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The Church - Further / Deeper CD (album) cover

FURTHER / DEEPER

The Church

 

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3.36 | 15 ratings

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Relayer71
4 stars Their most consistent album, but not their best: while the songs are all good, they never quite hit the highs found on the previous stunner, Untitled #23 (Operetta, Cobalt Blue, Anchorage) and 2002's After Everything Now This (Night Friends, Invisible).

As on the last few albums, the Church have managed to come up with fresh melodies, arrangements and sounds while still retaining their overall sound - a feat not many bands well past the 20 year mark (35) can achieve. This is made even more commendable by the fact that long-time guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper was replaced by former Powderfinger guitarist Ian Haug and Haug does a fantastic job of playing within the established parameters of the classic Church sound so that Wilson-Piper's absence is barely even noticed (not to take away from his abilities - just that Haug's style not only blends seamlessly with remaining member Peter Koppes', but it also doesn't seem out of place and he plays exactly what works for each song).

An issue I have with the album is the sound quality - it sounds a bit compressed on some tracks (especially the drums, surprising as the band's drummer has also produced the last few albums including this one), the vocals are mixed a bit too low on some songs, and the bass guitar lacks a bit of definition on many tracks.

Also, the album could have been shortened to 10 tracks instead of 12 and probably have been stronger for it. While not terrible, on the first few listens, the first single Pride Before A Fall's languid pace definitely mars the effect of the album's amazing first two tracks which are energetic, propulsive. And closer Miami is not that special compared to the stunning closing tracks on their last few albums and at over 8 minutes, a bit too long. It's not a bad song, but it definitely sounds dated and would not have seemed out of place on Heyday or an earlier album. That being said, the sequencing really stands out on this album creating a strong synergistic effect, making for a somewhat brisk feeling 67 minutes. And after repeated plays, these two songs actually fit in with the rest of the album and don't take away from it too much.

I'm giving this album 4 stars on the strengths of a few standout tracks that are 5 track material (Vanishing Man, Delirious, Love Philtre, Lightning White) but note that there are a few 3 star tracks that keeps this album from being up their with their absolute best.

Relayer71 | 4/5 |

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