Why do bands or musical partners decide to reconvene to see if the magic can still be conjured? There a slew of bands that have reunited for various reasons (cash grabs, nostalgia trips, etc) over the last five to ten years that range from exciting to shaking one’s head as to why reunions take place, and then, every once in a while, there is that collective of individuals that feels that they have some unfinished business that was left when the initial split occurred; and Slowdive always struck me as one of the latter that split for some unanswered reason where it seemed that their music was still vital when they hung up the guitars and synths, and for me, there was a genuine wonder if they would produce something new for all of us to hear.
When what turns out to be the self-titled fourth album from Slowdive was initially announced out into the social media-verse, we all had our answer that immediately provoked the follow-up question to that answer and the inevitable speculation as to what exactly we would all get to hear from the group because their sound had evolved over the course of their initial run (which produced what is arguably one of the finest shoegaze albums in existence); and as I sit hear listening to the album yet again, it has to be said that Slowdive give us record that sounds every bit as pretty and every bit as vital as if it immediately followed Pygmalion, maybe to some extent, a work that stands as one of their finest in the musicians’ career.
Slowdive is an exquisite sounding musical work that leaves me wondering how songs like the understated majesty of “Slomo” were composed after such an absence, and not just in terms of writing these excellent songs, but the performances of all the members are spot on the mark from the awesome bass lines (check out “Star Roving” and “Sugar For the Pill”) to the trading vocals between Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, which is a completely endearing aspect of this album in that those two are just so seemingly in sync to the terrific spaced out guitars; and I would be remiss to not mention how great it is to hear drummer Simon Scott back behind the kit on this record.
Slowdive indicates that this group found something new to say giving us all a record that is an absolute pleasure to listen to in virtually every possible way, and I do not think I can say enough that Slowdive delivers what I feel will prove to be another timeless album that people will probably be discovering twenty years from now; do not make the mistake of skipping this record as it really shows that not all reunions are a senseless cash grab and some bands still have some wonderful music to give us.
8.0 / 10
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Posted Feb. 3, 2014, 6:17 p.m.
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