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THESE NEW PURITANS -'Inside The Rose' Album Review


1. Infinity Vibraphones 2. Anti–Gravity 3. Beyond Black Suns 4. Inside The Rose 5. Where The Trees Are On Fire 6. Into The Fire 7. Lost Angel 8. A–R–P 9. Six

A slow and deliberate start to this album left me intrigued. I found myself instantly playing spot the influence without ever really nailing where the sound derived from the first song. One band that springs to mind after the first song is Japan, not a comparison I have made very often in the last few years.

The second song dragged me in even more, this is not everyone’s cup of tea and not music to dance to, but it is surprisingly beautiful and interesting music.

The unexpected introduction of opera in the third song really worked, it fitted in perfectly, I found myself sinking into this song like a hot bath, relaxing and soothing.

This is music that reeks of atmosphere and feels very cinematic, even operatic (in a good way) in scope. Its not bombastic, it is just beguiling and intriguing.

The fourth song, and title track, 'Inside The Rose', was much more challenging, I did struggle with it on the first few listens. It felt at times like an experiment to far, perhaps the band felt they had to make a statement with this song, I began to appreciate it but never to enjoy it the way I had the music up until this point. It did however morph during its length and at times really felt like it was turning into something wonderful without ever fully emerging from its early gestation.

At this point I began to wonder why they don’t trust themselves more, they don’t have to experiment and try to hard, they have made some wonderful music. Its not music that you would put on in the average party, but I can very much see myself listening to this album again.

The more I listened the more I realised I wasn’t sure what the lyrics were trying to say, something I personally love, it makes me want to spend more time listening and trying to decipher the intention of the artist.

'A-R-P' sounded like they had suddenly decided to channel the Blue Nile at the start of the song but at no time did it feel like they had just tried to replicate that wonderful band, they are very much their own musicians with their own vision.

I can sum this album up in four words, challenging, cinematic, atmospheric and excellent. They may not appreciate it, but I think making me think of Japan and the Blue Nile, but not quite sounding like either is a compliment.

Review - Iain McClay

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