November 8, 2011.
"'Into the Clouds' is a re-recording, which we knew. Somehow it's even more magical."
"So far - 5 songs in - every song is a could-be-a-closer mini-epic. That's a compliment."
"'Ruins of Rome' is ASTOUNDING."
"Holy shit. 4 & 1/2 minutes in 'Ruins of Rome' becomes a cut-up/fuck-up monster for a hot 30 seconds that completely makes the rest of the album barely matter."
"'Longest Ever Dream' doesn't appear to be related to 'Magic' - outside of the shared line - or 'Longer Ever Dream'. It does, however, sound like he's singing: 'Yesterday, I have the longest ever dream.' I'm going to pretend that's the actual lyric.
It's the most Richard X sounding song on the album so far with it's relentlessly driving synth undercurrent. It's the sixth time I've thought: 'This is my favorite track on the album'.
It's track six."
"Vocoders and marching band snares over an ambient background - 'Hurting All The Way' is a nice mid-album palette cleanser.
"'Conquest' is - ready for this one? - C+C Music Factory pulled through a Sound of Arrows filter. On first impression, anyways. It's blatantly early-90's dance pop in any case." (In retrospect, C+C Music Factory is completely off-base but early-90's dance pop is spot on.)
"'Nova' we know, and it fades into 'There Is Still Hope', a 7+ minute slow-burner of a track. The epic of the epics, if you will."
"We end the album proper with 'Lost Cities', all breathy 'ooh's and 'ahh's and astronaut speech samples. ('...Brothers who are truly brothers', etc., as also sampled in Geneva's 'A Place In The Sun'.) Perfect."
"'Disappear' is super upbeat - for them - and great to have but it would not have fit on the album. At all. I imagine it would KILL live."
"Worth the wait? And then some. We'll be discovering things about this one for years to come."
Multiple listens later and it's chasing 'Lights and Offerings' for album of the year. If you don't completely melt at this:
I have very little time for you at the moment.
Well done, boys.