Open Season

Studio Album by released in 2005
Open Season's tracklist:
It Ended on an Oily Stage
Be Gone
How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?
Like a Honeycomb
Please Stand Up
North Hanging Rock
To Get to Sleep
Victorian Ice
Oh Larsen B
The Land Beyond
True Adventures

Open Season review

British Sea Power's debut album was a masterpiece. No arguments. The Decline Of British Sea Power was a highly unique album made by a highly unique band. This, combined with singer Yan's idiosyncratic vocal style and the subtle referencing of Joy Division and The Cure, left us panting for more British Sea Power since 2001 and at last it is here. And there's no sign of 'difficult second album' syndrome. A subtle evolution of sound is evident though, from the darker, more spiritual debut to this, a decidedly lighter listen that draws immediate links with Echo And The Bunnymen. Open Season is virtually a 45-minute waltz of lilting string arrangements and dreamy vocals, while acoustic and electric guitars chase the album's quiet golden tones. A theme of the great outdoors makes it a relaxed occasion from start to finish; the 11-song set featured here isn't a schoolbook interpretation of life's hardships as much as it is a reflection on the confusion (and love) of nature. Frontman Yan and his brother Hamilton remain charming eccentrics, but this time they're poetic with their stoic and overcast outlook on modern life.

First track and first single It Ended On An Oily Stage is one of the most immediate songs they've ever released, which sets a general trend for the 10 tracks that follow it. Other possible single releases include How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?, which has a Libertines-esque rickety jingle-jangle coursing through its second half and Please Stand Up which simply is a summer's anthem in tune. The album's best moments are in its less radio friendly though. To Get To Sleep's satirical lyrics for example, and the five-and-a-half minute long Oh Larsen B - the effortless standout of the album. It takes its name and inspiration from an Antarctic ice shelf; beginning with a bassline that has Peter Hook's influence stamped on its forehead, before adding plentiful layers of guitar and stunning lyrics.

British Sea Power's smart approach on Open Season showcases a band in progress This is certainly a far poppier album than Decline, but it is the sort of vast, epic pop that only certain artists can achieve, and even then with mixed results. By adding textures, piano, acoustic guitars, and restraint, and losing some of the scowling and savagery, British Sea Power have unleashed a truly unique pop creation, one with depth and feeling. What British Sea Power have achieved here is a second album of considerable beauty and eccentric fascination. Their uniqueness is beyond doubt. Other bands may share British Sea Power's musical influences but none shares their obsession with the arcane corners of modern European history, their penchant for dressing in puttees, their willingness to decorate their stages with foliage and stuffed birds. British Sea Power count as the first rock band in history with a pronounced interest in bird-watching and rambling. This album feels alive and breathes honesty. Such an impression once again makes way for British Sea Power to stand apart from their counterparts (Doves, Coldplay, South).

Rate review4.00
Total votes - 5

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