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Haven - All For A Reason


Review: Jack Foley

THE indie crowd have been enjoying something of a purple patch, recently, going off the strength of recent albums/singles from the likes of Longview, Snow Patrol, The Shins, Delays and now Haven.

All For A Reason is the follow-up to Haven's hugely-successful Between The Senses and should go a long way to cementing their reputation as one of the brightest indie acts around.

From the chiming guitar sound and sweeping harmonies of opening track, Change Direction, through to recent single, Wouldn't Change a Thing, this is an uplifting, sweeping record, which only occasionally delves into more downbeat, thrashy territory.

Lead singer, Gary Briggs, can sometimes be found sounding as soul-searching as Coldplay's Chris Martin, and even evokes memories of the vocal style of both Puressence and Jeff Buckley, but he is backed by some uncharacteristically bright guitar work for this sort of thing - making it a lighter, easier listen than any of those acts.

Coldplay still have the market cornered on this sort of thing, of course, but Haven could well be the pretenders to the throne, finding a maturity that comes with a second album, as well as some changes of pace and direction.

All For A Reason benefits from the presence of Johnny Marr and Manic Street Preachers' knob-twiddler, Dave Eringa (who also works his magic on this week's South album), on production duties, which keeps the album crisp enough not to outstay its welcome.

Of the other tracks to emerge with credit, The Smiths'-inspired guitar-work on Something Moved Me, complete with catchy chorus, smacks of the classic indie rifts of days gone by, while final track, Getaway, brings the album to a suitably rousing, rock-out finale - possibly with an eye on live performances.

What Love Is possesses a similarly grittier edge, with driving guitars and a harder sound than the first half of the album, which finds Briggs insisting that he 'wants to have it all', while there is even a slow-building brooding quality to Don't Say A Word, with its string-laden backdrop and urgent drum loops.

Haven, it seems, have delivered another gem in a market which seems ripe with them at the moment. The only difficulty is in deciding which of the new albums to rush out and buy.

Track listing:
1. Change Direction
2. Have No Fear
3. All For A Reason
4. The First Time
5. Wouldn’t Change A Thing
6. Something Moved Me
7. What Love Is
8. Together’s Better
9. Don’t Say A Word
10. Getaway

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