Pygmalion, Slowdive's last full-length release, is not only a terrific stylistic shift from Souvlaki, but an immersive adventure in texture and sound design as well. From the start, Pygmalion presents itself as something intangible. Unlike the group's other work, this album is best described as 'abstract' at the very least- though almost all of the songs have a recognizable structure, some of the tracks meander for six minutes, awash in self-oscillating delay pedals, incomprehensible vocals, and off-kilter percussion (Miranda, Trellisaze) before fading away as quickly as they began. Even of the tracks that are more recognizable as structure goes, many of the songs are lost in themselves, walking in circles for their entirety- but it does not once get old; like walking the same trodden path in a forest one day after another, there are visible differences in details that keep the experience interesting. Pygmalion is not dissimilar to that, since it almost implants its listener in a world of their own. It's not the easiest album to grasp; if you're used to Slowdive's other works, you will be thrown for a loop. While Just for a Day and Souvlaki got by on a mixture of soundscapes and pop songwriting, Pygmalion is more of a sonic fingerpainting: the album gets by solely on the gravitas of how it sounds, and it could not have been any more successful at this.
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