Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago (* * * *)

With their sixth effort, it’s unlikely Shearwater will impress many of their skeptics; The Golden Archipelago sounds a great deal like the beautifully executed albums that came before. But there’s something to be said for the refining of one’s sound rather than attempting to reinvent it, and the band has managed to create something that feels unique to their catalogue due to their continued commitment toward producing an album, as opposed to just a collection of singles. This approach is once again made evident in the perfectly sequenced ebb and flow of the songs comprising this record’s 38 minutes. It’s remarkable, then, on an album that seeks for complete harmony and cohesion, that there are perhaps more potential singles here (a relative term, of course) than there have been on any prior Shearwater release. It doesn’t have the dynamic range of 2008’s Rook, but the somewhat faster pace makes for a more immediate listen. The songs are more concise in structure, so while it isn’t actually much shorter than the group’s other records, it feels tighter and more manageable. (Continue Reading @ In Review Online)