Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Broken Records Play Until the Earth Begins to Part

You're kind of setting yourself up for something when you call your band Broken Records. I can already see a zillion reviews saying that they sound just like a broken record and all the usual cliches that would go along with that. Why they named themselves that is beyond me. Thankfully though, for this artful British band they don't sound like a broken record, instead they sound like the most dramatic sweeping classcially influenced chamber pop group on the planet and their album Until the Earth Begins to Part might very well bring you to tears.

Emotional, epic, and breathtaking, Until the Earth Begins to Part is a symphonic record that's so far out of the pop spectrum it belongs in it's own sub-genre. At times sounding like Tom Waits at his lowest and at others sounding like the Tindersticks if they were even more tense, Broken Records are wizards who weave spells of music utilizing strings, horns, and slew of other instrumentation that will dazzle your ears and leave you wondering if you should cheer, cry, or politely clap. It's hard to actually describe just how theatrical and suspensful this album actually is, but trust me when I tell you Until the Earth Begins to Part is filled with enough emotional wrangling to make a pyschiatrist crazy.

It's beautiful, intelligent stuff that proves over and over again that rock and roll doesn't have to play by the rules; that it can push and break boundaries and still have an impact. It's not catchy or hummable at all but it is something you will be drawn to upon hearing and Until the Earth Begins to Part is the sort of thing where you'll just sit still gripped at what you're hearing. From the second the strings chime in and vocalist Jamie Sutherland's voice quavers on, "Nearly Home," it's hard to turn away from the Broken Records efforts. Their exhaustive sense of melodrama and ability to stitch that into their songs is stunning as is much of Until the Earth Begins to Part.

The pop album of 2009 this is not, but Until the Earth Begins to Part is one of the most passionate and provacative records of the year. Broken Records don't sound like a broken record in any way, shape, or form, but listening to this record might just cause you to break down in tears and ask for a hug. A classic in the making.

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