The Church - Magician Among The Spirits (1996)
The Church includes: Steve Kilby, Marty Wilson-Piper, Peter Koppes.
The Church's 1996 album, MAGICIAN AMONG THE SPIRITS, marked the return of original guitarist Peter Koppes, who had left the band four years earlier. This album was originally released on the band's own record label and then reissued in 1999, under the title MAGICIAN AMONG THE SPIRITS AND THEN SOME, with an altered track list. "Ritz," an ethereal, mostly acoustic cover of a Steve Harvey song, was replaced by four originals, "Man," "Won't Let You Sleep," "Sads," and "Why Don't You Love Me."
Standouts include "Comedown," a lively track complete with Marty Willson-Piper's trademark ringing guitars, "Grandiose," a soaring instrumental featuring the addition of a violin to the band's lush sound, and the creepy and cryptic "It Could Be Anyone," which is overlaid with various forms of disorienting distortion. Arguably the best song, however, is the glacially paced title track, a 14-minute long, ambient-influenced excursion about Houdini. The Church really set themselves apart from their contemporaries here, fully stretching their boundaries without sinking into self-indulgence.