( photo things + living life)

Friday, November 05, 2004

Bent - Ariels

This week I could finally listen to the new album by british musicians Bent. I had read some not very good reviews of it in Amazon.co.uk. I should say that I don't agree with those bad reviews.
I've been a fan of Bent since their first recording. First song I heard from Bent was Swollen (in a Hed Kandi compilation) and I was completeley blown out with the originality, weirdness and quality of the song. The whole album (called "Programmed to Love") was amazing and it was full of hits that were used in countless chillout compilations.

The trademark of the Bent sound was the use of samples from the most weird and chessy recording you could imagine (including Nana Mouskouri cheesy songs).

Second album (The Everlasting Blink) included some great pieces and continued exploring in the world of cool sampling. Not so original, but first quality music.

Now, for their third album they've evolved their sampling technique. This is a thoroughly studied album were the samples have been created specially for it. This gives the Bent sound a more organic mood. I think it's a great evolution. It still sounds Bent but better.
Another evolution is the layering of the sound. Some songs of the new album have so many layers that you'll be pretty astonished the first time you'll hear them. Layers and layers of great female vocal singing, with layers of synths, strings beautifully crafted, and their trademark "cool" sampling (I love those harps blinking through out the album).

The mood of the album is mostly very upbeat. A good sense of humour is usual in Bent and you'll find lots of them in the album (take for example Silent Life and Exercise Four tracks). A really nice way to start the day.

I really love the string arrangement of Silent Life and As you Fall. By the way, the sound quality is pretty good this time (probably because all samples and sounds were specially created for the album, although I've heard some samples from sounds of their other albums here too).
Anyway I consider this album one of the five best albums of 2004. We live in a world were crap music is the standard, and it's hard to find a record with this quality in ALL its tracks.
Get Ariels and you won't be dissapointed. Creative, beautifully crafted music for people with ears in their head and a soul in their heart.

BTW, My favourite track right now is "Sing Me". A demonstration that pop, commercial, and quality are not antagonists.


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