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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Valhalla Dancehall
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$11.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on February 18, 2015
Possibly the greatest rock band around today. To listen to this on vinyl is an absolute pleasure.
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on April 17, 2015
He liked it.
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on January 11, 2011
What is it about some albums that you like them but never quite grow to love them? British Sea Power's Mercury nominated "Do you like rock music" (2008) is clearly massively regarded by Amazon reviewers and with tracks like "Waving flags" its hard not to be impressed by the epic grandeur of it all. Yet as an album it has been a relative stranger to the turntable in this dez rez over the past two years. As such approaching "Valhalla Dancehall" the new album by the impressive Brighton indie rock band generated mixed feelings, not least with what is pretty rotten artwork adorning the cover. After listening to the album on repeat some of these doubts are still there, although this is an album which will undoubtedly grow with repeated listens and it has those sure tell tale signs that suggest it could be a real "stayer".

Certainly "Valhalla Dancehall" is a nice blend of anthems which deserve a rather large stadium to be fully appreciated combined with pop songs like "Georgie Ray" which owe some debt to David Bowie and actually nod a wink to Coldplay. It all starts splendidly with the huge rocker "Whose in control" which deserves a massive sprawling crowd in a gigantic summer festival to chant along to its infectious chorus, huge riffs and overpowering guitar work. It will literally knock the plastic pineapple off the top of the television and bring crashing down the ducks off the wall; it deserves to be a huge hit and will grow to be loved by discerning rock fans. Another song falling into this category is the brilliant pop orientated "Observe the skies" which will click the "repeat" button in your brain and have you singing it on loop within your head. Other fine moments include the gentle bubbling single "Living is so easy" which suggests a small echo of the Cure, while "Mongk II" is a massive gothic beast sung in tunnel like tones with echoes of Manchester's finest Joy Division.

All these show the band in fine form and prove that on there day they have few peers in the wonderful isles of Britain. Where however things go slightly awry is on the never ending "One more now" whose dreary 11 minutes doesn't fit the albums sequence or mood. Similarly "Stunde Null" could soundtrack one of those awful vampire movies that are so popular at the moment and sounds like My Chemical Romance with a banging hangover. Much much better is "Cleaning out the rooms" a gorgeous synth heavy ballad that reeks atmosphere and has an eerie doomed romanticism about it and this is reinforced by "Baby" which floats beautifully across its near six minute duration, weaving warm lines and a Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" ambiance.

Overall this is a very accessible and well constructed rock album from a band who deserve greater recognition and a wider audience. True there are some missteps located on "Valhalla Dancehall" but this can be put down to the bands desire to experiment and cross genres rather than poor songwriting or padding with filler. British Sea Power are an impressive crew and if this is your first purchase of the year you will not regret it.
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on April 5, 2011
This is definitely the best record they've done since "The Decline of...". While the two records between this are fine, just fine, on Valhalla Dancehall they manage to do everything they're good at over the course of a well paced, thoughtfully arranged record and more. The first record has some songs that just straight-up rage, and so does this one. I felt the production on the last two records (Open Season and Do You Like Rock Music?) dulled the excitement of the music by shaving off the rough bits. While this is definitely no Pussy Galore record, it manages to retain the thrill of the moment without sacrificing anything. A wonderful treat from a wonderful band.
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on April 5, 2011
5th album since 2003 from U.K. band. This is grand, soaring, smooth-but-explosive big-chord,
epic guitar rock with a compelling "raise-your-lighters" emotional appeal. There's a soft, stirring
British melodic structure here that builds with a slow-burning intrepid intensity & anthemic rhythmic
beauty. Shades of Boxer Rebellion, Airborne Toxic Event, Big Country, Pulp, The Domino State.
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