I can hear you asking ‘How is she reviewing this when it isn’t even out yet?’ For whatever reason I received it three days early in the mail, and my goodness am I impressed.
First a little background about my history of listening to this band. I got into the Black Celebration album when I was fifteen in 1986 but I stopped listening to them right after I turned sixteen because a friend who betrayed me was a big fan. So, for years I associated them with that failed friendship and just never listened to them outside of a club environment. Less than a year ago I thought about all of the crap that happened, was like ‘fuck her’ and then gave Black Celebration a listen for the first time since 1987. I instantly reconnected to it and I even remembered all of the lyrics so I am now back into liking them. Hooray!
I am so glad I per-ordered this album because it is very, very good. Seriously good. If you listen to it from start to finish it takes you on a journey of loss and trying to find your way back into the light from the darkness. There are no happy synth driven pop songs on this album, which is a good thing because such a song would not feel right within this context. You could say that the single Ghosts Again fits into that box, but the morose lyrics make it anything but that. As a whole the lyrics contained within this album show a maturity that heavily reminds me of the darker aspects of Black Celebration, but instead of looking outwards it’s looking inwards.
Rather than review the songs I am just going to tell you how I felt listening to it as a whole, because the songs are very interconnected. It starts out slow, but the further you get into the album the more it picks up speed. It is not in a flurry of synths or tons of bells and whistles, rather it is very stripped back and in some aspects very bleak. That aspect of it reminds me quite a bit of Lycia; ethereal and haunting. I love the way the vocals are intertwined with the music; weaving in and out among the beats.
This is a beautiful album and I highly recommend buying it. It is some of the best music that they have put out in decades.