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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 23 October 2002
Unfairly slated in some music mags, True Skies has some cracking tunes on it. The first two in particular (Quicksilver and Young Again) provide a top intro to the album. Young Again in particular is fantastic.
True, it doesn't sustain the pace and the last three or four efforts are pretty uninspired, but there's a great energy about the album and Simon Tong can clearly write tunes. You could say the 'rock' is in the first half and the 'psychedelic' stuff covers the second half.
Maybe The Shining would have been better served by releasing a Verve style EP first, but you can't deny this is better than a lot of the pretend young 'rawkers' around at the minute. Why they've not sold more albums is a bit mystifying to me, as this album sounds fresh, vibrant and has loads of catchy riffs.
One really important, nay imperative thing I have to say is that this album is NOTHING LIKE the abysmal Hurricane #1, which Q magazine compared it to. That review prevented me from buying the album for a couple of months until I'd seen them on TV.
A returning question is when you listen to this, and you listen to Richard Ashcroft's new stuff, which are fairly different. Individually, really good (The Shining better??) but together again . . . well, we can but hope.
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on 25 September 2002
This album was brought on a hunch that it may contain some tracks that were good. I have listened to it a few times now, and still there are not any tracks that I have found that seem out of place. The album starts with the current single Quicksilver, and continues very much at the same pace.
Quicksilver, Young Again and What You See are the stand out tracks.
Like an upbeat electrified Verve as you would expect.
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on 19 September 2002
As a Verve fan, and having only heard one of The Shining's singles before, I approached this album with a sense of trepidation. After all the Verve's past glories, this album had a lot to live up to.
The opening track 'Quicksilver', is the single I had heard before and liked, hearing it again was a revelation. The flawless production suddenly became even more apparent. Fans of great British rock are going to be in for a suprising treat with this album as nearly every track is a standout in its own right. From the Verve-esque 'Young Again', to the sublime 'Danger' and the final almost psychedelic throws of 'Until The End' this album packs a punch.
It can only be a matter of time before this band plays to pack out stadiums...the huge tunes and grandiose melodies are just begging for it.
A very pleasant suprise indeed!
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on 11 October 2009
I found this CD in the bargain basement of a record fair and to be honest, it had some potential which encouraged me to invest some time into listening to it. Sadly after 4 plays I am afraid that I will be consigning it to my 'Give to charity' pile. If you want the power and majesty of The Verve, then spend your time more wisely and listen to them. I found the album lacking in melody, originality and most importantly any redeeming appeal. It is unusual to find an album of such turgidness, with no charm whatsoever. I wanted to like it but I after considerable time investment - I didn't.
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on 2 January 2003
Let's make no mistake - riding out of the Verve stable into a new project is going to leave you open to comparisons with "Urban Hymns," an album which anyone would find difficult to match (e.g. Richard Ashcroft). And there are some absolutely stand-out tunes on this album, "Quicksilver" being the most obvious candidate for best track. The problem is that it hits a glory in the first track that it never quite reaches again. The Shining seem to spend most of the rest of the album trying to create another "Urban Hymns" in terms of power and emotion, and it doesn't work. It just feels forced, deflated even. I think my final verdict is that it's a good effort, but they need to go back and write their own music, rather than trying to be the reincarnation of The Verve. I sense they've got fantastic potential, it just hasn't come through in their debut.
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on 13 November 2002
After being a huge fan of The Verve, sTone Roses, Oasis and other Brit Guitar bands, this album comes a refreshing sound. Borrowing from a slightly retro sound, it combines Booming guitars with melodic vocals. Its got atmosphere and some cracking tunes.
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on 21 November 2002
Yes the names Tong and Jones have previously been printed in Verve record sleeves and yes John Squire (he of Stone Roses infamy) has had a lot of input, but those expecting Urban Hymns rediscovered can forget it. 'Quicksilver' opens as if the 60's are still around, its lazy Zeppellin riff rumbling across impassive vocals. 'Young Again' is a momentous (read commercial) single and there are undoubtedly a number of highs on this record. The Mandolin on 'Crest of an Ocean', the doo doo doo sing a long on 'I Wonder How' and the aforementioned 'Quicksilver' for example, but there are also a select few tunes that won't be troubling the stereo; 'What You See' and 'I am the One'. The Shining paddle in the kind of bluesy pyschadelia that is the bain of an already troubled genre offering moments of quality alongside guitar staples and tired ideas.
Whilst The Shining don't really find themselves a niche to call their own they can clearly do anthems; whether this debut allows them to cut their teeth on something altogether more special is another matter, for now The Shining are a band it's okay to like.
Not much fuss, no cod-political sound-bites and a handful of quality earnest indie-rock tunes.
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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2004
For those that felt Verve lost their way when they gained the definitive article, The Shining offer fresh hope for fans of dreamy guitars with wigged-out singers everywhere. Ex-Verve players Simon Jones and Simon Tong make up two fifths of The Shining and their sound is guitar-led generic indie, but no less enjoyable for that.
The band match The Charlatans (sans Hammond organ) for swagger on singles such as Quicksilver and I Wonder How. And although there may not be anything revolutionary about their Led Zeppelin-esque epics such as Crest Of An Ocean, songs like this and Show Me The Way show the band's potential. To be truly great they have to throw off their indie trappings and truly soar.

Whether The Shining will emerge from the shadow of Verve only time will tell, but with Richard Ashcroft's solo releases seeming increasingly moribund, they are a much more attractive choice for epic alternative rock.
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