Monday 4 June 2012

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Here

Album review by KevW

If Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes' first album was a mildly soulful trip back through the more psychedelic regions of Laurel Canyon, full of love and warmth, then its follow up is a righteous journey through the most stylish, hospitable, powerful and downright hippest spiritual festival you're ever likely to encounter. There's pure passion in these songs and their delivery, be it holy or altogether more down to earth, you can't help but find the spirited choir of voices utterly embracing and the accompanying psych-pop as welcoming as a warm cuppa and a freshly baked bun, straight out of the oven.

'Here' doesn't have a time or a place or a style. The fusion of gospel, country, psychedelia, folk, indie and rock dances around classification. Spiritualized have used the same ingredients, but this is nothing like them. Neil Young has also dabbled with this blend of genres, but aside from the comforting bass lines, the two only slightly overlap. Maybe if Johnny Cash was the man with the kaftan and flowers in his hair instead of the man in black we'd have a direct forerunner. As it is, 'Here' is very much a work created in its own magical and mystical way. The country/psych/gospel of 'Man On Fire' is an inviting opener, and once you're through the door it's hard to leave.

Whether it's the electric, clappy, rural-blues update of 'That's What's Up' or the hillbilly footstomp of 'I Don't Wanna Pray', these are sounds you'd never expect to enjoy as much as this. The choral 'Mayla' is simply spellbinding in its beauty and simplicity. 'Dear Believer' recalls Cat Stevens and its antiquated production works staggeringly well, providing a grin-inducing sense of well-being, as does the chanting of 'One Love To Another'. If this is all beginning to sound like some peculiar quasi-religious cult, then maybe it is. And I'm delighted to count myself as its newest convert.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Dear Believer

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Mayla

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes' website

Buy the album

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