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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars While their second album sprung them to international stardom, it was also clear that the small independent Bang! label could obviously not follow up with distribution and promotion , Islands snapped dEUS up (the previous one was only distributed by them) and it shows right away with a rather pointless artwork (the previous two sleeves were homemade by Trouvé), I find also this album relatively uninspired and even subdued compared to the previous two. Stef Carlens had also left the group to follow his side-project and this obviously hurt the band.

Don't get me wrong, this is still a full-fledged dEUS album but it is less daring and has a more business-as-usual feel but there are still many good tracks. Magic Hour is one of the few highlights with strong violin/cello work and moody tones. The title track and Magdalena are rather tedious IMHO and the almost-country Instant Street with dubious string arrangements is sub-par even if it develops into a scorching end. A rather derange-some Goes Down First track is relatively adventurous but contrary to previous albums, this one is not quite successful even if there are some lovely Arab-tinged strings mixed in, but at least they tried something different in that track as they did on the closing track. All of the album tracks actually slowly evolve (the shortest track being over 5 minutes) but also water-down the purpose, over-extending the too few ideas they had. This might be due to the fact that many ideas were withheld for their multiple side-projects.

Somehow it is funny on how an average album actually contributes to a band's success just because the fortunes of the band are on an upswing. If you are a prospective proghead looking to investigate this group, I can only advise you to start with the first two albums as this one will take much longer to sink in and not really reward you that much.

Sensing a loss of drive even though their international success was still growing stronger, dEUS will declare a three year break to allow for band members to take up their other interests, be they the side musical projects, family life, other art forms and even for leader Tom Barman writing and directing a movie!!!! An extremely gutsy call for a group at the height of its popularity to call for such a huge break and an even greater achievement for coming back after such a lenghty break and come-up still with yet another excellent album released almost six years after this one!!!

Report this review (#58583)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This band from the Belgian low lands (le plat pays), plays an interesting music at the crossroads of Crimson, and "Anekdoten" as in their previous album. I would definitely add "Porcupine Tree" this time as a major influence. The quiet and melancholic one ("Sister Dew", "The Magic Hour"). But the rocking and melodic one as well is featured : "Put The Freaks Up Front" turns into an excellent and melodic song, after an hesitant start.

Popish and mellow ("One Advice, Space") also cohabitates with better songs like "Ideal Crash" and its excellent rhythmic section. Vocal parts almost sounds as Bowie though (but that's not a problem for me as you might know). The closing part (only) for "Instant Street" shows how well the band can cope together and deliver some sensational and hypnotic music.

Lots of guests musicians enrich an already creative core team (featuring a full time violinist player) which is a plus.

While listening to "Magadalena", I have the impression to listen to a quite "Placebo" tune. Almost ambient, soft, tranquil but a bit boring as well. And after all "Everybody's Weird" is not that weird. But to be honest, the last three numbers from this album are not really good. Filler type IMO.

"dEUS" could have shortened the experience and deliver a denser album. As such it is too stretched out. Three stars. It is more accessible than their previous "In A Bar".

Report this review (#164546)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album was recommended by a friend so I thought I would try it out...... It really does nothing for me......It's not horrible.....but it's not all that great either.....this sort of sounds Anekdoten Extra Lite ....or maybe like 'Better Than Ezra' with added violins..... I was tempted to give this 2 stars but I guess it has enough redeemiing qualities to bump up to 3....
Report this review (#169880)
Posted Sunday, May 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars "The Ideal Crash" is the album where dEUS took a new direction and went, well not mainstream, but rather not weird, though much more creative and original than their future releases.

This album is, in fact, great, though not progressive at all, it has some catchy rockers and beautiful ballads, absolutely worth listening to. "Put The Freaks Up Front" is a real cool song, very straight forward and with nice melodies, a raw and groovy rocker, then comes "Sister Dew", a sweet ballad, really emotional and one of the highest points here, in the same vein is "The Magic Hour", one more spacey ballad, really beautiful, and though not prog at all, these are the moments that are really worth listening in the album."Instant Street" is probably the most popular dEUS' song, and it is great! It's very catchy, very pop-ish, but it's truly fantastic, beautiful and addictive, optimistic and refreshing, some great music indeed!

On the experimental side of the album, we get the spacey "One Advice, Space", a soft song with a great mood; "Everybody's Weird", the weirdest piece, very addictive and entertaining; and "Dream Sequence #1", the rather minimalistic electronic effort, and one absolute gem, absolutely beautiful.

So, despite this not being progressive rock at all, it is great music and would appeal to most prog fans, I guess, if you want to start off with dEUS, start off with this one, it IS their most enjoyable one.

Report this review (#228798)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars dEUS are a little known quintet from Belguim, never afraid to try something new. "The Ideal Crash" is a beautifully layered art-rock album, where you discover more with every listen. The lyrics are often very mature and poetic, telling wickedly insightful stories about murder, lust, undeserving friendships, lost loves and hope. It is a record that can, and does, mean many different things, to many different people.

The music has some infusions of jazz and funk with emotive rhythms which can be strange, elegant as well as calming and dreamy.There's plenty of great trippy keyboards and lovely stings, creating a relaxed mood.

The song structures are inspiring too. The opening number "Put the Freaks Up Front" in particular, starts off with a dark guitar riff. Just when you think they consume themselves with loud rock, it breaks into lounge styled verses with some subtle jazzy horns. These kind of surprises pop up a lot throughout, sneaking up when you least expect it.

Sister Dew' is one of my favourite tracks. It's actually about a killer, though I can't help but feel touched by the words. Listen and you may know what I mean.'The Magic Hour,'is an enchantingly slow piano ballad and also a highlight. And you won't miss the banjo and string tinged 'Instand Street.' where its optimistic lyrics and word play reverse the songs meaning, half way through.

This is very interesting stuff indeed. It's an intelligent, quirky, charismatic, infectious record which has a complexity and energy well worth checking out. As I said earlier, it does need repeated listens to appreciate fully. Four solid stars.

Report this review (#443521)
Posted Friday, May 6, 2011 | Review Permalink

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