Friday, 7 October 2011

Album review: DRUGSTORE - Anatomy

Highlights: Can’t Stop Me Now, Aquamarine, Standing Still, Falling Rocks

Anatomy by a little known London-based band Drugstore is the kind brilliant and obscure jewel you stumble upon quite by chance. And feel it unfair that something this masterful and well-written should be so hard to find. Because the record’s seductive autumnal sounds and understated melodies should appeal to many, from Beth Gibbons fans to those who prefer a gentler side of PJ Harvey.

The record consists of 11 finely crafted, expertly executed songs ideal for a calm late-night listening. The mood is languid, relaxed, and sometimes you can even hear pleasant waves softly splashing in the background. The songs are mostly exquisite slow-burning ballads that sound by turns haunting and disarming. The rhythm of “Blackholes & Brokenhearts” could be described as countryish, and the chorus of “Aquamarine” has some distinct Spanish vibes, but the rest of the album sounds not unlike Beth Gibbons’ 2002 moody classic Out Of Season – only this one’s a great deal lighter, less depressive. The lady’s soft, lullaby-styled vocals are terrific; the arrangements are simple yet effective – mostly crystal clear acoustic guitar with some piano and well-used, delicate orchestration thrown in.

While the record does lose me slightly towards the end (tracks like “La Brume” and “Little Prayer” have little to declare except their overall loveliness), Anatomy still leaves the impression of being a charming, understated near-classic. Anatomy is full of tender and anguished dreams - the kind you would want to explore.


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