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on 2 October 2016
At the end of 2011, I became aware of this album because it featured in several 'best album of the year' polls. I was surprised that 'The Horrors' had made an album that was so highly regarded by the music press, as I was less than impressed by their initial efforts & dismissed them as talentless Goth wannabes. Curious to know what all the fuss was about, I decided to buy this album & when I listened to it, I was amazed at just how good it was. They had created an album that borrowed freely from pop's past - as most great pop & rock music does - yet still managed to make it sound fresh & exciting. Though lead singer, Faris Badwan's murmured vocals make it difficult to glean meaning from the songs, it is still a joy to listen to, nonetheless.

1. Changing The Rain - To my ears this sounds like something Primal Scream could have sang in their heyday. Psychedelic revival.
2. You Said - "...You've got to give me love / you've got to give me more..." Possibly about a dying relationship, the music is glorious.
3. I Can See Through You - An exhilarating sonic, euphoric adventure!
4. Endless Blue - If I had to pick a favourite then this would be it. It starts with a floating, dreamy intro with horns before abruptly changing into a driving rock attack of guitar & drums. If you're into a bit of air guitar, then this is for you.
5. Dive In - A song about a girl committing suicide?.. Whatever, it has a great shuffling beat & a thrilling, driving chorus.
6. Still Life - "...When you wake up you will find me..." A spiritual awakening? Perhaps someone waiting for the person whom they love to share their feelings? Whatever its meaning, it is a lovely song with some great keyboards.
7. Wild Eyed - "...I know all your secrets / I know all your lies..." A mellower track than most of the album.
8. Moving Further Away - A fantastic song, propelled by a great synth line & a simple, three word chorus. It may well be the catchiest song on the album.
9. Monica Gems - Not amongst my favourite songs, it does sound an awful lot like Suede.
10. Oceans Burning - Possibly the album's weakest track but that's no disgrace considering the quality of most of the songs. I just think it goes on way too long, in a rather discordant, tuneless fashion.

So, if you haven't already bought it, I urge you to do so. I never tire of listening to it. I would also recommend their follow up album, 'Luminous.' It's not quite as strong as 'Skying' but it's still worth a listen.
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on 7 July 2012
This is an album full of fantastic songs. Can't fault any of them. It'll be even better when it's remastered though, because the production is awful. Hurts your ears to listen to it, really harsh midrange and treble, and non-existent bass. Ouch.
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on 11 October 2012
Where in the name of god did this gem come from? I saw these lads on some NME endorsed Indie tour alongside The Automatic and The Cribs in 2007 and I thought they were nothing more than a faux Motley Crew band. They were entertaining no doubt, but basically if someone had of told me that four short years down the line they'd have even attempted a body of work like this i'd have slapped you in the face and called you Ebeneezer.

It's crept it's way into my top 10 albums of all time list (no such list exists, only in my mind so don't bother searching Amazon) and is nearly 100% pure perfection. Of course there's no such thing as the perfect album so they shouldn't feel bad. The album opens up with the sublime "Changing The Rain", the gorgeous "You Said" and the uplifting "I Can See Through You".

The album carries an air of psychedelia in most of its tracks with backwards guitars and surreal lyrics throughout. Special mention must go to the musicianship, the drums are clinical but never overdone ("Monica Gems" a high watermark), the bass is basic but in the best possible way, the guitar work has shades of shoegaze in there (only one guitar solo can be found) and the keyboards are hugely influential which give the album the atmospheric touch it craves.

"Endless Blue" is a song of enduring beauty and one which i'll never tire of. It has a Prog Rock (don't get scared) touch to it, but unlike it's forebearers from yesteryear, doesn't take 10 minutes to get going. It's the strongest song on the album and one which I forged a strong bond with on my holiday to Ibiza (crazy f***ing San Antonio) this year.

The only song which (slightly) lets this wonderful album down is "Oceans Burning" which somehow petered the album out. It's a lenghty 8 minute opus which starts and ends well, but the middle section was a bit too feedbacky for my liking. Reminded me of the not so great parts of My Bloody Valentine. It's a little niggle though on an otherwise flawless piece of work.

Much more successful is their OTHER sprawling epic "Moving Further Away", a wonderful piece of music which surpasses the 8 minute mark. This one works though and really grows on you. What more can i say, get this album! Absolutely essential.
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on 14 August 2011
This is the first album I've heard by The Horrors, so no comparisons to the early 2 from me. This album is fantastic, and seems to show a maturing band not scared to wear its old and current influences on its sleeve and transport it them to a fresh, exciting place. I can hear Echo and the Bunnymen, early Stone Roses and early Suede here, lovingly translated into a modern context, with quality, tight production. Well crafted and thought about, each track stands alone as being quite different, whilst flowing successfully from one to another. The range of instrumentation is very impressive, both 'live' and sampled/electronic.
The overall feel is melancholic and uplifting in one, with shoegaze drones, up tempo drums and floating synths. Real 80's translations, without a rip off feel. The quality here represents a band writing from a place of respect for its influences and the desire to do something new and different. If you have the bands I've mentioned above in your collection, and Stereolab, and The Cure and Kasabian then buy this, and listen a few times. I'll be checking out the previous albums now.
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on 29 August 2011
Two months from buying this it still doesnt bore me.. The standout track here has to be Moving further away and I hope the band move further in this direction.. those of us who like Berlin era Bowie have been waiting a long time..
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It was John Peel who once complained about too many "white boys with guitars" in indie music and it has to be said that this pointed taunt could have been accurately aimed at the Horrors whose claim to fame was largely being the best set of Goth haircuts on offer and little else. As such it was refreshing to hear the massive step change that was their last album "Primary Colours" which saw them cut loose and prove that the style did not have to triumph over the substance, They picked up influences from German bands like Can and Neu and turned out big songs not least the epic "Sea within a sea". That said while "Primary Colours" was a really good album it still had "issues" as the band struggled to find its true identity with songs like "I can't control myself" actually sounding like a bunch of Suede impersonators on Karaoke night. The logical step for the band was therefore to deepen further the themes of "Sea within a sea" and produce a more darkly inspired album of 80s style synth pop with hooks big enough to catch a whale and with cool panache to spare. Indeed they do this so successfully that on the third track on this new album "I can see through you starts" you expect Phil Oakley from the Human League to sing out just before it mutates into something altogether more sinister.

