Glasvegas – Euphoric /// Heartbreak\\\
April 4, 2011
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I gave this blogging business a go a few years back. It was mainly due to the pressures of year 12 and me needing to find a way to procrastinate, but at one point I wrote a post about the city of Glasgow. I remember writing it around the time of The Fratellis’ second album, which I believe was my inspiration for it. Looking back, it seems times have changed a bit. The Fratellis’ have gone on hiatus, Franz Ferdinand have been silent for a few years, and there’s been a revival from Belle & Sebastian. But it’s been Glasvegas who have rocketed to Glaswegian stardom.
Their self-titled debut was hauntingly beautiful as lead singer crooned about his life, the Glasgow life. While it was not a catchy release, the musicianship and harmonies made it a joy to listen to. The band has taken it a little further on their new album. I’ll describe it this way; imagine a orchestral symphony. Now plug all the instruments into a synthesizer. Finally crank the volume up really loud and have a Scottish guy sing over the top. That’s what this album is like. More-or-less, it’s a 50 symphony, split into 11 movements. This is what I find so enjoyable about this album. Even though it was only released today, on each of my listens I have heard something I hadn’t time. Even though it may not be an instant classic, the depth of melodies in it makes it an album that will be hard to get bored of. The album is a concept album of sorts, following the love of the narrator and some unmentioned person. From the initial shyness of the narrator, shown in The World Is Yours (“still I dream you were mine”), till the time when the couple become involved in Shine Like Stars.
The first we heard of the album was the free download offered from the bands website of The World is Yours, which subsequently got solid play on Triple J. When you include the opener Pain Pain, Never Again, a spoken word piece leading into The World is Yours, the whole thing turns into am 8 minute epic. A shy man obsessed about a girl, who he believes he will never get. As the album progresses and the relationship develops, there is a sense of impending doom. This explodes in first single Euphoria, Take My Hand as the relationship has ended and the narrator struggles to survive. It might be something about his voice that makes this song so emotive. In the end, he carries on but is never quite over his love shown in Lots Sometimes (“I still think about you lots sometimes”)
At first, I didn’t think of this as a concept album. In fact, it wasn’t until I was halfway through this review were I thought about it. But it is cleverly written and highly emotive, with parts sounding especially Pink Floyd-esque. This might just be the dystopian talk of mothers that reminds me of The Wall.