British Sea Power, Open Season
Everything on this album has a sense of delicateness to it, a crisp fragility that is practically unbelievable. Emblematic of this is North Hanging Rock, with a gently plucked acoustic guitar that sounds like it simply won’t be able to make it through the whole song, but it gets a lot of help from the layers and layers that build and build, until the song is one beautiful sensory assault. You will think: Astounding and How did they just do that? and Did he just say ‘Drape yourself in greenery / Become part of the scenery’? Oh yes.
The most outstanding song hereand that’s hardly putting enough importance on itis the album finale, True Adventures, a journey if ever there were one. Swelling orchestral tracks swell and crash in upon themselves as waves, exposing the open landscape of a virgin world that feels as new for them as it does for us, that explores entirely new territory. It’s brilliant, it’s mesmerizing, it’s extraordinary: You think it’s gone, my friend / But it comes back again
Is Open Season as good as The Decline and Fall of British Sea Power? Hardlyit’s better.