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Slowdive Album Reviews 5out of 5
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Hard to imagine now but at the time of its release 'Souvlaki' was described by the music press as a "soulless void" and "pretty but unfulfilled" yet nowadays it is accorded special praise amongst shoegazing fans as something approaching a masterpiece. Quite right too but moreover 'Souvlaki' is an ambitious, diverse record which is as nightmarish as it is dreamy and as forceful as it is gentle.

The lead track 'Alison' shows the way with vocals pushed to the foreground and an all-enveloping production that is simply gorgeous. Likewise, '40 Days' is essentially another great pop tune where the verses are every bit as strident as the wordless chorus. Whereas Slowdive songs were once seen as easily washed away pleasantness, now they were beginning to sound vital and - as recent times have proved - influential. Perhaps appreciative of this idea, Brian Eno co-wrote 'Sing'; a brave, experimental number that is deliciously dark and cavernous with Eno bringing his understanding of space to proceedings. The accusations of soullessness can be swiftly countered by 'Here She Comes' and 'Dagger' in which sparsely arranged songs allow Halstead and Goswell to reveal that they really were hopeless romantics after all. In between these ballads is the thunderous centrepiece 'Souvlaki Space Station' followed by the similarly huge-sounding 'When The Sun Hits' and 'Melon Yellow'. All in all, pretty stunning.

There's much joy to be had with the bonus CD on this reissue including a likeable cover of 'Some Velvet Morning'. Perhaps more importantly, though, the more ambient likes of 'In Mind', 'Good Day Sunshine' and 'Missing You' point the way to the emotionally intense material on Bark Psychosis' 'Hex' as well as Slowdive's swansong; the considerably more minimalist 'Pygmalion'.

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  CD1 Track Listing
01 Alison
02 Machine Gun
03 40 Days
04 Sing
05 Here She Comes
Standout Track Souvlaki Space Station
07 When The Sun Hits
08 Altogether
09 Melon Yellow
10 Dagger

Standout Track = Standout Track

  CD2 Track Listing
01 Some Velvet Morning
02 So Tired
03 Moussaka Chaos
04 In Mind
05 Good Day Sunshine
06 Missing You
07 Country Rain
08 In Mind - Bandulu Mix
09 In Mind - Reload Mix

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Also Recommended:
Acetate Zero - Crestfallen
Air Formation - 57 Octaves Below EP, Daylight Storms
Auburn Lull - Cast From The Platform
Dorian Gray - Stellar, Listen With Mother
Dreamfield - Christopher's Dream
Emerald Down, The - Scream The Sound, Aquarium
July Skies - Dreaming Of Spires
Meeting Places, The - Find Yourself Along The Way
Monster Movie/Dreamend - Preface
Slowdive - Just For A Day, Souvlaki
Stellarscope - Fingerpaint The Colour Of Sound, Reverberations
Televise - Outside Out, Songs To Sing In A & E
Various Artists - Never Lose That Feeling
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