Review Summary: Pelican's latest sounds great as background music, but probably wont hold your attention.
Pelican's new album 'What We All Come to Need' is a gorgeous journey through sludge rock with some moments of beautiful calm, but does it hold your attention enough to be a repeated listen? I got into Pelican when I purchased 2005's 'The Fire In Our throats Will Beckon The Thaw'. Overall it was a great album but few songs were worth listening to alone. Then in 2007 Pelican released 'City of Echoes' which was an album showing more of the light side of Pelican, but remaining heavy. How does 'What We All Come to Need' match up to their previous LP's?
Well, to put it simply, it's 'meh'. Glimmer starts the album out, a great opener, it has that welcome back feel to it every album should. It starts out with a few chords, then the sludgy-distortion kicks in, not without backing the song perfectly. The mood on 'What We All Come To Need' is pretty upbeat, reminiscent of City of Echoes, however, the songs are less catchy, you wont find yourself as hooked on this album as you might have been with their past releases.
Much of Pelican's latest is low-tuned looming guitar riffs, not really shaking it up too much, but Pelican's beauty shines through in songs such as 'Specks of Light' and 'What We All Come To Need', and in the final track, they bring something to the table no one expected from their music: vocals!. That's correct! Pelican a la singing. The singing is there more to back the music, but it's a nice fit. I've always wondered if Pelican would be that much better with vocals, it's hard to say form this song alone, but it certainly would be a nice change of pace.
The guitar tone stands out quite a lot for me on What We All come To Need, it is prominent, but it never feels to me as the guitar should be leading. The bass is somewhat present, in a few parts of a few tracks, such as Specks Of Light, other than that, it's pretty much sunken below the mix. The drums aren't extraordinary, but well executed, on time, precise.
Pelican used to create vast soundscapes of sweeping melody in which every piece of music lead perfectly to the next, but their latest doesn't quite feel like an album, but more like individual songs. Personally, it sounds great as background music, but don't expect to be fully enveloped or entertained by it alone, it probably wont hold your attention but for a few songs.
How does 'What We All Come to Need' match up to their previous LP's?
Well, to put it simply, it's 'meh'.
And this is the biggest problem right here. Band's who are constantly evolving their sound are bound to take negative criticism, especially when comparisons to previous efforts are thrown into the equation. This isn't death metal, this is post metal where bands (at least I feel) should be encouraged to change their sound and be embraced for it. This is a great record on it's own without the comparisons.
Pelican used to create vast soundscapes of sweeping melody in which every piece of music lead perfectly to the next, but their latest doesn't quite feel like an album, but more like individual songs.
And this proves my point above correct. It's because you went into this with a preconcieved notion; you compare this to their other works.
however, the songs are less catchy, you wont find yourself as hooked on this album as you might have been with their past releases.
The amount of hooks on this record are plentiful. In fact, the usage of more hooks on this record is enough to make this their most accessible record, hands down. I don't follow with this.
The review is well written and I give you a pos' for it. I just disagree entirely with some of your points.
I listen to a decent amount of post rock and metal, and i gotta say, while no means a BAD release, this is just dreary and boring as a whole. I've found all of Pelican's work to be rather disappointing, but i appreciate them. This is a pretty well written review, i'll pos.
I'm not being a smart-ass, just an honest question. I didn't read the review so if you explained I apologize, but you have this rated as 2.5 and it say's 4 on your profile or whatever...? What did I miss?
Also - I think this is a pretty good album. This definitely needs some more time though as it came out at the same time as a ton of other superb stuff. 2009 has been awesome!
I see. Like I said I need more time for this to set in. I have never found anything by them to be anything less than really good (even City Of Echoes). The first 2 or 3 listens of this I found I liked it, but usually records like this prove themselves over time.
i appreciate the input and the fact that though your opinion and mine differ
you didnt become a sputnik troll like so many on here
where is my mind this is exactly what i meant
And I appreciate the fact that mature users still exist on this site ; ). I just like putting my two cents in for the most part, maybe attract a few trolls out of the closet and rile them up a bit hahahahaha. Keep up the good reviews dude.