Written By: Filip Teovanovic
Originality: (4.0 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5.0 / 5) Lyrics: (5.0 / 5) Production: (4.0 / 5) Average: (4.5 / 5)
Twenty two years after the album Pygmalion, Slowdive have returned and what a return this is! Following several performances in 2014, the group has decided to reunite and record the new material, their eponymous fourth album. No doubt this is one of the most impressive comebacks in the history of alternative music.
Everything started with a teaser on Twitter with the reference to their classic Souvlaki – “…here she comes” and then the band acknowledged that they are returning to the studio. When the members broke up more than two decades ago, they were oriented towards their own diverse projects, but the reunion brought us that same sound we fell in love with back in the day. It is the sound that affirmed them as one of the leading names of shoegaze.
The album Slowdive incorporated all the best elements of the band, such as dreamt sound, sagacious lyrics, convincing vocals and unmistakable play. Perfectionism of this band is not pretentious. It is its own purpose. Simplicity and easy of their creative process is ubiquitous on the long awaited release. Bassist Nick Chaplin noted that the reunion was easy, which is why the album came naturally.
Recording unfolded as If there was no severely prolonged hiatus. It proves that the kunst of creating music does not evaporate when you don’t practice. Those who know how to create will find a way and time to express their abilities. On their eponymous album, Slowdive have showed that they are not contaminated, neither when it comes to their play, nor when it comes to following what is a status quo of the contemporary music scene. They sound more fresh than eighty percent of the recent releases we have a chance to hear. The formula is consistent – dreampop and shoegaze with ethereal vocals, distortions and dreamy melodies. Although they sound the same as before, they sprinkled everything modern elements, which is particularly observable through production and arrangements.
“Sugar For The Pill” and “Star Roving” are instant hits. These numbers offer typical shoegaze vibe in pop arrangement, but they still do not succumb to what is mainstream today. Retro sound and style is predominant. The opening track “Slomo” seduces with rhythm and Neil’s mellow vocal that sounds better than ever. Distorted guitars provide melody, while drums give out the impression of power and confidence. “No Longer Making Time” puts you in a trance due to ecstatic vocal and exuberant instruments. Guitars are brought to the extreme here. The record closes with “Falling Ashes” that comes off as a hypnotizing lullaby with subtle and obscure vocals.
The effectiveness of the sound and luring melodies of the album that Slowdive brought back to the scene can make any other band feel inferior. Slowdive is one of the best albums of 2017 which cemented the band’s status of shoegaze kings.