Review: Jack Foley
I HAVE been waiting to hear this album ever since listening to
the When You Sleep EP late last year.
Thankfully, the wait has been worth it. Longview's album, Mercury,
is a moody, sprawling and frequently beautiful debut, crammed
full of terrific songs that mark them out as the best indie/rock
act to come out of Manchester since the likes of The Stone Roses
and Inspiral Carpets.
Owing more to the ballad-driven style of Embrace than the Roses,
however, the album retains a melancholy feel throughout - thanks,
in no small part, to front man, Rob McVey's haunting vocals. But
it is a far more uplifting experience than anything Embrace has
Hence, tracks such as current single, Further, or the
deeply poignant, I Would, become elevated from the potentially
mundane by the crescendo of guitars that permeate throughout,
and the effortless emotion contained within McVey's distinctive,
When he promises to 'go anywhere for you', you genuinely believe
The band's ability to paint dream-like canvasses with their lyrics
is another factor in their success.
Try not smiling as McVey sings 'Hey girl, in your summer blouse,
walking down the beach road, from your house, I was thinking what
to say to you, but I'm weak and stupid, when I'm near you' during
the opening moments of Falling For You - a track which
effortlessly evokes memories of countless beautiful women you
may have passed by on a hot Summer's day without saying anything.
The song grabs you from the moment it begins, and is one of several
spine-tingling moments, particularly when the added female vocals
kick in, midway through.
And then there are the rockier moments; tracks such as When
You Sleep, or Nowhere, which display a more uptempo,
anthemic style that will probably go down a storm at live performances.
It is here that the guitars are let off the leash, infusing the
tracks with a feelgood power that rarely exists in songwriting
today (Coldplay aside) - and there are several virtuoso moments
Tracks such as Still even manage to combine the two sides
of Longview - fusing slow, deliberate verses with grandiose choruses,
which really rouse the emotions.
In short, McVey and co have created a musical masterpiece - a
rich tapestry of songs that, as its title suggests, should at
least warrant the album a nod at the next Mercury Music Awards.
Expect the accolades to roll in.
2. Cant Explain
4. When You Sleep
5. If You Asked
6. I Would
8. Falling For You
9. Falling Without You
11. Will You Wait Here
12. This Is