Thursday, 7 May 2009

Broken Records - Until the Earth Begins to Part (4AD 2009)

Gravitas, that’s what Scottish seven piece Broken Records bring to the party. Swirling orchestras, pounding pianos, mournful vocals and a hint of glockenspiel all add to the weighty mix that comprises Broken Records. Their debut album ‘Until the Earth Begins to Part’ sounds like that moment in a film like Armageddon where all hope seems to be lost and there are yearning goodbyes and painful realisations of mortality before an explosive heroic act/dues ex machine triumphs and wins the day in a dramatic and bittersweet way. Such is Broken Records’ music, swirling paeans to triumph over adversity. The brooding cellos and the pounding piano and lead vocals embittered and indelibly inked in pain all create an epic swirling and mystifying sound, with a warm passionate heart beating, and the thump of interesting little flourishes like glockenspiel and accordion and trumpet to round out an impressively bursting sound. ‘If Eilert Loevborg Wrote a Song, It Would Sound Like This’ is a fun calamitous accordion-filled yearn to a married woman and to art and to love. ‘Ghosts’ is a quiet and simple haunting that builds in sweet falsetto and spectral guitars. Album closer ‘Slow Parade’ starts inoffensively before building into a thundering crescendo of emotion and intense piano. ‘Until the Earth Begins to Part’ is a curtain call to the world as it implodes then explodes in a big bang of disappointment and lost love. Broken Records have the ability to harness emotion and translate it into the fury, intensity and delicateness of love and lust, creating musical palettes that tug on your every heartstring. If Coldplay can rule the world with insipid vague stabs at emotion, then Broken Records deserve a decent stab at stealing that crown and title with their world-beating expansive sound.


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