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REVIEW: Shoegaze trailblazers return to the scene

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(Photo courtesy of Jessica Linker/Pitch Perfect PR)
By Adam Morse

From their dreamy debut release “Just For A Day” to the long-awaited return from their lengthy hiatus “Slowdive” (self-titled) Slowdive’s music has always mesmerized fans.

The British rock band is back with “everything is alive” which has eight new tracks all of which are beautiful and somber in equal measure. 

The album opens with “shanty”, a track fueled primarily by icy synths with more and more of the landscape developing as the song builds. The ethereal vocals paired with swelling guitars, surprisingly high-energy drums and some harpsichord plucks cap off the stellar intro.

The lyrics are simple but also descriptive and emotional, perfectly encapsulating Slowdive’s best traits in this field.

The album transitions into a different pace with instrumental ballad “prayer remembered”. This track is pure melancholy distilled into audio form.

The song sounds like you’re losing once-cherished memories and realizing there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s impressive how vivid this song manages to be on an emotional level with no lyrics spoken.

Unfortunately, we take a downturn with “andalucia plays”. This is my least favorite song on the record but has its merits. The weak link here is frontman Neil Halstead’s vocals. I’m normally a fan of Halstead’s vocals but in this instance his attempts to suggest intimacy don’t create the desired effect. The lyrics are well written but nothing I’m going to remember.

The album’s lead single “kisses” is a perfect gateway into the world of Slowdive. This song’s mix is deeply layered and rich, managing to showcase every aspect of the song without feeling overcrowded.

This album feels special. With its all-killer-no-filler approach to the tracklist, every song comes together to form a perfect world filled with vistas of hazy memories and echoing guitars. I recommend it to anyone who wants to find a new world to melt into and become one with.

“everything is alive” is one for the ages.

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