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The Church - Gold Afternoon Fix CD (album) cover


The Church


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2.89 | 30 ratings

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4 stars [Seventh in a series] Having settled into "progressive mode," the band is now "spreading its wings," experimenting with different possibilities, mostly highly successfully (though the "atmopsheres" here are not quite as lush as they were on "Starfish," or would be on their next album, "Priest=Aura"). "Pharoah" is the first song that can definitively be called The Church's "sound." In addition to all the musical elements that now increasingly define that sound, Kilbey is getting bolder as a "storyteller," using (and sometimes deliberately "molding") the songs to "fit" the concept of the lyrics. "Metropolis" is a wonderful, slightly lighter arrangement, including a nice guitar riff. "Terra Nova Cain" has a neat arrangement, including a bizarre shuffle-like chorus, and a nice, if short, instrumental break. "City" is simpler, with a more straightforward sound, and seems to some degree like a throwback to the band's earlier sound. "Monday Morning" (not on the original album) is actually a nicely-handled ballad (and the band would return to the guitar-drum-tambourine sound soon, to great effect). "Russian Autumn Heart" is an almost U2-ish composition, and gives Marty Willson-Piper a chance to test his vocal abilities (which would become considerable on "Sometime Anywhere"). "Essence" is a good example of the more "straightforward" approach in some of the band's compositions, while maintaining the essence of their sound. "You're Still Beautiful" represents the band at its most delightful, with a Bowie-esque arrangement and some of Kilbey's most sardonically mocking lyrics. The deceptively simple "Disappointment" is actually a direct precursor of an approach that would serve the band to phenomenal effect on its next, breakthrough album ("Priest=Aura"). "Transient" would have been just as comfortable on "Heyday," as it has the same approach, sensibilities and production, and gives Peter Koppes a chance to stretch his vocal cords (not quite as successfully as Willson-Piper). "Laughing" (not on the original album) is a simple song, but contains elements that would be used later by the band to excellent effect. "Fading Away" is a nice return to the band's approach and sound as it would come to serve them best in the future. Overall, a very listenable album, as good in its way as "Heyday." And yet little on "Heyday" or "Gold Afternoon Fix" quite prepares one for the incredible leap the band makes on their next effort, "Priest=Aura."
maani | 4/5 |


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