Album Reviews: Slowdive ‘Slowdive’

Overall, Slowdive’s self-titled album is genuine and authentic. The band’s comeback was never meant to be a reinvention of sound or identity.


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Genre: Shoegaze, indie, ambient
Release Date: May 5, 2017
Number of Tracks: 8
Label: Dead Oceans
Rating:

Purchase: MP3 / CD / Vinyl

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Slowdive couldn’t have re-emerged at a better time; when waves of alternative-based soundscapes are constantly being revived and recycled. The world of music is in dire need of something fresh or reminiscent. So after two decades since releasing 1995’s Pygmalion and three years since reuniting, does Slowdive’s aptitude for shoegazy rhythms and swirling ambient overtones rival the new generation of bands picking up where they left off? An aging band’s motive for relevancy is often put under the microscope, especially since they have released anything in over twenty years.

In retrospect, not much has changed in Slowdive’s sound. Their self-titled album is composed of Christian Savill’s feathery guitar riffs and Rachel Goswell’s placid vocals basking in an atmospheric wall of sound. Nick Chaplain delivers unruffled bellows of bass-work, which acts as the driving force behind “Sugar For The Pill.” Simon Scott’s reverb-laden drums expand beyond the confines of the mix as heard on “Slomo,” “Star Roving” and “Go Get It.”

“Falling Ashes” closes the album with melancholic melodies structured around Neil Halstead’s serene piano arpeggios. Goswell and Halstead often trade vocal leads and share some occasional interweaving harmonics. Due to the heavy use of reverb, lyrics are often difficult to make out, but this is nothing new to Slowdive. The wide rings and arena affects incorporated into production are paramount to the band’s musical landscape.

Overall, Slowdive’s self-titled album is genuine and authentic. The band’s comeback was never meant to be a reinvention of sound or identity. There’s nothing spectacular about their fourth studio album. The band simply sticks to what they’re known for, revisiting the atmospheric soundscape that originally put them on the back.


Stream “Sugar For The Pill” and “Star Roving” below:

 


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