Size 233.152 MB 0 seeders Added 2013-05-12 17:31:50
Artist: Shearwater Release: The Golden Archipelago Released: 2010 Label: Matador Catalog#: OLE 861-2 Format: FLAC / Lossless / Log (100%) / Cue [color=blue]Country: UK Style: Folk,Folk Rock 01. Meridian 02. Black Eyes 03. Landscape at Speed 04. Hidden Lakes 05. Corridors 06. God Made Me 07. Runners of the Sun 08. Castaways 09. An Insular Life 10. Uniforms 11. Missing Islands Some claim albums as a format are dying out, and I keep refusing to believe it. I don't think economics or the slipperiness of mp3s will save it, so much as musicians who like the format will. It lets them say something a single track often can't, and it's hard to figure a better way to capture a snapshot of where a band is in its creative life. Based on The Golden Archipelago, Shearwater are perfectly served by the medium. The record has just a couple of tracks that would be especially striking outside of their context on the LP, and nothing on the level of the huge highs of 2008's Rook, "Snow Leopard" and "Rooks". But it's still thoroughly captivating and confident-- and one of the best recent examples of effective sequencing. The placement of every song is so precise that it almost sounds as though they were recorded in order. The listener feels an impeccable sense of balance as the album's loudest guitars follow its quietest whisper of a song during the transition from "Hidden Lake" to "Corridors". "Castaways" is deliberate and mannered and achieves the sort of restrained grandiosity that distinguishes Shearwater from nearly everyone else-- it carries you to a peak, and the song that follows gently carries you away from it as it bobs in on a swaying, natural beat. The album's first three songs feel almost like a suite. Hovering over all the perfect transitions is songwriter Jonathan Meiburg's loose unifying theme, islands. That seems simple enough for a concept, but it's a natural extension of Meiburg's fellowship work studying daily life in remote communities, as well as his well-documented interest in ornithology and academic work focusing on migration patterns. Indeed, the record is introduced by a field recording of what sounds like an island choir, before the band kicks in with an oceanic swell of guitar and imagery of waves on the shore. Meiburg's voice is finely honed, and it's the primary reason the band is frequently (and justifiably) compared to Talk Talk-- he has the same richness, range, and inexact enunciation that made Mark Hollis so enigmatic and interesting. He belts powerfully on the intro to "Black Eyes" before he's joined by a weighty beat that subtly shifts beneath him as the bass line evolves and the drums gradually change their emphasis. It's a sharp arrangement that doesn't do anything overtly odd but makes the song captivating and exciting nonetheless. The only parts of the album that don't feel quite as balanced as their surroundings are "God Made Me", which lacks the fluency of the record's other songs and weighs down the middle a bit, and the final two tracks: "Uniforms" is okay on its own, but its extreme dynamic range and slow start leaves the already wispy closer "Missing Islands" feeling, well, like an island, divorced from the rest of the record. Even so, it's a great piece of work, capturing a band at a moment of creative confidence and maturity. The band's organic incorporation of marimbas and other mallet percussion, its use of acoustic instruments to create textures, its sense of restraint-- these are all well on display on The Golden Archipelago. It's an album you can spend time with and understand as a whole work, and one that grows on you with each listen, revealing yet more detail and nuance.
|Shearwater - 2010 - The Golden Archipelago [FLAC]/01 - Meridian.flac||19.349 MB|
|Shearwater - 2010 - The Golden Archipelago [FLAC]/02 - Black Eyes.flac||24.082 MB|
|Shearwater - 2010 - The Golden Archipelago [FLAC]/03 - Landscape at Speed.flac||33.246 MB|