Magnificent Machineries of Joy

5 Dec

FrontMachineries of Joy  lives up to its title in being the most euphoric collection of British Sea Power‘s music I have heard thus far. Whilst Valhalla Dancehall perhaps exuded an air of “life is shit right now, but you’re not alone and it’s going to be ok”, Machineries of Joy is, in many places, not simply upbeat but profoundly … well, joyful. Monsters of Sunderland is a beaming anthem of euphoric camaraderie, and within the accessible melody of the title track‘s main riff can be found that heartful, hopeful exultance of old hymns.

I was delighted with the use of trumpet and strings on this album (new to British Sea Power’s sound, as far as I know), and found it in many of its thrashier places strongly reminiscient of ’90s Radiohead.

Machineries of Joy is a magnificent collection of glowing, special songs; my only problem with it being that after the novel glee which reemerged throughout the album, I found When a Warm Wind Blows Through the Grass – however delightfully eerie and impressively disquieting – a bizarrely ominous track with which to end. It just seems out of place to me, the awkward positioning of this track forming an uncomfortable rough edge to an otherwise full-bloomed, well-rounded album.

Postscript: I found the Machineries of Joy music video an emotive and stunningly-filmed  asset to this album. Whilst I feel a lot of indie music videos poseuristically attempt to make some vague sort of arty statement using unrelated (however beautific) visuals, this video is a heartwrenching exemplar of the visual metaphor, using imagery not to confound the lyrics but to explain them, and in this way deepen their meaning. 


One Response to “Magnificent Machineries of Joy”


  1. British Sea Power: From the Sea to the Land Beyond | As of yet Untitled - 8 December 2013

    […] The soundtrack, released just a few days ago, although a centrepin of this visual production, can stand strongly alone as a layered journey through music and sound as diverse as the Sea itself. Established British Sea Power fans will delight in catching fragments of both classic tracks like The Land Beyond and brand new tracks like Machineries of Joy. […]

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