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Top Customer Reviews
With Alpinisms, we get an answer: They want to be a dream-pop band. But that's not as simple as it appears on the surface, since modern day dream-pop can subsume shoegaze, twee-pop, and indie electronica, and School of Seven Bells incorporate all of those elements--the cascading guitars, the programmed beats, the sugary melodies grafted from the early `90s that will always remind me of licking a lollipop. It's a sound that, when executed well enough, can cause even the most fair-weather listener to go weak at the knees. School of Seven Bells hit the sweet spot with enough frequency to make Alpinisms worthwhile, and though not every experiment works, it should give those who have been following these musicians around some satisfaction to realize that this is the sort of album they've been waiting so long to create.Read more ›
Alpinisms is an exciting, largely unique experience, appealing without the need of labels or even listener musical preference. Upfront, you have vocalists Alejandra and Claudia Deheza, flitting from folksy Marianne Faithful to neutral intoned Ladytron style croons to innocent My Bloody Valentineisms (those are still a stretch, but my first description, "Mellifluously opulent peasant style", doesn't really hold water), the duo intimately harmonized with interplay that only two sisters could share. Their virtuosic melodic and lyrical content is a refreshing pause in the world of unmusicality that often taints the indie-rock (yes, that's a label, sue me) world. Underneath, disparate musical textures from all walks of life churn into a somehow inviting mélange, one moment Indian meets recent Depeche Mode ("Wired for Light"), the next, an autotuned "Electric Avenue" slathered with baritone guitars and dumbek accents ("Chain") then into reverb-trails-to-heaven vocals over stripped-down Joy Division rhythms and melancholia ("White Elephant Coat").
Fortunate for the world, Alpinisms is not a continuation of current trends or something you casually put on and dissect. It might take months to figure it out why you enjoy it so much. But I have a good idea to fill that space: just listen.
And I challenge you, once under its spell, to stop humming "Iamundernodisguise".
Incomprehensible to some, the experimental, rolling structure of both the songs and their lyrics gives this band's work the flavor of horizons, making the tunes seem both gorgeously sculptured but also somehow distant and unembraceable. This is found as much in the names of each album as in the notes and words that are found inside them. Alpinism is supposedly the art of climbing, the culture of ascension. Disconnect from Desire seems to recall the fundamental precept of Buddhist enlightenment -- more ascension. And now Ghostory seems to represent another plane of reality, the passage from the physical plane to a place that is -- yet again -- always there but still out of reach.
I have had the exact same reaction to every album by this band. I have enjoyed every single one -- and recommend that you buy them -- but I have not fallen head over heels for them. They seem to keep listeners at a distance by operating on a sonic level that is nearly as removed and spiritual as their album titles, and although it is by all means beautiful, it is not always touching or touchable. (There's that horizon again.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So this is where Mr. Ben Curtis went. Hooking up with Alejandra and Claudia Deheza to create this trancey, dream pop, alt music wonder with a touch of the experimental rock... Read morePublished on October 29, 2013 by Peter Jackson
Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding means school's in session with ALPINISMS, the School of 7 Bells' debut after making a huge splash on Prefuse 73's PREPARATIONS. Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by scoundrel
Don't really want to go into details about each song, but as an album it really is fantastic, the best dream pop band in a long while!Published on August 7, 2011 by Rob
This album is full of great atmospheric sounds--really awesome in headphones or as background music when company is over. Read morePublished on March 3, 2011 by teresa
I read a review that wrote:"Modern day descendants of Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin, the band is mystical, haunting, and soulful all at once. Read morePublished on July 16, 2010 by Gerardo Martinez Casas
School of Seven Bells fall into the dream pop category. I bought Alpinisms after catching a little bit of them live, and generally like this disc and band. Read morePublished on May 3, 2010 by Karl Siever
There are a lot of elements on this album that shouldn't work together, but they do. It's beautiful and interesting and at times, very catchy. Read morePublished on March 15, 2010 by stephsco