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Fourteen Twentysix - Lighttown Closure CD (album) cover

LIGHTTOWN CLOSURE

Fourteen Twentysix

 

Crossover Prog

3.47 | 12 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Wow! What a surprise! I thought this was going to be a collection of demo songs but it's an album of full blown, very high quality crossover prog music. If you like the mellower, more spacious side of music, like THE CURE, THE CHURCH, NOSOUND, GAZPACHO, ANATHEMA, LOVE AND ROCKETS, AIRBAG, DAVID SYLVIAN, or BRIAN ENO, you will love this album!

1. 'Am' (5/10) is a brief acoustic guitar song that seems a bit out-of-place with the rest of the album'which means the lyrical content (a late-arriving vocal in the vein of LOVE AND ROCKETS) must be its most important contribution.

2. 'After the Storm' (8/10) brings the album's introduction from the austere, minimalist folk blues-rock into a kind of 80s techno pop: THE CHURCH, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, SIMPLE MINDS, LOVE AND ROCKETS, even THOMPSON TWINS come to mind. It's good: not too retro, with plenty of modern sensibilities (guitars and other background effects). I love the quiet high-register vocal-over-'harp' interlude at the 2:45 mark, and the fuzz guitar that follows. Poor ending (familiar from ENO's 'By the River' from Before and After Science).

3. 'Closing Hours' (9/10) is an awesome song combining electronics, acoustic guitar picking, rolling COCTEAU TWINS-like bass line, and syncopated drumming with ROBERT SMITH vocals sounding as if straight off of the missing album between THE CURE's Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Disintegration LPs.

4. 'Gone Today' (7/10) hails back to LOVE AND ROCKETS and THE CHURCH though still pulling a lot from GENE LOVES JEZEBEL. Haunting keys and background-floating 'infinite guitar' tremolos coupled with a truly masterful vocal performance make this a real crossover gem.

5. 'Tonight I' (9/10) is a masterpiece of psychedelic prog techno-pop'not unlike the GAZPACHO and NOSOUND efforts but more akin to a great AIRBAG song'with a very infectious chorus melody. Great synth and special sound effects.

6. 'Signals in the Sky' (10/10) is simply amazing for the emotion of its spacey ambience. As good as NOSOUND or GAZPACHO at their very best! No, better!

7. 'Descending' (7/10) is a bit of a let down after the past four songs. It starts with 2 ' minutes of very vocal-heavy singing over some very somber, minor- or chromatic-keyed (or, at least, 'melody-less') synthesizer sounds. When it does 'kick' in, it continues to carry forward its almost too heavy, too dark sound'which might be quite appropriate for the lyrical message Chris is trying to convey (but, to which I am all but oblivious). Another attempt at the depths of dark-night-of-the-soul master ROBERT SMITH? It actually has more in common with STEVE KILBEY of THE CHURCH's sound and PETER HAMMILL' style. Fortunately, it does build and end much more like 'music' than it begins.

8. 'White Paint' (7/10) is a true STEVE KILBEY/THE CHURCH song'with lots of spacing between instrument notes. Also similar in feel and style to DAVID SYLVIAN's work.

9. 'Lashes' (10/10) is stunning! It's like a song whose music came from the BRIAN ENO/ROBERT FRIPP Evening Star period while Chris has had the courage and wherewithal to add an absolutely amazing DAVID SYLVIAN-like, prime ROBERT SMITH vocal over the top. Absolutely stunning effect'and effects (listen with headphones, please!!) The crescendo of cacophony toward the end followed by the lulling sound of a solo cello at the very end is the epitome of the end of a great Post Rock end of the world song'like ULVER's Shadow of the Sun's finale. Superlatives!

Each listen brings more enjoyment as this album's haunting vocals, simple, lazy but beautiful melodies and hidden subtleties draw you deeper into the music. This album is highly recommended for any music listener who likes a softer, more dreamy and yet very engaging listening experience. 4 stars for now--a HIGH 4 stars. ('Masterpiece' status usually needs be earned over time ''stamina,' the ability to hold interest over the long-term, are key. This album may have it!) 'Signals in the Sky,' 'Tonight I,' and especially the monster, 'Lashes,' are all masterpieces of space/spychedelic/post rock.

Post edit: Comparisons to Radiohead and/or Depeche Mode? Frankly, I don't see the. Not as electronic as DMode and not as odd or experimental--or dull--as Radiohead. These guys are the real deal, the new Cure--maybe better.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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