Top positive review
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Religious music for atheists? (And everyone else...)
on 21 April 2014
I gave up buying music (and books and DVDs) for Lent this year (2014), happened across PT Saunders on Youtube, and made this album my first Easter music purchase. A great choice! I know little about the guy but his chorister background (referred to by another reviewer) comes through both in the arrangements and in some of his lyrical references. However, please don't think you need to be any kind of religious believer to appreciate this music - the themes are universal - but if you are you're bound to tune into certain 'layers' (to borrow another reviewer's image).
I can't quite pin down who Saunders reminds me of. The cover art, lyrics and some of the production recall Dan Deacon's great album America from 2012, though Beautiful Desolation is far less apocalyptic. I don't get the Coldplay comparisons made by some magazines and websites. Quite a few reviewers are calling this space rock which may be as helpful a description as any (I suppose you could bracket it with dream pop as well). Listening to Beautiful Desolation is like watching the stars on a clear night or seeing a bonfire burn in a distant field: there's a sense of scale, of remoteness, and a warmth you know is there but lies beyond touch. Or maybe I'm just no good at these similes.
And finally, to return to the lyrics: this is a guy who loves women, who empathizes with the female point of view, without reducing women to objects of male fantasy - which is kind of refreshing given the drift of so much pop music these days. O yes, before I forget, I'm awarding Saunders an extra star for his thorough-going decency. How many up-and-coming musicians take the time to thank the parents of their bandmates in their liner notes? What a guy!
What more can I say? Highly recommended.