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ISAN, "Meet Next Life"

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Morr Music
Robin Saville and Antony Ryan return with their fourth album (and third for Morr) since their inception in 1996. In keeping with their previous work, Meet Next Life combines warm textures with cool soundscapes to create a thoroughly balanced album of lush, often touching instrumental melodies that are never overwrought. While their last record, Lucky Cat was slightly more minimal, their latest finds the band carefully expanding their horizons, particularly in terms of diversity. The first track, "Birds Over Barges," brings crystalline acoustic guitar to the mix, adding a gauzy dimension to the sounds of the analogue synths. From there, the songs slide and drift languidly into one another, and although the overall sound of the album is subtle and understated, ISAN manages to avoid lapsing into monotony. "One Man Abandon" and "Snowdrops and Phlox" are winsome lullabies, while "The Race To Be First Home" is winsomely playful with its jubilant xylophone sounds. The haunting title track, which brings Meet Next Life to a close, is strongly reminiscent of Brian Eno's Apollo. The best of the bunch, "Gunnera," amazingly brings all these elements together in what is definitely the signature piece of the album. I find it apt that ISAN chose black and white butterflies to adorn the cover of Meet Next Life as it speaks volumes about their gossamer simplicity. It is a record that is as elegant as it is modest.

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Last Updated on Monday, 05 September 2005 02:21  


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