sure - but don't be frightened off: it'll show you such heights of beauty and transfiguration, and it it'll so move you and stir you deep down inside that it'll feel like some mystical purging experience. A ridiculous amount of harmonies and torrents of beauty crammed within a one hour recording. Amazing.
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Format: Audio CD
Upon first listen to this it seems to be too long and drawn-out, but that's only the first listen. Once you get used to it and listen to again you start to understand why this music was written this way. It is written to amaze, and to have it most simply put, it does.
It never zooms along at high speed, but crawls, not too slowly, but still crawls, and this all adds to the amazing effect of GYBE. You can feel emotion distilled in the music, everything that comes out from it comes with pure emotion. And the fact that these songs were written to portray wars just adds to that effect. You can almost imagine the armies marching along and then when all the music finally comes together they're commensing battle, and then it dies down and the battle is over, but only one side is victorious, but there is something calm about the victory. All these portrayed by music. It's just simply amazing.
If you like music to be short songs, don't buy this. If you like long, beautiful instrumental masterpieces buy this now. You won't regret it. This was my first GYBE buy after hearing one song off a previous album, and I cannot get enough of it.
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Format: Audio CD
YANQUI U.X.O. is perhaps the most satisfying Godspeed! album thus far. There are no vocal interludes or messy atmospheric shenanigans, just a series of well structured, extremely infectious melodies. Playing less upon the slow fast slow fast trademark sound, this album is not so much about the power or the impact (but it has these too) but more about the actual melodies themselves. This is Godspeeds! 'pop' album and it sounds absolutely brilliant (perhaps as a result of Steve Albini, legendary producer of Nirvana, the Pixies and PJ Harvey amongst others).
The albums' shadings of light and dark (not so much as the fast and slow) is quite incredible, and this makes it a good start to finish listen. Some of the melodies are very unforgettable and this album, when listened to in the correct frame of mind, can become quite addictive. It's certainly a better focused, more complete and consistent album than their previous ones (which where also excellent), despite slightly lacking in the variety of 'Lift Your Skinny Fists....' There's also more emotion to be found amongst the mayhem- although not quite as sad as 'Lift Your Skinny Fists' or 'F#A#Oo' it's far more devastating and scary.
I can't understand it when people call Godspeed! a demanding band. Judging from this, they simply aren't (although maybe with previous albums/eps). This album is like a cross between incidental movie music at its peak with a lot of attention payed to melody and construction. What's so difficult about that?
I guess it's the lack of lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD
For many years I have been a big fan of Mogwai. I like their long, drawn out build ups and releases of tension through big, loud noise. Thing is that I have got all of their albums and EPs but still wanted more of this stuff that makes my spine tingle. I wondered for a long time if there were other bands which could electrify me in the same way. Recently Amazon told me to buy Godspeed You! Black Emperor albums because I had written some reviews about Mogwai and Sigur Ros. I went and purchased this album from my local independant (a marvellous place called Record Collector in Broomhill, Sheffield). I banged it on as soon as I got home and spent the next hour and a quarter grinning happily.
This music is IMMENSE. The pieces all exceed twenty minutes and as such they move slowly and develop gradually. It generally adheres to the same structural formula: quiet > build up > build up more > keep building up > smash > huge, thunderous, loud > fade away > start again. Okay, so some might say that they find that somewhat boring and samey after a while. I don't. I love it. It's a tried and tested formula that always produces amazing results. For heaven's sake, sex is pretty repetitive! It always follows the same pattern, but not many people find themselves starting to get kinda bored with THAT do they?

The work done by the orchestral instruments on this album is absolutely brilliant and combines with the guitars, drums, etc to create some gorgeous, fascinating landscapes. Lie in a dimly lit room with your eyes closed and this coarsing through your headphones and let it wash through you... Mwwwaaaaaaaahaaahahahaaaaa! Heavenly. Yanqui U.X.O. is full of every kind of surprise: harmonic, rhythmic, melodic... I don't believe I shall ever get bored of this album, it's just so incomprehensible.
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