Sunday, 23 December 2012

Best Of 2012: #3

#3 - The Maccabees - Given To The Wild

This year's imaginary bronze medal goes to The Maccabees, with their third album. After their slightly unimaginative but fun debut Colour It In, they took a darker and more epic path with its follow-up, which was a massive improvement. And again, they get better. Now making use of electronic sounds and absolutely huge soundscapes, the band have crafted a masterpiece. This is what I said about it back in January: "The Maccabees try something new and succeed for the most part. I think it's just about ahead of Wall Of Arms, but they're two very different beasts. This is a greater sound which sends you to several different places, compared with Wall Of Arms' slightly more constrained sound (but no less epic). The main pitfall with this album, as mentioned before, is that with an album like this, when things move slightly slower and take time to build up, 13 tracks and 53 minutes is far too long. There are two songs that instantly pop up in my mind that the album could have done without - Go and Slowly One - maybe due to their late placing in their album, but at least Go tries something new. That said, I still love both and don't usually skip them unless I'm on a tight schedule! Maybe the intro and title track, Given To The Wild, could have been shortened to under a minute, as they've done previously (such as the Maida Vale sessions performance of the track). But overall, this is an incredibly strong album that should pave the way for a fantastic fourth one." And whilst I don't think that summary really does it justice - the album is genuinely incredible, take the ten tracks not mentioned in the summary and you have a flawless album! - it's true.

RECOMMEND: Ayla, Went Away, Unknow
LOW POINTS: Go, Slowly One

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