Pelican's new record What We All Come to Need is a gorgeous journey through sludge rock with some moments of beautiful calm. But does it hold your attention enough to be a repeated listen? I got into Pelican when I purchased 2005's The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw. Overall it was a great album, but few songs were worth listening to alone. Then in 2007 Pelican released City of Echoes which was an album showing more of the light side of Pelican, but remaining heavy. How does What We All Come to Need match up to their previous LP's?
Well, to put it simply, it's "meh." "Glimmer" starts the album out. A great opener, it has that welcome back feel to it every album should. It starts out with a few chords, then the sludgy-distortion kicks in, not without backing the song perfectly. The mood on What We All Come to Need is pretty upbeat, reminiscent of City of Echoes, however, the songs are less catchy, you wont find yourself as hooked on this album as you might have been with their past releases.
Much of Pelican's latest is low-tuned looming guitar riffs, not really shaking it up too much, but Pelican's beauty shines through in songs such as "Specks of Light" and "What We All Come to Need," and in the final track, they bring something to the table no one expected from their music: vocals!. That's correct, Pelican a la singing. The singing is there more to back the music, but it's a nice fit. I've always wondered if Pelican would be that much better with vocals, it's hard to say from this song alone, but it certainly would be a nice change of pace.
The guitar tone stands out quite a lot for me on What We All come to Need, it is prominent, but it never feels to me as the guitar should be leading. The bass is somewhat present, in a few parts of a few tracks, such as "Specks Of Light," other than that, it's pretty much sunken below the mix. The drums aren't extraordinary, but well executed, on time, precise.
Pelican used to create vast soundscapes of sweeping melody in which every piece of music lead perfectly to the next, but their latest doesn't quite feel like an album, but more like individual songs. Personally, it sounds great as background music, but don't expect to be fully enveloped or entertained by it alone, it probably won't hold your attention but for a few songs.
6.0 / 10
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Posted Aug. 22, 2013, 7:41 p.m.
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