Guillemots need to ignore their critics. Following the drubbing handed out to 2008's wonderful and frenetic Red (honorable exception: Q Magazine, which also salutes their new one), Walk the River sounds a slight retreat back into the land of balladry. The resulting ballads are mostly excellent if a little overdone: seven songs are over five minutes long. Single "I Must be a Lover", the first Guillemots album track on which Fyfe Dangerfield does not have a songwriting credit, builds up into a fantastic, ecstatic romp. The title track, "The Basket" and "Vermillion" are all superbly constructed and achingly lovely. But the aching loveliness could be more effective if broken up with more of the pop eccentricity at which Guillemots have previously shown themselves so adept. A full album of ballads, no matter how individually excellent, is not quite the ticket.