The British Ben's got an excellent, long post
up with various record reviews. I had some comments to leave for him, but they wound up being lengthy enough and with enough content I wanted to pop them up here too.
I'm a little hurt that the only two reviews from Stylus that you didn't link at the end there were by me (Low and 6by7).
No, not really.
A bunch of good stuff in this post, although yr links are fucked:
Have you read much about the circumstances surrounding the creation of The Great Destroyer
? Alan apparantly had a bit of a breakdown that had been fairly long in coming, but is much better now. He mentioned in an interview I read that Trust
(which I love) and much of their older stuff is the sound of certainty and this is the sound of doubt and openness, or something similar. Which, given the focus on mortality and change and etc. and the lack of mentions of religion (the few possible references I can spot are pretty stingingly sarcastic), is pretty interesting.
Also that they started so slow and quiet almost as a joke, and at this point they're pretty sick and tired of living up to people's expectations. Still great live, and TGD is my second favorite of the year thus far (and most years it'd be #1 easy).
The Delgados album I find fascinating partly because on the last record Alun was the glum one ("All You Need Is Hate", "Child Killers", "The Drowning Years" etc) and Emma at least offered some hope ("The Light Before We Land", especially). But this time it's reversed; except for "Keep On Breathing" Emma is notably negative even when the songs are cheery.
"Sink Or Swim" poses the question the album revolves around, and it's not until "Keep On Breathing" that she responds with a yes. ("Happiness that we have to live through" to me is not joy posited as something to be endured so much as something that is inexorably temporal, and thus we have
to live through it, we are not allowed to linger). And of course Alun's "Now And Forever" ("If we fail we won't fall") is a closing valediction. All of Alun's other songs, though, are overwhelmingly positive (except for "Bits Of Bone", which is gibberish and thus neither), especially "Get Action!", which might be my favorite song on the album.
I talked to Alun around the time of Hate
, and although I didn't pry, he did confirm that the lyrical content at the time corresponded with some shit that was happening in real life (and given that "The Drowning Years" is about a woman with terminal illness killing herself, that shit was probably pretty heavy). I was pleased and surprised to hear him doing so well, above and beyond my genuine pre-analytical love for that album.
Sorry about that.
I haven't heard the new Idlewild yet, but their last one was a bit of a disappointment to me (although my girlfriend loves it), and this review coupled with Nick Southall's has me determined not to buy it. Which is a real pity, as circa 100 Broken Windows
they had real potential.
And last but not least, I respectfully disagree with you about the Six By Seven album - it's my favorite album of theirs since the debut, and I think the drawn out end of "Leave Me Alone" has to be understood in the context of "Spy Song" and "European Me" and "Oh! Dear". And maybe you don't like them either, but I did. I also liked the middle bits more than you did, but you'd probably get more of a kick out of the "leftovers" album they're selling out of the website (Left Luggage At The Peveril Hotel
), it's not quite as samey.
I am still a big fan in any case - I was pretty immaturely thrilled when reading about Bloc Party in some newspaper story posted online to find that Kele was wearing one of their shirts."