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Cooking Vinyl, 2003
also by The Church:
see also... All About Eve
Church albums seem to write their own reviews. With each new release in their workaholic career they always seem to push the boundaries of their creativity. But each time the innovations are only small, and they always remain themselves and play to their strengths. Their latest, "Forget Yourself", explores denser territory. So it takes several listens (at least ten) to really establish itself. But as always, eventually the little touches shine out.
From the insistent chanting chorus of "Sealine", to the spacious landscape of "Summer", we're on familiar ground. But all four band members still have creative juices in plenty. "Song In Space" maintains a great energy with a web of guitar sounds and subtle time changes. Some out-of-kilter frenetic drumming from Tim Powles is used to striking effect throught the album, on "Telepath". We gave up long ago trying to decipher Steve Kilbey's erudite lyrics. On "The Theatre and its Double", his singing tails off into a mumble for the wordy chorus of "a critique of pure reason won't give me what you sow" - seemingly to acknowledge that this song's strength is its cascade of musical ideas!
Marty's Willson-Piper's vocal turn is particularly raucous here on "See Your Lights". After padding through some relatively routine Church fare such as "Maya" and "Don't You Fall", the album takes a lift near the end. "Nothing Seeker" is a particularly special moment, an insistently pleading tune and riff whipped up with sarcastic wah-wahs and grinding fuzz. Then "Reversal" has probably the album's finest melody, produced with the coolness of their "Parallel Universe" remix album.
It's still impressive that a band that's been around for 25 years can carry on making albums with as much energy and innovation as this, but it's still a shame that they get so little credit for it.
October 13, 2004