British Sea Power: Man Of Aran

~ Tuesday, 7 July 2009
British Sea Power either delight or disappoint depending on your point of view. If you love them for their anthemic Mercury nominated Do You Like Rock Music? then you may be in for a shock on this new album.

I'll lay my cards on the table, I like this album, but then I like British Sea Power. They take chances. They make music that they like. Man Of Aran is almost entirely instrumental, recorded as a new soundtrack for an obscure documentary about Irish fishermen on the west coast of Ireland.

Now, I grant you, this does not sound like something you may want to shell out your hard earned cash on and the DVD of the black and white documentary that comes with it may not be enough to swing it, but this is a beautiful, haunting, image painting landscape of sound that will delight those of us who hold them dear for the originality and imagination.

Man Of Aran and Woman Of Aran share atmosphere in abundance driven by haunting strings, ethereal vocal harmonies and a repetitive piano loop in the background. Come Wander With Me instantly takes you back in time, epic brass carrying the melody and featuring the only moment of singing on the whole album.
While it has obviously been made to be listened to as a whole piece rather than on a track by track basis, Boy Vertiginous is perhaps the one song that could work on its own merits.

It is true to say the music works best when set against the images portrayed in the documentary, but there is enough here to allow it to stand on its own. This is music to immerse yourself in from one of our most adventurous

[][][][] (4/5)