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Brilliant... in places
on 7 August 2004
After hearing the music on the Volvo XC90 advert, which was supposedly similar to Craig Armstrong's 'Finding Beauty', (though by the time I found out what the music was I'd forgotten what it was like), I took a gamble and bought this album, already intimate with 'Weather Storm' and 'Finding Beauty' itself.
I loved those songs. I love neo-classical music, classical with a rhythm section and sometimes vocals, a la Rob Dougan (quite possible my favourite album ever) but I was disappointed to find only two songs on this album that on first listen I wanted to hear again. And one of them I already knew.
The other song was 'Inhaler', a gorgeous rocky instrumental that just merges into a classical backdrop, recently featured on another car advert.
The problem with this album, I have found, is that the songs could be brilliant - the score is great - but they are ruined by annoying little things, such as the bizarre beep that relentlessly occupies 'Ruthless Gravity', and that woman throughout 'Waltz'. Her sample could be used effectively, but always just seems out of time with the score.
Despite these annoyances, the more I listen to it, the more I love this album. I've taken a shining to 'Amber', 'Snow', at least part of 'Miracle' (until Mogwai ruins it) and the reworking of U2's 'Stay (Far Away, So Close!) featuring Bono himself. Here however, dare I say it, I think it was recorded on one of Bono's bad days, because I've heard him sing this better before, especially on the Boston DVD. Maybe he had a hangover, I dunno.
So mixed emotions really. Some of it is brilliant, but I just cannot listen to it all the way through without skipping major sections. Which is a shame really.