British Sea Power follow up on their 2013 release of ‘Machineries of Joy’ with the soundtrack accompaniment to Penny Woolcock’s ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’. The soundtrack album of the same name features over an hour of new music by British Sea Power, and works wonderfully as both an accompanying soundtrack to the film, and as a stand-alone album that goes along nicely with British Sea Power’s wonderful repertoire. ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ features wonderful ideas and elements, acting as a brilliant album that has a great amount to offer. Although the length of the album is something to deal with, it still remains an album that keeps delivering with each track it displays.
‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ seems to be an album that can easily be compared to British Sea Power’s 2009 release of ‘Man Of Aran’, an accompanying soundtrack to the documentary of the same name. It seems though that ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ follows different compositional ideas than ‘Man Of Aran’. A few tracks on ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ take the form of rather conventional British Sea Power songs, featuring vocals and somewhat typical instrumentals. What works here though is how the vocals don’t seem to dominate the tracks all that much, but rather accompany the instrumentals in a comfortable manner. The album itself offers a wonderful amount from British Sea Power. For the most part, it’s all down-played and perhaps not as pumped up or intense as some of the band’s previous work, but there’s still a wonderful amount of new ideas and creative ideas present on the soundtrack album.
Although it’s a nice idea at times, it feels somewhat off that British Sea Power have re-worked some of their old songs into the soundtrack. At times, little motifs from tracks such as ‘Carrion’, ‘All In It’ and ‘No Lucifer’ work their way into a few of the tracks, and although it’s a rather fun idea that works on some levels. It does have the unintended effect of bringing the listener out of the music. When the motifs come through, the tracks suddenly stop feeling like ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ and instead become moments from the 2008 release of ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’. In fairness to British Sea Power, it’s not as though they’ve thrown the original versions of the songs onto the soundtrack, but instead have reworked little moments or motifs into the new tracks, giving it a little bit of an edge.
‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ works wonderfully as another album from one of indie-rock’s best bands today. British Sea Power seem to have pushed the envelope on what they’re capable of musically with their latest soundtrack release, and have produced a new album that is wonderfully different to their previous albums, though in some bizzare and exciting way, is similar in some respects as well. Even though the album is perhaps more gentle and downplayed than some of British Sea Power’s more recent releases, it still remains a wonderful album that is easily accessible and easily enjoyable by fans of the band. This isn’t an indication of where the band is going, but simply another release by a very talented band.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- From The Sea To The Land Beyond
- Heroines Of The Cliff
- Berth 24
- Red Rock Riviera
British Sea Power’s soundtrack album ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ is out now.