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Souvlaki

4.7 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 12, 1999
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Alison
  2. Machine Gun
  3. 40 Days
  4. Sing
  5. Here She Comes
  6. Souvlaki Space Station
  7. When The Sun Hits
  8. Altogether
  9. Melon Yellow
  10. Dagger
  11. Some Velvet Morning
  12. Good Day Sunshine
  13. Missing You
  14. Country Rain


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 12, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00000DR7P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,446 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Micah Newman on April 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Slowdive are, for me, the band that most defines, and are the best representative of, the genre "shoegazer." The name "shoegazer" was originally a derogatory term (like "impressionism" for that French school of late-19th-century painters, interestingly) coined by some snotty British music journalist to apply to a crop of bands such as Ride, Lush, and My Bloody Valentine, that appeared in the early 90's and whose sound was defined by dense layers of guitar textures and that tended to effect a distinctly introverted stage presence. Actually, most people are not familiar with the term or the music: you certainly won't hear any "shoegaze" on hit radio.
While in the main, shoegaze music tended to be melodic as well as loud and textured, part of what set Slowdive apart is how much more both sweetly melodic and densely layered their music was compared with their contemporaries. They hit their stride with Souvlaki, their second full-length LP, and made the most sonically ravishing and unforgettable album of their ilk. An important part of their sound and unique charm is the male/female unison vocals of singers/guitarists Neil Nalstead and Rachel Goswell, which sounds like it could have been lifted from some sixties folk/pop outfit, only... it's not. It fits in beautifully with the expanses of sound and color wash that fill out this music, though. It all soars and lifts magnificently. There's a good dynamic range between the songs, too, from the yearning, searching "Alison," delicate reverbed-guitar picking of "Here She Comes Now," overwhelming wall-of-sound tsunami of "Souvlaki Space Station," and haunting, faraway, acoustic "Dagger"; the album never gets samey or washed-out as is the distinct danger with this kind of music. Fully-realized and a complete and satisfying experience, Slowdive's _Souvlaki_ is a real treasure.
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Format: Audio CD
Souvlaki is a pretty incredible album, and it certainly contains some of the most beautiful guitar sounds set to tape. Had this record not fallen victim to the usual label nonsense back in the day thanks in part to SBK records (their U.S. label), it might have garnered some more attention. But unfortunately, My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless overshadowed many great shoegazer records of the day, including this one. Yes, Loveless is the epitome of the "shoegazer" trend, easily the best record the movement produced. But Souvlaki is a very close second, focusing on creating a lusher soundscape than Loveless' onslaught of white noise. Mixing the dreamy guitar patterns of MBV with the ethereal ambience of the Cocteau Twins, Slowdive were brilliant in their creation of surreal soundscapes. "Alison" deservedly gets attention as a brilliant pop single, but "When The Sun Hits," "40 Days," and the Eno-touched "Sing" are all not to be overlooked. The strangely-titled "Souvlaki Space Station" is another highlight, a brilliant mixture of white noise, delay, layering, and instrument manipulation creating a perfect soundscape that nobody's really been able to duplicate. This record is a must for anybody who worships Loveless.
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Format: Audio CD
Sanctuary Records have been busy lately, remastering old classic albums and making concerted efforts to bring past glories to new audiences. As someone who was around when Slowdive first started releasing music, I can say that "Souvlaki" is a fantastic all-around package with a thoughtful remaster and a smattering of b-sides and remixes. With such a careful remaster of "Souvlaki", it isn't difficult to hear how timeless their music was. "Days" and "Souvlaki Space Station" still sound as beautiful as they ever did and "In Mind", included on the second disc, reminds us of how well they could depart from their own signature sound and explore electronic worlds with ease. Also included are the original remixes of "In Mind" from Bandulu and Reload (Mark Pritchard of Global Communication). Having all been on Creation Records at the time, one gets a feeling of family respect with these remixes and there is a tender and genuine understanding of the material evident within the interpretations. These remixes are worth the price of admission alone, taking an already gorgeous experiment and leading it down an ever-winding digital road, awash with lush beats and ambient textures. All of the recent Slowdive remasters are worthy of purchase but if you buy only one, make it "Souvlaki"!
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Format: Audio CD
I was tempted to give the album, a huge lush affair with the dreamy kind of music Shoe Gazers have learned to expect, only four stars. Why? Because a few delicious wispy pieces are interrupted, inexplicably, by pieces that are grating and noisy and don't contribute to the album's ethereal, intoxicated mood but jar the listener out of his or her half-sleep. However, I still have to give this album five stars because only two songs are stinkers. It's hard to find an album with eleven strong songs, full of aching, dripping melancholy. If you like Slowdive, you will surely enjoy Silver Screen's single "All I Have" and the Cocteau Twins most gazing masterpiece Victorialand. You will also be pleased with a song by Bent titled "A Ribbon for My Hair." And finally, you will be blissed out by "Spiders and Flies" by Mercury Rev.
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