dEUS – Following Sea (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
AFTER the confessional noir of their last album Keep You Close, dEUS return with a lighter, brighter collection of songs in the form of Following Sea and the result is highly addictive.
The tone is set from the outset with opening track Quatre Mains, a French language spy thriller theme in waiting that David Holmes would be proud to call his own. It’s chic, irrepressibly cool and finger-snappingly addictive.
Sirens, meanwhile, has a touch of the classic Americana about it, with guitars firing up a storm, some subtle woven in piano chords and a dusky set of vocals to heighten its appeal.
And then comes another change of pace into the darker, more obscure. Hidden Wounds is a woozy slice of alternative electronic pop that recalls the style of Eels’ Susan’s House. A spoken word intro tells the troubling tale of the aftermath of a bomb blast in a war zone, while the sung part of the song recalls psychedelic Pink Floyd. It’s an appealing mix of styles that makes for a compulsive listen.
Yet throughout, dEUS work hard to keep you on your toes, seldom slipping into any obvious comfort zones or style.
Girls Keep Drinking is a funky piece of pop-rock with a bluesy, hedonistic vibe attached to it, Nothings is a tender ballad that soars from its opening doozy of a riff and Crazy About You a breezy delight that is impossibly romantic (yet interspersed with the odd political sentiment). It’s dEUS at their most celebratory and sing-along.
And still the hits keep on coming… The Give Up Gene has a laidback, almost jazz-pop vibe that reminded me of Leonard Cohen, Fire Up The Google Beat Algorith offers ramshackle rock with more spoken word vocals, and One Thing About Waves rounds things off with a stylish slice of atmospheric rock that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Michael Mann soundtrack.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the album is how quickly it was assembled when compared to the time it normally takes for the band to put together their material. This was all about getting the music out there and it has a spontaneous, freeing quality about it.
As a result, dEUS have delivered one of the best albums in their back catalogue with moments capable of appealing to just about everyone.
Watch the video for Quatre Mains:
Download picks: Quatre Mains, Sirens, Hidden Wounds, Nothings, Crazy About You, One Thing About Waves