Top critical review
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A distinctly average 48 minute album
on 23 October 2011
This is a strange, almost ambient, transitional sounding album. They are fully capable of proper distinctive pop music, but they didn't seem inclined to give us any this time.
1 of 12 White Elephant 4:16 (6 out of 10 stars)
It's mildly melodic and up-tempo, but it feels rather flat and undynamic. Maybe a little stiff. The lyrics are so-so.
2 of 12 Mirage 4:22 (6 out of 10 stars)
More melodic than the previous song with a few nice musical touches here and there. The lyrics are also slightly better. Still only a 6 out of 10 song though.
3 of 12 White Gold 5:01 (6 out of 10 stars)
Slightly slower and more stripped down. The lyrics are okay but not good enough to make the song really come alive. They favour simple lyrics, but this song could have done with a bit more than variations on the same line about deception.
4 of 12 Ace Of Hz 3:36 (7 out of 10 stars)
There's nothing obviously better about this song, but it just has some extra X factor to it which makes it better and standout from the other tracks. The drums are nice and forceful.
5 of 12 Ritual 4:18 (8 out of 10 stars)
Great up-tempo instrumental. My personal favourite track on the album. It has a lovely shifting textural quality to it. I wouldn't describe it as ambient music as it rocks and easily holds your full attention.
6 of 12 Moon Palace 3:26 (7 out of 10 stars)
Good lyrics which for the first time on the album has stirred my imagination and created mental pictures to go along with the words. It's very atmospheric. The lyrics are still repetitive, but at least they're repeating three or four different lines this time.
7 of 12 Altitude Blues 3:20 (3 out of 10 stars)
Musically and lyrically uninteresting. Pretty much filler. The vocals are lower than usual in the mix.
8 of 12 Ambulances 3:17 (6 out of 10 stars)
Some of the lyrics seem to be quoting a previous song called Seventeen from the Light & Magic album. Musically I also hear a strong echo of that song. Maybe it's an accident that they sound so similar? I doubt it's a sequel or a continuation.
9 of 12 Melting Ice 4:49 (3 out of 10 stars)
Like the opening track, it feels rather flat and undynamic. An uninteresting song. The vocals are also quite low in the mix.
10 of 12 Transparent Days 4:02 (6 out of 10 stars)
Pretty up-tempo instrumental with nice drum rolls throughout. Otherwise it's indistinctive. It feels like filler. I'm not sure what it really adds to the album?
11 of 12 90 Degrees 4:34 (6 out of 10 stars)
More of the same, although this track might have a bit more of an epic grandeur to it than the others (with the possible exception of Moon Palace).
12 of 12 Aces High 2:55 (5 out of 10 stars)
An anonymous instrumental. Sounds just like the basic sound of everything else on the album. Pointless, though harmless.
I like to make EP playlists out of some albums on my iPod. Tracks 2, 4, 5 and 6 made the cut.
Overall 4 out of 10 stars.