British Sea Power’s fifth studio album ‘Machineries Of Joy’ offers up a balance of roaring raucous rock music, and gentle rock music. In a way, it is much like any other ‘indie’ rock album that has preceded it. There’s electric guitars, bass, drums and the odd effect thrown in for good measure. At it’s core, it’s just basic indie rock music. Yet, there is something incredibly appealing about British Sea Power, and their new album. There’s something about ‘Machineries Of Joy’ that just easily draws the listener in, and provides 43 minutes of solid entertainment. It’s the essential thing that when you’re working in any genre, you need to have your own appeal to stand out. British Sea Power seem to have their own appeal, which pushes their music out and makes it interesting and vibrant. It helps to make ‘Machineries Of Joy’ simply a great album.
I’ve found with British Sea Power that they’ve never been a bad band, and in fact, within the over-used genre of indie-rock, they’re one of the few with the ability to stand out, and make the genre sound great. It certainly shows on some of their previous albums, but I find that ‘Machineries Of Joy’ really helps to show off the band’s talents. There’s a wonderful vibrancy to the album, with it going from strength to strength. The songs all encompass a range of different dynamics, with some being heavier than others, whilst a few are much slower and lighter. It helps to make the entire album interesting, and make it a great listening experience. Musically, there’s a lot to enjoy with British Sea Power. The guitars, bass, and drums (as I previously mentioned) is over-used and fairly typical, yet British Sea Power seem to know how to make it sound well enough to make it stand out from previous attempts. It’s a well crafted record, with a lot to enjoy on it.
As with nearly every album, there is the odd flaw or two, and I find ‘Machineries Of Joy’ is by no means exempt. Whilst nearly every song has it’s strengths, I find that it is an album that can easily be divided up into two parts, with the first half being the more raucous rock side, and the second half being the more gentle side. I’d argue that the first half definitely has more strengths to it, and that whilst there is a lot to enjoy on the second half, it does pale in comparison. It doesn’t pale enough to ruin the overall album though, and in fact it features some of British Sea Power’s best songs. It’s just undeniable that it is weaker in some aspects.
Overall though, ‘Machineries Of Joy’ is perhaps arguably British Sea Power’s best record to date. In such an over-used genre, it’s great to hear a record that just sounds good, and makes the genre work. There’s so much to enjoy on the album, and it seems that it could definitely be an album that will please former fans, as it is everything a British Sea Power record should be. It seems the band has certainly done themselves proud, and made an album that just sounds great in nearly every aspect, with enough dynamics in the music to keep things interesting and not make the overall album experience dull. In short, ‘Machineries Of Joy’ is simply a great indie-rock album.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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