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Fluffhouse review of After Everything Now This Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 April 2004
Originally published at http://www.fluffhouse.org.uk/musicreviews/album.php?albumid=401

This sounds exactly like the Church. After a 20 year career, this album finds them doing exactly what they're good at, and doing it extremely well. Marty Willson-Piper's colourful guitar textures and flourishes are as varied as ever. Steve Kilbey's singing is still unshakeably confident, with cryptic but strangely evocative lyrics. Although it's not ground breaking, it grows on you dramatically. Every single song has a subtle tune or quirk that might seem unremarkable at first, but they really get under the skin more with every listen.

Although the thumpingly confident "Numbers" is instantly accessible. The ultra-smooth title track has that slightly gothic melancholy which made their "Sometime Anywhere" album so haunting. On "Song for the Asking" Kilbey uses the orator or poet's trick of repeating a phrase (such as "I don't know...") three times, which has a spine-tingling effect here. "Chromium" must be the best ever of Marty's token vocal spots, always driving forward, with a powerful chorus.

The Church seem to be able to do mellow and spacious atmospheres with their eyes shut and one hand behind their backs, and they do this here with "Radiance", evoking the desolate landscape of the album cover. "Reprieve" turns into a completely different song in the middle but with the same lyrics, which works admirably. "Night Friends" has a guitar theme that is on the way to being as piercing as the riff from Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". It finishes on a downer, with the resigned alienation of the minimalist one-chord song "Invisible".

9 out of 10

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