Tuesday, January 29, 2008


HOLOGRAM OF BAAL, the eleventh Church album (depending on whether or not you count REMOTE LUXURY as a album or 2 EPs, as it was originally released), marks a move away from the eclectic nature of some of the band's past few efforts. Here it focuses on the lush, psychedelically tinged pop of albums such as HEYDAY (that said, however, some editions of this CD include BASTARD UNIVERSE, a 79-minute long bonus disc of 6 linked experimental instrumentals, which is well worth seeking out).

Easily the equal of anything in the band's catalogue since STARFISH, HOLOGRAM would make an ideal starting point for new fans or fans who've drifted away over the years. Standouts include "Louisiana," a gloriously languid track featuring guitar feedback in the distance, rolling like waves on the ocean, and "No Certainty Attached," a dense rocker (or as rock as the Church ever gets), highlighting heavy-duty drumming, swooping guitars, and Steve Kilbey's echoing vocals. The beautiful "Tranquility" actually manages to live up to its title, while "Glow-Worm" is a sweet love song, whose swirling backing is accented by acoustic guitars and violins.


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