Wednesday, 22 July 2009

ALBUM REVIEW: BROKEN RECORDS * * *


Broken Records, the Edinburgh-based ensemble who have been commonly dubbed as the Scottish Arcade Fire, made their followers proud when they signed on to the 4AD label and shortly after released a highly anticipated album full of songs so familiar to the hometown listeners that we (yes, myself included) already knew most word-for-word purely from frequent attendance at BR’s engrossing live gigs.

So it is probably not entirely their fault that on a first listen to the record, a certain level of disappointment is present due mainly to the lack of that all-encompassing connection one gets inside an intimate venue. I would love to be able to review this record as a BR virgin, to discover this band and the chills they induce, for the very first time; but instead I just keep listening for a reconnection and find at least one solution - turn up the volume.

‘A Good Reason’ and ‘Until the Earth Begins to Part’ relievingly recapture the bond, and that colossal sound. ‘A Promise’, a violin and piano-led ballad, grows with urgency halfway through in an eventual explosion until the song leaves you as quickly as it has awoken you. And opening track, ‘Nearly Home’, remains a highlight of the BR repertoire, with Rory’s violin-led harmony and Jamie’s imploring lyrics, the same sort of lyrics that on ‘Thoughts On A Picture (In a Paper, January 2009)’ ask “were your eyes red from your tears shed, now tell me do you feel let down?” Let down? Answer: no, not afterall.

Also published in isthismusic.com

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