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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 10 May 2012
Where BJM's last two albums left me feeling disappointed, it was great to hear, even from the first listen, that 'Aufheben' was a return to form. Instrumental opener 'Panic In Babylon' kicks things off, sounding like a distant relative to The Beatles 'Tomorrow Never Knows', which is a fair reference point to most of 'Aufheben'. So yes, it's psychedelic, but what did you expect? Other standout songs are 'I Want To Hold Your Other Hand' and 'Stairway To The Best Party In The Universe'. The vocals are quite hushed and heavy on the reverb throughout, which means it all about the groove that the band lock into, which they do time and again. It's a strong, confident and cohesive album, and it's great to have BJM back.

As a side note, i too had trouble with the card sleeve. I thought i'd bought a faulty disc when it started jumping and getting stuck, until i inspected the disc which had bits of card all over it. Gave it a wipe and not had a problem since, so no big deal!
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on 27 June 2012
Like the other reviews here, I am so pleased that BJM have finally made an album that reflects their earlier work. I'm a massive fan and I never tire of the Massacre's back catalogue but the last couple of albums have been a bit of a mess. I think that it shows that the last few times that I saw them live, they didn't play any tracks from Sgt Peppers or Bloody Underground. However, from what I have seen of the most recent shows on Utube, they have played some tracks from this new album and they go down very well live and fit in nicely with their earlier music.

Aufheben has a modern sound to it with almost a dance groove created by guitars, bass and drums and you cannot help but tap your foot and really get into the music. Anton's vocals are hidden away on most of the tracks but it works so well and I feel that this is the album that he's been trying to make since 2008's Strung Out in Heaven. There's a mix of Latino and also the standard kind of Indian flavour to some of the tracks with Anton digging out the sitar and any other instruments that come to hand. I know from Dig that there has always been a rivalry between BJM & the Dandy Warhols but this album I feel has brought them back into line as it does have quite a similar feel to the last couple of Dandy's albums although I've always felt that Anton had the better band.

I've been playing it at home non stop and it also sounds fantastic in the car, again the beat is just so infectious! This probably isn't the best place to start if you are new to BJM, I would recommend the Tepid Peppermint album as a good introduction but buy this one as well as it is different style and hopefully this is now the direction that BJM are heading towards.

9/10, best album of the year so far.
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on 31 May 2012
I had heard the bare bones of these songs on Anton's You Tube channel and thought they were good. Nevertheless, being a fan of the band I wanted a hard copy of the finished product and whilst usually I find hearing stuff raw is better, the opposite was true. The finished production etc on Aufheben is magnificent. Maybe because it is more electronicy than usual and needs the production as well as the lyric/music. The band are doing these songs live now and on YouTubing the gigs, they started off maybe a little tentatively but now 20 gigs on these sound sublime. I cannot wait to see them in 3 weeks.
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on 2 May 2012
Very good album. Wasn't sure at first but after about 20 listens through it has really grown on me. Definately Anton's best album since "And this is our music". Some really fresh ideas and sounds. Doesn't sound as synthetic as Who killed Sgt Pepper(none of that album was played live in the UK on the last tour). A lot of these tracks could be transfered to a live enviroment and I hope they feature on the setlist when the BJM tour in the summer (I have tickets...Yay!). High points for me are 'I want to hold your other hand' and 'Viholliseni Malla'. There is some great reverbed up guitar playing on this album. Has a 60's psych sound going on, but not as lyrically driven as their early albums. Great album though. Only bad thing about the album is the card sleeve which kept putting bits on the playing surface of the disc. Have butchered a paper sleeve and put it inside it to prevent this happening so no big issue.
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on 11 July 2012
Am thoroughly enjoying this album but am concerned at the quality of reproduction. Either the MP3 download has compromised the quality (doubtful) or the issue lies with the original master recording. It sounds as if it was mixed in a home studio - which it probably was - and I can barely make out the lyrics or distinguish what the vocals are actually singing, regardless of what audio equipment I use to listen with. Still, not disappointed I bought it and even after more than a dozen listens to the album it continues to grow on me.
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on 27 June 2012
Listen to the back catalogue and youll love the earlier music. Listen to the later stuff and youll likely be bewildered with frustration to try understand where on earth Anton is taking his Music. Now be bold, forget the last few disappointing albums and Listen to his latest album Aufheben.... and youll know Anton has either finally got his head straight which is unlikely or someone has got it straight for him. Matt Hollywood is back co-creating with Anton, so it maybe Hollywood's influence, but we are heading back to possible to quality top toe tapping tracks from the 'Massacre'. A relief. Following BJM has always been a cult collective, and now with Aufheben they are smiling again.

Cheer up Anton, ...and he may just be!
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on 5 August 2012
Most reviewers seem to agree that this is the first good thing that Anton has come out with in a few years - and I completely agree. Aufheben teeters between some "classic" BJM tracks featuring all your favourite Vox sounds and 60s influences, and some really groovy Indian spiced instrumentals with wistful, echoing vocals kept at bay at the back of the mix. The album is a nicely consistent collection of infectious grooves and no track is too long. Neither is there any filler - each song is different enough from the rest and after listening several times it's clear that our illustrious leader has got his head out of his backside and made a real effort to create some well thought out compositions. Especially the tracks that are mostly electronic - the samples and drum loops used are very sympathetic to the sounds that you would like to hear regardless of it being a live band recording or Anton stuck in a flat in Berlin.

I'm very pleased - and so should any other BJM fan be too! Well done Anton (and Matt) - this has been the pleasant surprise of the year by far.
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on 8 February 2013
Anton Newcombe and his assorted BJM band mates (thankfully including once again Matt Hollywood) have been on a recent hot streak, started in 2008 with the excellent "My Bloody Underground", and then again in 2010 with "Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?". Now comes the latest studio album from Brian Jonestown MAssacre.

"Aufleben" (11 tracks; 51 min.) kicks off with the oriental-sounding instrumental "Panic in Babylon", followed by an even faster "Viholliseni Maalla", sung in Finnish by Eliza Karmasalo. "Illuminomi" is a beautiful mid-tempo tune, with lush instrumentation (flute upfront). "I Want to Hold Your Other Hand" is in the same vein. Sitars are everywhere on "Face Down on the Moon". "The Cloud Are Lies" is one of the most "traditional' sounding BJM tracks, with '60s psych reminiscent of Pink Floyd's "Piper at the Gates". It may come to a surprise to some but the songs are almost all very manageable in length (in the 4 to 5 min. range), and as a result, it seems that Newcombe & Co. have compressed their musical ideas, resulting in a more focused sound. There is one exception, the 7 min. closing track "Blue Order/New Monday", which I suppose is a tribute to New Order's Blue Monday, not that you would hear that as such. But as it happens, it is one of the better tracks, if not the best, of the album!

Bottom line, with "Aufleben" BJM continue their winning ways, and then some. This could well be their best album in the last 15 years! I've had the good fortune of seeing these guys in concert a number of times, most recently here in Cincinnati in 2010 in support for the "Pepper" album, and with Newcombe any show is an adventure. But when the band is on, they are magic. Meanwhile, "Aufleben" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for old time and more recent BJM fans alike!
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on 4 June 2013
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on 24 April 2014
Don't Think Just Buy it. Then go see them in the UK this summer, one tick off my bucket list.
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