School of Seven Bells – Ghostory (Full Time Hobby)

March 1, 2012 by  

Three albums into their career School of Seven Bells (formed by ex-members of Secret Machines and On! Air !Library!) are oddly still a well kept secret, already gaining favourable reviews from much of the press especially on the other side of the Atlantic.

Surprisingly the delicious album opener and lead single ‘The Night’ has yet to reach out its tentacles much further than the hardcore fan base. Will the album be a slow burner? There are only nine tracks on the album though the save the best for last with the epic finish of ‘When You Sing’. They are still blending the Enya like vocals with flashes of shimmering -guitars and electronic ambience, but this time around they have found their spark. Essentially they work best when being driven by the beat; the songs are more focused and the guitars begin their romance with synth lines. Benjamin Curtis’s 80s guitar lines, when allowed to take centre stage, ( like on ‘White Winds’) become the highlight of most of their music. Alejandra Deheza’s vocals are what they are, ethereal and tranquil but throughout the 40 minutes they can become rather one dimensional, meaning that the music has to really keep the audiences focus, which they struggle at. ‘Ghostory’s’ problem is that it never lives up to the single; which is a glorious back to basics synth- pop track. A shame they couldn’t use the same game plan for the entire album, rather than losing the momentum but shifting back into their more airy headspace.

Apparently the concept of the album is a story about a girl shaking her demons. Is this a reference to their former member and Alejandra’s twin sister? They seem to be doing rather well without her and if they can shake off their need for the more relaxing performances they may be striving to make a very interesting album indeed. Like Goldfrapp they are far more promising when making music for the dance floor than for the aromatherapy tables.

[rating:3]


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