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Rolling Stone USA reviews Sometime Anywhere Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 October 1994
***********************************************************
  Source: Rolling Stone Magazine (New York, USA)
   Issue: No.?
    Date: Oct, 1994
 Subject: Review - Sometime Anywhere
***********************************************************


SOMETIME ANYWHERE
  THE CHURCH
    Score: 3.5 (out of five)
      By ?

WHEN SINGER AND BASSIST Steve Kilbey quips, "Here is the maven, signing
the check/He bought us dinner, so what the fucking heck" on Sometime
Anywhere, he might be pondering the issue of commercial viability that
dogged the release of Priest=Aura, from 1992, a vague record that
fizzled quickly and was followed by the departure of guitarist Peter
Koppes, a founding member of the Church.

But if "The Maven" is the Church's catharsis, Sometime Anywhere is the
band's redemption. To make this record, Kilbey and guitarist Marty
Willson-Piper stretch the boundaries of their vision during
improvisational jam sessions, recording much of the material as they
went along. The process was fruitful and the two opted to release some
overflow as an additional seven- song disc, Somewhere Else.

The Church's spontaneity lends a vibrant honing to the dark beauty of
the melodies on Sometime Anywhere, but getting ultimate gratification
and catching the record's nuances will require a few listens. As
classic Church components, the gorgeousness of Willson-Piper's chords
and the seductive drone of Kilbey's voice are easy to grasp, but the
songs on Sometime Anywhere are epics, many lasting more than five
minutes. There are few pop elements here-- nothing is as instantly
palatable as the hooks in such Church favorites as "Metropolis" or
"Reptile," nothing as direct as "Under the Milky Way."

Sometime Anywhere instead ventures down a dimly lit path, offering few
clues to its destination and many surprises along the way. "Loveblind"
features Eastern rhythms bobbing gently behind wind-swept guitars and
envelops a self-examining parable played out as a detective story: "I
pieced together clue by clue just what a faceless man would do.... In
the mirror in my space was a man without a face."  "Angelica" jets to
the stars with shuddering rims, fiery violins and defiant sing speak
from Kilbey: "The civilized gentleman isn't gonna be nice to you
tonight."

Sometime Anywhere is ambitious in scope, but that ambition is not
always realized. "Business Woman," a stiff satire, is a ridiculous take
on extramarital affairs ("We should never have let [the label] hear
it," Kilbey said in a recent interview) with the canned chorus, "Look
at that businesswoman/She's  not that much older than you." On
"Lullaby," staid vocals mutter what amounts to a trite Christmas
sermon: "We share and bear the message of your newborn son/We follow
paths of fallen stars, in and out of mangers, other bars."

Yet when the record's expansiveness unfolds as lush panoramas like "Two
Places at Once," the first single and the first-ever vocal duet between
Kilbey and Willson-Piper, it gently bares the souls of its
songwriters.  When they echo each other with "I've been waiting, seems
like an eternity/We were so blind," you know they've reached their
epiphany.

***END***
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