Sunday, 1 May 2011

Review: Guillemots - Walk The River

I'd never heard of this group until their singer Fyfe Dangerfield released a rather splendid solo album last year, so in a way this third album from Guillemots is my first real introduction to the band. Opener 'Walk the River' is stunning, a sophisticated slice of haunting brilliance, sparkling with lush instrumentation and distant guitars. 'Vermillion' is another highlight, as is 'I Don't Feel Amazing Now', but elsewhere the album seems to lose its appeal with over-indulgence, and a few tracks that maybe should've been left alone such as 'Ice Room' and the dull, tiresome 'Inside'. Same goes for 'Slow Train' which makes the album drag difficultly, the chorus almost sounds like the album begging this song not to "slow me down".

But when they get it right, like with 'I Must Be A Lover' (easily the most uplifting track here) they can serve up real treats. The album's centrepiece 'Sometimes I Remember Wrong' is a sombre epic that seems to get bigger and sadder with every minute, but the track's length does slightly lessen its emotional impact. And then there's the wonderful 'Dancing In The Devil's Shoes' where again they conjure up a hauntingly sad moment of heartbroken beauty. Overall this record balances charming melodic pop with brooding misery, and often juggles the two well. Just a shame it isn't done that well all of the time. 7/10

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