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NoSound - Allow Yourself CD (album) cover

ALLOW YOURSELF

NoSound

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.92 | 13 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars The promotional word is that Giancarlo Erra and company have changed direction with this new collection of songs on the Allow Yourself album. I would concur, as I hear the band moving more into the territory of bands like ANATHEMA, RADIOHEAD, STEVEN WILSON, and even old SIGUR RÓS. However, there remains something bare and spacious--that wonderful vulnerability despite the density of the atmospheric/electronic walls of sound--that they've had since the beginning. The songs are shorter, as they were on Scintilla, and the keyboard dominance is noticeable, but there is something very new and remarkable in the lead vocals which I think will entertain and even amaze listeners.

1. "Ego Drip" (2:32) opens like a Sigur Rós song before driving drum and bass tracks are faded in. When Giancarlo comes in with his repetitive single line it begins to sound like a trip hop song combined with something Steven Wilson or ANATHEMA would do. With the weave of several other one-line vocal tracks, it finishes feeling very much like something ANATHEMA has been doing over this last decade. (4.5/5)

2. "Shelter" (3:53) opens with a lone organ with spacious electronic drum track. After half a minute, Giancarlo joins in, singing in his new way, with long-held notes. I'm reminded a little of Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. The tempo and tapestry changes a few times in the background--a few sections sounding almost like 1990s STEREOLAB, THE FLAMING LIPS, or LOBOTOMY BROTHERS. Great song. (9.25/10)

3. "Don't You Dare" (4:00) opens as a vibrant trip hop song--like something Graham Sutton or RADIOHEAD might do--before Giancarlo comes in to sing a more delicate THOM YORKE-like Radiohead vocal. For the first three minutes it reminds me of "Weird Fishes/Arpeggios," then the electronica soloing shifts it into a different RADIOHEAD or COLDPLAY realm. Excellent song! One of my three favorites. (9.5/10)

4. "My Drug" (3:22) shifting electric piano arpeggi over which Giancarlo sings with some lo-o-o-ng held notes. This sounds like an ANATHEMA song or even a little bit of Jónsy singing over the SIGUR RÓS cacophony. Brilliant music! Kudos to Giancarlo for the vocal strength. (9/10)

5. "Miracle" (3:54) over a synth/keyboard sound palette comparable to THE FLAMING LIPS, Giancarlo alternates singing and soloing on his Fripp-like effected electric guitar. Drums join in for the last 45 seconds. The most "old" NoSound sounding song on the album. (8.5/10)

6. "This Night" (4:30) solo electric piano sets up the melody that Giancarlo sings. At 0:45 a vacillating synth joins before the strings for the echo-voiced chorus. In the third minute ANATHEMA-like military drums enter and slowly rise to the fore as piano bounces between two notes with each drum hit and strings perform their neoclassical quartet-like weave above and within the sound. (8.5/10)

7. "At Peace" (3:12) full rock instrumentation here cannot avoid my ANATHEMA comparisons due to Giancarlo's Danny Cavanaugh-like long held vowels with each word sung. Finishes with some gentle electric guitar plucking. (8/10)

8. "Growing In Me" (3:23) warbling horn-like synths woven within piano and other synths backs Giancarlo's delicate singing--until the chorus. With the chorus, Giancarlo trebles his vocal volume while Sigur Rós-like cymbols crash with some Steven Wilson "Perfect LIfe"-like electronic percussives. (8.5/10)

9. "Saviour" (2:45) electronic piano with delicate support from strings makes for a stunningly gorgeous sound over which Giancarlo performs his most subtle and nuanced vocal of the album. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

10. "Weights" (5:04) delicately played guitars and keys slowly form the base of this pretty song. At 1:00 Giancarlo enters with a very breathy TIM BOWNESS-like voice. It's amazing how far he has come in his pronunciation of English since the days of Nol29 and LightDark. My first perfunctory listen through this album led me to search to find out who he had hired to sing the lead vocals because I was so amazed at both the clarity of the English pronunciation and at the new style of singing with long-held vowels. The sudden Post Rock-like build to crescendo in the final 90 seconds caught me by surprise but it works! Great song! (9/10)

11. "Defy" (2:06) another RADIOHEAD- or STEVEN WILSON-like ditty. A top three for me. (5/5)

4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and one of my favorite albums of 2018.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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