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The Church - Hologram Of Baal CD (album) cover


The Church


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3.89 | 23 ratings

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5 stars This CD was just released as I was about to see them live in Cleveland. I hurried to get familiar with the songs, as I assumed they would showcase this CD live. Well, I was happy to find that they played highlights from most of their earlier albums and only did "Buffalo" and "Louisiana" from this CD. That gave me a great thrill to hear my old favorites ("Lizard", "Under the Milky Way", "Grind", "Old Flame", "Ripple", "Myrrh", among many others) performed live, and this in a club environment where the band was very intimately involved with the audience.

Now on to this CD. This, as has been mentioned prior, was another pivotal release in The Church's long, illustrious career. The addition of Tim Powles on drums and production was definitely instrumental in the elevation of the band's songwriting and recording techniques taking on a new level of atmosphere and musicianship.

The very first track, "Anaesthesia", is very anthemic in a rock vein and both atmospheric in its instrumentation and urgent in the vocal delivery. This track deserves a place in Church (and rock) annals as a classic. It bears repeated listenings and wears very well.

The rest of the tracks are so outstanding as to defy comparison to previous Church-released songs. There is definitely a lofty, spiritual, otherwordly atmosphere at work underlying these tracks. The only one that seems a bit lacking is the rather dull and monotonous "This Is It". Where this song came from and what it implies are vague to me, as it hits on no chors that ring like the rest of the CD does.

There are beautifully poignant ballads here to rank among the best in any rock circles: "Louisiana", "Tranquility" and "Buffalo" are all equally brilliant and tender in their musical and lyrical renderings.

Also highly worth mentioning are standout tracks "No Certainty Attached" (a rare out-and-out rocker for The Church), "The Great Machine" (a taseful nod to Pink Floyd with its hypnotic beats and oddly tweaked sound effects), as well as "Another Earth" and "Glow-Worm". These last two work almost as love songs (love songs???) in a Church-like vein.

Overall this CD is a masterpiece which I highly recommend to fans of Pink FLoyd, The Beatles, U2 and Daivd Bowie. And this also serves as something of a first installment of a "sound trilogy" that continues with "After Everything Now This" and "Forget Yourself", which continue the vein of excellence in songwriting, musicianship, studio prowess and poetry the band embarked on.

beebs | 5/5 |


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