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Longview - Mercury


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 put out.

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, powerful voice.

When he promises to 'go anywhere for you', you genuinely believe him.

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 to savour.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Track listing:
1. Further
2. Can’t Explain
3. Electricity
4. When You Sleep
5. If You Asked
6. I Would
7. Nowhere
8. Falling For You
9. Falling Without You
10. Still
11. Will You Wait Here
12. This Is

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