Through The Windowpane
Not since Tim DeLaughter bought a choir boy smock down at his local car boot has such a strange collective emerged. As much rooted in Brazil as they are in Birmingham, the Guillemots can draw from a wide variety of influences, and they've done so to the full on their debut album.
A compelling collection that draws heavily on sweeping orchestration, as well as hints of glam-rock, and electro, Through the Windowpane hits and misses, but fortunately does more of the former than it does of the latter.
First single "We're Here, is an arena sized panoramic epic, reinforcing the theme of travel that runs through the album. Elsewhere, "Trains to Brazil" somehow manages to sound like "Mr Blue Sky" and come off unscathed, and eleven minute closer "Sao Paulo" starts off as a string swept ballad before breaking into a Brazilian carnival song.
Guillemots are at their best on celebratory songs like these, what stops the album from being truly great, though, are the songs that see the band getting bogged down in balladry, "Blue Would Still Be Blue" is the worst offender, effectively bringing the album to a halt with its repetitive piano motif that goes nowhere.
That said, there is more greatness on display than mediocrity here, and the album leaves us with the profound realization that Fyfe Dangerfield has an extraordinary vision, and he will one day realize it to its full potential. But, now, we must be content with just a good album, and of course, the bands incendiary live shows.