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Priest=Aura review by Sandra Garcia Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 March 1992
Originally published in B-Side magazine


Priest=Aura (Arista)

If this release was dusted for fingerprints vocalist / bassist / songwriter
Steve Kilbey could easily be convicted of first degree artistry.

After last year's glorious Gold Afternoon Fix, easily The Church's most
engaging album to date with its mix of moodiness and madness, it seemed this
band should finally get all the attention they richly deserved. They didn't.

So did The Church think "now how do we arrange songs so people will fawn
over us?" Of course not, they don't play those kind of games. They leave
that for the Teenage Fanclubs of the world. The Church is a little older
than that in their musical wisdom.

Instead, they drove even deeper into their reserve of musical magic,
producing an album of even more moodiness and madness.

Priest=Aura shimmers with the typical Church passion, but underlying this
album is an uneasy sense of despair. There's always been a sense of cynicism
creeping about the edges of The Church's sound, but here human nature is
questioned, analyzed and sent packing. Through their very music The Church
seems to be wandering about peering into the shadows of people and recoiling
in annoyance. Not with disgust, not with horror, but an elegant annoyance.
It's more a headshake of 'how could they be that way' then an accusatory
pointed finger of rage.

But it stands to reason that such an album would be unrelievedly grey and
pedantic, correct? Wrong. And therein lies why The Church make such
intriguing sounds...beautiful, harmonic sounds which convey that sense of
world weariness without destroying the music's bright soul Who knows how
they do it, they don't know, we don't care as long as their albums continue
to exhibit such a rare love of music.

Like a gracious oasis in a sea of musical despair, The Church are at once
part of the landscape but completely separate. Arrest them all for musical
magic and may the sentencing be for them to continue on the intriguing path
they've always taken. Severe punishment enough for all of us, don't you

A classic.

- Sandra Garcia


Transcribed by Sue Campbell

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