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10 things about the new Guillemots album

17/03/2011

1) It’s not Through the Windowpane. I know I know, I love that album beyond belief as well – one of my favourites of all time in fact – but sadly it looks like it’s on its way to become one of those legacy weights that some bands end up dragging around unwillingly because everyone around them only equates them with that album; the curse of a stellar debut. But bands are allowed to do different things and that’s a great thing. But yeah, throw the notion of “I want another Windowpane” out immediately and simply listen to Walk the River as what it is: which is, conveniently, Walk the River instead of Windowpane.

2) Nicely enough, Walk the River also happens to be a great album.

3) It’s basically the collective songwriting genius brainstorming by four individuals of Red married with the cohesive, tight nature and structure of Windowpane. That’s the last time that W-word is going to be uttered here.

3b) Yes, I like Red. In all its incoherent nature.

4) The double punch of “Walk the River” and “Vermillion” is bound to be one of the greatest album starts of the year. The former, which you can hear here, can be best described as ‘amazing’ and the latter, which is made of five and a half minutes of brilliant hooks and a wonderfully delicately aggressive drive with tons of awesome musical swoops and climaxes, can be best described as ‘fantastic’.

5) “The Basket”, the lead single, which sounded a bit underwhelming in radioplay not only sounds far better when heard in high quality but also works within the album’s context rather well.

6) There’s a song that lasts eight and a half minutes and there’s a song that lasts nine minutes. There’s no long instrumental jams, off-the-cuff outros, long intros or anything. They’re simply songs that happen to be rather long. They don’t feel that long when you listen to them either, which means they’re rather well-crafted and have no filler minutes. Basically good stuff. Especially “Sometimes I Remember Wrong”.

7) “Dancing in the Devil’s Shoes” is the last-mile highlight. It starts out like your standard-fare quiet acoustic penultimate album track (though a very good one: ‘tropes are not bad’) but then builds up into something rather gorgeous.

8 ) “I Must Be a Lover” is another highlight. It feels as massive as any anthem worth its weight in gold, without ever actually sounding like one. Instead it’s like a relaxed/relaxing drive in sunshine, perfectly comfortable with everything in the world. Except one with the power of a massive get-together singalong celebration.

9) If you want to raise a point of criticism, it feels a bit overlong. But we’ll see if that opinion lasts as time goes by and the album becomes more familiar.

10) Overall it’s a rather very good album. Has that little special magic to it that reminds just why Guillemots are a rather wonderful group: the vasts amounts of  unchained imagination and inspiration wildly frolicing hand-in-hand and brightening up the room.

We’ll come back to this one properly once it actually comes out. Right now, its score is thumbs up out of thumbs up.

(11 “The Ice Room” is going to be unintendedly hilarious to anyone who’s a World of Warcraft nerd like me, due to the repeated “The ice room is melting” line)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 18/03/2011 10:20

    reaaaaally excieted for this album……

  2. Quiet Badger permalink
    11/04/2011 20:00

    Hi,

    Enjoyed reading your review – For those interested, the full album is now up to listen to as a stream:
    http://hypem.com/#!/artist/Guillemots
    Great stuff – Can’t wait for my CD to arrive next week!

    Badger

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