Golden Archipelago (Deluxe)
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Their previous albums contain lyrics that conjure haunting images or clear stories. The song "Rooks" is a master class in doomsday lyricism, and "Leviathan, Bound", while abstract, features the powerful statement "You are racing, alone" to anchor the song. The same is true with phenomenal tunes like "Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five" and the apocalyptic images of "Red Sea, Black Sea". The Golden Archipelago, on the other hand, seems to get lost in vague phrases that almost betray the power of the music and Jonathan Meiburg's incredible voice. For example, the fury of "Corridors" is similar to that of their previous track, "Century Eyes", but without the fascinating openly interpretable but evocative lyrics featured in the latter song.
While it's possible that Meiburg et. al. got a bit lost in this island-hopping concept, the album still stands as a fantastic sonic journey from one of the most interesting bands out there right now (with, I might add, one of my personal favorite vocalists of all time -- From his manic howls to his mournful falsetto, Meiburg is vocally in top form here). I greatly look forward to a future combination of their new found orchestration and their older, more open lyrical masterpieces.
I've been a Shearwater fan since "Rook", and have gone back and listened to some of their earlier efforts after-the-fact. Their new album is generally more upbeat to the point where I could consider them to fall into an "Indie rock" genre. I think this is a fantastic new album and could certainly add to their fan-base.
The standout track for me is "Castaways". It hooks you as soon as the chorus kicks in and doesn't let go until the final note - one of those rare songs that you don't have to wait for it to grow on you (If I were running the Grammy's, I would be putting this song in the running for best song of the year). But, the rest of the tracks on the album are quite good, as well - as a cohesive whole, it's very satisfying and I can easily play it from beginning to end with no track skipping. That's quite an achievement.
Do I like it better than "Rook" and their earlier efforts? Yes, I do. Five stars, and a big thumbs up. Well done.
This time it is tuned down a little. And the song writing is as strong as ever.
Those are my only comments so far.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This band is amazing. Jonathan Meiburg's ability to create a melody that captivates, enthralls, and evokes a pure and beautiful scene is unparalleled by anyone else in Indie music,... Read morePublished on December 24, 2010 by akmakansi
Buy this music now,you wont be disappointed,the sound flows through like your in the room with the band.i hope this band gets the attention it so richly deserves.Published on November 29, 2010 by Edward Cefarelli
If you've never heard this group, you owe it to yourself to listen. I first heard them on our local public radio station - specifically track 8 on the CD. Read morePublished on September 29, 2010 by bobbinbloom