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Ride return with the 6th studio album of their career and their second since reforming in 2015 and signing to Wichita. As with their previous album, the highly acclaimed Weather Diaries, Erol Alkan was in the producers chair, whilst career-long collaborator Alan Moulder (with Caesar Edmunds) mixed the album. The albums title was inspired by one of the hobo code symbols once used by those who travelled the railroads of the US, and then found in the early artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The phrase clearly resonates with the current state of the world politically and environmentally. This Is Not A Safe Place is arguably the Ride album with the broadest sonic palette thus far. You can hear sounds and styles that span their entire catalogue but, both musically and lyrically, this is clearly an album made by a band who love being back together and who are at the very top of their game.
- Product Dimensions : 5.51 x 4.92 x 0.31 inches; 1.76 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Wichita Records
- Original Release Date : 2019
- Date First Available : April 23, 2019
- Label : Wichita Records
- ASIN : B07QXRLHLL
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #27,169 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
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R.I.D.E. is unlistenable EDM It's repetitive hype over substance and any decent DJ could do it. It's obnoxious and in your face. It's a horrible way to set the tone for a Ride album. It's beneath calling itself Ride.
Future love is a poppy repetitive forgettable new "Hurricane One" song. It really sounds like an album I took out of rotation decades ago for good reason. Sappy, predictable and repetitive.
Repetition is arguably a lot of fun. It's very much an uptempo 80's throwback incorporating sounds from "The Cars" and "DEVO" with a bit of grit thrown in for good measure. While it's not necessarily innovative or "ride" it does show off their stylistic potential and sounds fresh despite it's derivative nature.
Kill Switch is a new favorite. Edgy, grinding, cathartic and raw. hard hitting beats meet shrill darkness with a slow build to chunky chaos of dark bass and driving shrieks of guitar. It's raw goth. I like this direction for Ride, I love the song, I love the chaos I love the emotion. I love facing personal demons. I like the challenge, but truth told, if it had a waif soprano singing, I'd swear it was a very early (pre Wings Of Joy) lost "Cranes" track. That's a compliment.
Clouds of Saint Marie isn't another new "Hurricane One" track it's the same boring mid-tempo repetitive new "Hurricane One" Track. I wouldn't want either song on the album, certainly not following Kill Switch, it ruins the mindscape. I've never made a mix tape with such bad track arrangement...
Eternal Recurrence is a slow cool dreamy atmosphere, which is a throwback to some of their early work. More so than that, with a different singer, and more passionate vocal expression, it'd be welcome on almost any "Kitchens of Distinction" album. Once again, a compliment, but this is a back handed one. I like it, but it's been done before.
Fifteen Minutes has a real "Replacements" vibe to it's intro. It's pretty straight forward working class rock with a cool downer presence which turns into a somewhat goofy "la la la la" off tempo change up, but then turns back to the Mats sound and rocks it out hard, as Westerburg and Stimsons might've, then goes "la la la la" again. I like the intro and hard parts, but the rythem doesn't quite click in the refrain. I think it could work better if they pushed the beat, I think it could be great live but as is, it's a cool idea, and not quite fully formed.
Jump Jet has a cool atmosphere, a good build, and somewhat builds off of the "Weather Diaries" template. It's dreamy atmospheric pop with an interesting shuffle beat turned disco, which builds into a cinematic almost transcendent almost orchestral release. It reminds me of 1980's fantasy or sci fi soundtracks, I get the sensation of liberation or flying while hearing it. It uses familiar Ride sounds and arrangements to create something I wouldn't expect of them. Which oddly is exactly what I expected this whole album to be... A transformation of old to new like Weather Diaries.
Dial Up is A dreamy downer orchestral Acoustic effort It's ok, but seems it could be a "Tarrantula" era hold out. It's largely filler
End Game This is the album's stand out. While much of its architecture is composed of historic Ride sensibilities, largely borrowed from "Nowhere" (the song) it's more of an 80's cinematic pop song. Lyrically it's a break up song, there's a spoken recount of woe for the lost relationship The forlorn feelings build to a sense of reluctant optimism, then transforms to take flight where reluctant pining turns to transcendant liberation through confused anger "What went Wrong, What went Wrong with you?" as drums erupt in a smashing classic Ride "Dit doo bop, Da dit ta doo bop" britpop beat followed by "Nowhere's" final drone minus the beach sounds. Writing now, I recognize it's a pop recreation of "Nowhere" it's the same feelings, it's the same catharsis, yet is stylistically friendlier and nowhere near as raw.. It's "Nowhere" in a safe space. Like "Jump Jet" it feels like an 80's fantasy movie soundtrack.
Shadows Behind the Sun oddly reminds me of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" I think it;s a simular chord progression. Ifind neither interesting or relevant.
In This Room Is a throw back to "Carnival Of Light" It has the mellow humble downer vibe mixed with moments of optimism. With the same sound and lyrical delilivery. It has thick atmosphere and a somewhat eclectic 70's album rock warmth. I loved "Carnival Of Light" I appreciate this respectful nod to that under rated album, but would appreciate it more if it was 4 minutes shorter.
In all I like many songs, but as an album, it doesn't work. There's 6 song I like with 3 new favorites. I feel 4 stars is generous, but does have a few great songs. As a whole this is the second worst Ride studio album, keep in mind though their 3rd worst album is an all time favorite of mine. Weather Diaries is a significantly better recent effort. While I won't complain that they're not shoegazing all the time, I will complain if they don't continue to innovate, incorporate and surprise, but would appreciate it if they did so coherently without EDM or sappy repetitive nonsense. Sorry Andy.
Drive Blind was perhaps the greatest song of my middle years in college. That was nearly 30 years ago, and this album does not take me back.
Its also a 45 on a 12 inch - so bare that in mind when you see that its a double album and you think theres a ton of music here.
Top reviews from other countries
(unlike the rest of amazon reviews)
I just want to ask....
Are ALL CD albums in cheap cardboard packaging these days?
Have the classic CD jewel cases been made obsolete?
Such a shame.