| Hate, |
"You ask me what I've seen, hate is all I've seen". (All you need is hate)
This, the forth LP from the folk-pop kings of heartbreak is borne of a dark place. The band themselves have described it as "An album of extreme negativity and extreme revelation". In following up 2000's, The Great Eastern they have attempted to transcend the skewed pop song by creating something hardcore. In that, they have succeeded.
The opening three tracks are an epiphany which begins with the space rock of The light before we land, where producer, Dave Fridmann's influence is most heavily felt (fragmented percussion is pushed high in the mix, something that characterises the latest Flaming Lips masterpiece). Then it's All you need is hate, delightful in its simplicity and possessing the sweetest of hooks, a genuine contender for song of the year. The euphoria of the sound and the bleakness of the lyrics establish the dichotomy upon which the rest of the album hinges. Woke from dreaming is a thing of beauty, Emma Pollock's angelic vocals backed by a choir, buried in strings.
From there they spiral down and we fall with them. On The drowning years, Alan Woodward delivers a lyrical stomach punch; "Bring on the screaming and I'll take your demons now that I'm already dead". Child killers is an ode to pain, a shard of glockenspiel, a guitar picked, and a distorted mantra. The Polyphonic Spree'esq rush of All rise is torn down with the lament; "so it ends", and then it does with If this is a plan upon which the refrain; "Some cold comfort is waiting somewhere" is delivered as if by a frozen oracle. Chilling.
A creation of sad, sad times, and deeply affecting, this is a concept album, the concept depression. Out of loss and hurt comes something good and timeless. A triumph of the human spirit. The hero's, The Delgados.