British Sea Power – Man of Aran (CD)

British Sea Power is one of the acts that, despite all the fame that they have received in the 6 years since their first album, The Decline of British Sea Power, we have not had the chance to cover here for NeuFutur. Luckily enough, Rough Trade US sent us on over a copy, and we were quickly floored by the band. “Man of Aran” starts off with a titular track that really creates an atmosphere that will stick with the band throughout the album.

The different things happening on the track are hidden by the fact that the arrangements are so strong; give the song a closer listen and one can definitely hear the band working hard to craft this special opening. “The South Sound” has a much more grounded approach, with the guitar linking the heavenly arrangements of “Man of Aran” with something that extends for the greater part of twelve minutes. Where such a long track would be problematic for most acts currently creating music, British Sea Power are able to provide more than enough in the way of differentiation to the sections of the composition to keep listeners focused in, and eagerly anticipating the next track, “Come Wander With Me”. “Come Wander With Me” benefits from the heavy use of strings, coming forth more as the beginning song for an old western film (think Ennio Morricone for this one).

The amount of emotion that is present in this track is simply stunning, while British Sea Power show that they can do more with their instruments than many bands can do with their complete output. “Boy Vertiginous” has a much more folksy, earthy feel than had previously been heard on the album. It is the fact that British Sea Power can take on all of these different sounds and styles that should be the reason that interested individuals pick up a copy of “Man of Aran”; for my money, they may just be the most unique band that I have heard this year.

Top Tracks: The South Sound, Come Wander With Me

Rating: 8.4/10

British Sea Power – Man of Aran (CD) / 2009 Rough Trade US / 12 Tracks / http://www.britishseapower.co.uk / http://beggarsgroupusa.com/labels/roughtrade/

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