Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rock/Pop CD Review : “The Light The Dead See” by the Soulsavers


The Light The Dead See

Mastered at Abbey Road, this is the follow up to 2009’s critically acclaimed album Broken, with collaboration from Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) . The Soulsavers' downtempo electronica sound incorporates influences of rock, gospel, soul, and country and is the production team of of Rich Machin and Ian Glover.

Invited to support Depeche Mode on the European leg of the band’s vast 2010 Tour of the Universe. Here, the seeds of The Light The Dead See were sewn. With Gahan penning lyrics for the music and recording his own vocals in New York, then Machin building up the results into fully-formed and arranged epics, the international project was a case of “chemistry working”. The album was mastered at Abbey Road earlier this year. The result is a type of psychedelic Moody Blues electronica, a perfect pairing of what the All Music Guide called, ‘an exciting meeting of troubled minds’.

Soulsavers Interview Part 1

The effect of the album is a sweeping epic evoking a majesty of aural foreboding that somehow manages to avoid being over the top. There’s a darkness, a soulful earthiness that closes out everything else around you and invites you to sit and listen to these ballads and hymn-like songs.

“There was no real script,” says the Rich Machin of the extraordinary fourth album The Light The Dead See, a set of songs of majesty and momentum. “It just rolled and rolled; it was effortless.” Joining forces with Dave Gahan it immediately became clear that this was going to be something very special. “We realized we were coming from the same place in so many ways,” adds Machin. “He’s really laid himself bare on this record, his contribution is astonishing.” Says Gahan, “Everything about it was relatively unplanned, surprising: a magical thing. We were a perfect match and I’m very, very excited about this record.”

Soulsavers–Dave Gahan “The Longest Day” from The Light The Dead See may 2012

The music is by turns stirring, seductive, soothing, languidly sexy or startling. Having built a steady following since the first Soulsavers (also known as The Soulsavers Soundsystem) album 2003’s debut Tough Guys Don’t Dance. 2007’s It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land brought their dark flair to a wider audience. The inimitable Mark Lanegan served as primary singer, though there were also vocal contributions from Will Oldham and Jimi Goodwin. In 2009, third album Broken confirmed that Soulsavers were moving away from early electronica to earthier guitars, use of space and what Machin described as “a soulful twist.”

The pair are also making headway as film score composers, with a portfolio of work that includes the feature documentary BattleGround: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge produced by the Guerrilla News Network. Their song "Revival" was featured on the November 22, 2007 episode of Grey's Anatomy, titled "Crash Into Me" part 1. The song was also featured on the December 10th episode of Friday Night Lights, titled "Giving Tree". It is also featured in the snowboarding movie That's It, That's All. Revival also featured in the trailer of the 2011 film Machine Gun Preacher. "Kingdoms of Rain" featured in the Lie to Me episode "Truth or Consequences," which aired on October 5, 2009.


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Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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