There is little doubt that some of the more purist Horrors fans may recoil and find this album a tad to commercial. "Endless Blue" for example is all lovely slabs of almost Miles Davis trumpet sounding synths until mid way through it breaks into a huge guitar riff not heard since Jesus and Mary Chain ruled the earth. And that is the point about "Skying" namely that the Horrors are a cunningly intelligent band able to subvert and deconstruct their own songs regularly avoiding the quiet of the harbour for the rough of the seas. More than that unlike "Primary colours" the quality dial hardly dips while at the same time the sort of arrogant swagger that you expect of a band hitting its prime is evidenced by the truckload. The great opener "Changing the rain" starts off sounding like a dance version of Kraftwerk and we are finally forced to face the reality that Faris Badwan has actually got a great singing voice. The forthcoming single "Still life" cries out to be a hit building from (dare I say it!) an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark style riff to a thumping great pop song. Above all others it is "Wide eyed" which is the song that grabs you by the lapels and demands your attention. An atmospheric vocal over swaths of synths which echoes the great themes of David Bowie's "Low". Even more surprisingly it is a very sumptuous song with huge melodies and a concluding trumpet fade out. The only real nod to the Horrors of old is "Monica Gems" which is the weakest track on "Skying" not least since it does feel a little out of place with Faris Badwan again doing his best Brett Anderson impression. To be fair they set this misstep straight on the final track the seven minute plus "Oceans Burning" a giant swirling psychedelic ballad with a haunting backdrop which is packed full of so many ideas that the opposition must be seriously worried quite how good this band have become. To hammer the point home all this is confirmed a couple of tracks before with the albums big eight minute synth workout "Moving further away" which will become a staple of their live act to sit alongside "The Sea" with a keyboard riff so relentless you should be allowed to invoke anti-stalking legislation. "Skying" then is an great album that fully delivers on the huge promise of "Primary Colours" and on its evidence it is only a matter of time before the Horrors move out of the John Peel tent and head to the headline stage of Glastonbury.
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on 21 August 2011
I bought this album on the strength of reviews in magazines like Mojo and Uncut and I have to say, the good reviews are entirely justified. The sound of the record is huge, expansive and just 'grooves' in a way few other band do in 2011. The influences span across the decades, you're able to pick out The Doors one moment, Stones Roses or Primal Scream the next and maybe even a bit of Teardrop Explodes. But through all this The Horrors still manage to have a fresh and exciting sound. Favourite track has to be 'Still Life' - that base part is infectious and I love the line 'the moment that you want is coming if you give it time'. Other standout tracks include 'Endless Blue' (which has an amazing breakout after a beautiful intro) 'You said' (Pure Euphoria) and 'Moving Further Away'. For me, the only other British band that come close at the moment are Kendal's 'Wild Beasts' with their album Smother - two strong contenders for album of the year. But if you like music to warm your ears and make you feel like you've just taken something, listen to this and let yourself go. Excellent.
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on 4 August 2014
Whats taken me so long to discover The Horrors.
I caught "So now you know" on Jools Holland and bought Luminous on the back of that , been inspecting their previous albums and this is the stand out, sublime from start to finish.
I especially love I Can See Through You, Endless Blue and Moving Further Away. Thank you The Horrors for restoring my faith in music
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on 10 August 2011
The Horrors' 3rd long form album takes off where their 2nd "Primary Colours" had left us.
It's a long way from "Strange House" now. The sound has evolved from garage rock, 60's psychobilly to a late 80's shoegazing style.
There is reminiscence of early Primal Scream, Spiritualized and some bands from the Madchester scene era.
To be really honest, I was a bit disappointed at first. No track really stands out and I thought it was a bit "flat". However, the more you listen to it, the more it grows on you. You really have to battle in order to earn the joy of liking this record.
The main problem is the lack of "proper" single in this album. Of course, the first taster off the album "Still Life" can be counted as a single but all in all, the album really is worth a listening in its entirety.
It takes more than one listening to really appreciate this new delivery.
Had it for more than a month now and i'm still discovering new layers and new sounds.
So, if you are curious enough, give it a go. You won't want your money back, I promise.
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on 30 December 2012
I was never a Horrors fan as such but I liked the most recent songs that they did from this album so thought I would give it a try.
I've listened to it several times and it just gets better.
Their unique style of music in this album reminds me of Kraftwerk mixed with Rock music.
Seriously worth a listen!
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