Looking back to 2000 and The Delgados' third release, 'The Great Eastern' it now sounds like the prototype for 2002's superior 'Hate'. All the elements are in place: Dave Fridmann on board as producer, that unmistakeable dreamy Americana sound and the shared vocals of Alun Woodward and Emma Pollock; the first fragile and broken-hearted, the latter almost country. Strings are in abundance and everything sounds huge and that is part of the problem; whilst the tunes are certainly there they can sound rather bloated and over-sumptuous, as is the case on 'American Trilogy' and 'Reasons For Silence'. Yet some of the time the band soar with songs to match the titles of 'Thirteen Gliding Principles', the closing final tracks also impress, particularly when Pollock's gentle vocals are given to space to breathe on 'Make Your Move'. Sensibly the formula had been perfected two years later but 'The Great Eastern' shows how they got there.