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Ulver - Childhood's End - Lost & Found from the Age of Aquarius CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.64 | 81 ratings

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4 stars With Ulver's back catalog of albums and them being the non-specific genre wizards, you would think they would be able to make amazing translations of psychedelic covers from the 60s right? Well, it definitely sounds like it should work.

Being a huge fan of Ulver, I always suggest this band whenever someone asks me for something new and different. There is always a Ulver album for pretty much any taste in progressive rock. When I heard they were doing an album full of psychedelic covers, I thought it was going to be amazing. I hate to admit that I was somewhat disappointed in this album though. All of the songs get the Ulver treatment in that they keep their psychedelic sound, but there is something not right about the production or the sound. The vocals for the most part are emotionless and there is a definite lack of dynamics here, usually something that Ulver has been good at. There are a few tracks that stand out well here like "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night", "Bracelet of Fingers" with it's spooky evil sound, "Dark is the Bark" has a nice instrumental section with a heavy use of synthesized strings, "Velvet Sunsets" and "I Can See the Light" both have some lush and beautiful sounding harmonics which are very original and progressive, and a few others, but there isn't much that stands out here. If there had been a little more emphasis on a specific instrument here or there, it might have made a big difference. As it is, the vocals and instruments all seem to be mixed at the same level with no highlight anywhere in the mix. This kind of gives the music it's psychedelic sound it's true, but it also makes the covers sound rather same-ey throughout. I can't help but with there was a little more variety in the sound.

But, it's still a decent album nevertheless. Just nothing amazing or outstanding like I have come to expect from all of their other albums. I'll come back to it, it's not like it is an album that will be shelved forever. But it's also one that I won't get really excited over either. It might be a good album to get the younger listeners started in exploring Ulver's music or in 60s psychedelic music, but I can't really see much more value to it than that. I guess it's a labor of love mostly for the band, but I wish it had more dynamic and variation to it.

I have to consider this one good, but non-essential. It's not a complete write off but it's nothing outstanding either. 3 stars.

Edit: This is an album that has truly grown on me. Even though most of the tracks are around the 3 - 4 minute mark, and even though they don't have long jamming instrumentals that are common with the psychedelic sound that Ulver uses on this album, the charm of the short, yet very psychedelic songs does tend to grow on you, and you start to notice all of the nuances and surprises on this album after time. Thus I raise this to a 4 star rating.

TCat | 4/5 |


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