Zidane: a 21st Century Portrai Import
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Top Customer Reviews
The possibilities, limitations and conventions of soundtrack writing are very good for Mogwai. The fact that the music was written as a soundtrack means that the album posesses an intense unity and strength in structure which only 'CODY' comes close to matching. There are themes, effects and ideas that appear and reappear throughout the album, giving the sense of one huge work unfurling over the ten tracks.
The album has the feel of a Mogwai track magnified - the first two thirds or so is slow and contemplative, but quietly seething and subtly majestic. Feedback and delay combine with drones to provide backdrops for simple guitar or piano melodies with drums that rumble gently, but threateningly at the same time. These melodic themes are interspersed with improvised sounding passages of quiet noise that assist in the build of tension through the album.
The music becomes more and more aggrevated over the first 40 or so minutes of the album - the dynamic variation, the build and release familiar to Mogwai's music is present but in a more subtle guise than on past releases. There are moments of sublime beauty and of understated (but no less effective for it) tension, and it is all released in the last 20 minutes of 'Black Spider 2', following four or five minutes silence. These final 20 minutes have the feel of an enormous, slow explosion.Read more ›
What you get is the band exploring a more ambient landscape, and in the context of the film this may work, but as a stand-alone album it is too slight, mainly as most of the songs are lacking that vital spark that ignites Mogwai's finest works, and I don't just mean the loud bit. Whereas something like Helicon 2 is wonderful, tuneful and even kind of playful, nothing here does that. For the most part the album doesn't only miss the noise, it also misses good melody, always a Mogwai strong point. Too many of the songs meander pointlessly, the 25 minute hidden track the best example. Again, in the context of the film these songs may work, but here mostly they do not.
That is not to say that the album is dire and devoid of merit. It does have its moments, Black Spider is the closest to classic Mogwai and pretty good, as is Half Time and Wake Up and Go Berserk, but shamefully these moments are few and far between.
This album is not a good introduction to what Mogwai do.
It is very controlled like Zidane's playing with the odd unexpected violent breakout and change in pace and dynamic. At times it is almost claustrophobic.
This is the mighty Mogs at their most controlled and complex, only occasionally going for sonic goal or polyphonic penalty.
Delivered by the lords on the post rock non dance.
The playing is tight and ensemble and works like a well drilled team with solo sparks.
Enough of the football analogies, a great work of post rock soundtracking
So in sumary, while out on the move, the album will seem a bore, but given the time to concentrate and listen, this album can be deeply absorbing. Perhaps not recommended if you are expecting the usual Mogwai riffage, but brilliant album nonetheless.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just brilliant... Mellow and beautiful... A great tribute to the film and to Zidane..Published 15 months ago by william simpson
I love Zizu, I love football.....but this was simply plain boring. Had to turn it off before it finished. YawnPublished on 13 Jun. 2014 by Scottish customer
I did not listen to this album. I purchased it as a gift and the recipient was impressed. He likes the Mogwai he has bougt before and this seems to be in keeping with his... Read morePublished on 29 Dec. 2013 by cerebustheaardvark
Yes! This is a really cool soft music to chill out with. Get it asap and you will not regret it one second.Published on 12 Feb. 2009 by Elisabeth Ahrén
If you buy this expecting an archetypal Mogwai album, you might be disappointed. If you buy this expecting an archetypal Mogwai album, you are sorely missing the point. Read morePublished on 28 Dec. 2006 by Mike