There is cavernous empty noises with the absent echoes of string sections at the beginning of "Empty Stations" as she sings of trains and absence over a locomotive rhythm, something about a "midnight broadcast/Your voice like white noise", then it kicks off into clashing brassy orchestral cacophony. There's a Europhile sheen to "Recognise" that I can't quite ..erm, recognise. Reminds me of Mezzanine era Massive Attack. A slow-moving guitar motif that struts at a kingly pace.
"Come With Me" ups the pace a bit, then the title track goes back to the mezzanine. Dream pop, eh? It has the creamy pace of dreams alright, but not so much of the unpredictability, I suppose. The lyrics are hard for me to catch, as usual, so I don't have as much insight there as I'd like. What I can hear seems to be about dislocation and absence. "Keep It Low" has a jagged piece of Pet Shop Boys riven through the centre: "Under solid black skies/Wide awake/I don't want to go home". Choirs swell up under more ghostly vocals in "Faded" and the pattern is pretty well established. Lyrically, more heartbreak.
Gears changes to something a bit tougher and chewier for "Tunnels" and there's talk of cities being built. There's the same architectural clang to "Stay the Night". It would possibly scare me off a bit if someone proposed a night-time of entertainment to this soundtrack. Sounds a bit strict. But there's a gorgeous stack of vocals about halfway through before the bass bubble kicks back in. It's as though a few hundred noir-ish films have been blended together and pumped into some heavy cloud cover and it's pouring down on top of us.
"Lead In The Light" has some more drifting, classical-inflected lyrics going on and big country drums. I can feel the sun rising through the cracks, casting light over Polynesian waters. And the lyrics end "I'll stay with you". So that's all resolved then.
Rating: Regal Travelogue out of Noir Clouds