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Sea Power - Everything Was Forever Music Album Reviews

Sea Power - Everything Was Forever Music Album Reviews
More than two decades into its career, the band formerly known as British Sea Power sounds newly energized, eagerly plotting new routes to familiar emotional peaks.

“Another day, another age,” declares Scott Wilkinson (aka Jan) during his first turn at the mic on Everything Was Forever, neatly summarizing his band’s current condition in four words. Since 2001, Jan has fronted one of the most reliably ambitious groups in UK indie, and their seventh album is another testament to their consistency. But Everything Was Forever does indeed mark the dawn of a new age—after two decades of flying the flag as British Sea Power, Jan and co. have staged a reverse Brexit. From here on out, they’re continuing their course simply as Sea Power. The name change is a means of distancing themselves from the nationalist implications of their original handle and all its troublesome connotations at a time when patriotism so easily curdles into xenophobia.

The name British Sea Power was always a bit of a lark—far from celebrating England’s militaristic might, the band was more concerned with the failures of elites, the fragility of masculinity, and the fear of being forgotten. This is a group whose very first single opened with a petrified cry of “Jesus fucking Christ, oh god no,” and whose second led with the question, “Do you worry about your health?” The shift to Sea Power has done nothing to change that mission: As ever, Everything Was Forever finds Jan and his brother Neil (aka Hamilton) pondering the precarity of existence and the faded totems of a bygone Blighty. But the rebranding does bring with it a sense of renewal. Sea Power haven’t sounded this fired up since the days when their concerts would routinely descend into chaos and/or piggy-back rides. But they also sound eager to plot new routes to familiar emotional peaks.

For much of the band’s existence, it’s been easier to define Sea Power by what they weren’t: too epically scaled to fit into the early-’00s post-punk revival; too unruly to ride the Arcade Fire wave; too idiosyncratic and arcane to reach the largest-font tier on the festival poster. But Everything Was Forever captures a group that, after so many years together, knows it has complete ownership of its lane and delights in flouting local traffic ordinances. On “Transmitter,” Sea Power envision a Joy Division that survived long enough to become an ’80s arena-rock act, with equal parts motorik momentum and heartland expanse. The following “Two Fingers” sounds like it was tracked atop the same propulsive rhythm, but it scales even grander heights, resulting in a new national anthem for a divided country where the hand sign for victory and “fuck off” are almost the same. In its gradual transformation from wiry rocker to ambient, synth-smeared chorale, the song is a worthy sequel to the group’s definitive 2003 single, “Carrion.”

The abiding sense of nostalgia goes beyond mere musical echoes of Sea Power’s past. Since the release of their last album, 2017’s Let the Dancers Inherit the Party, the Wilkinson brothers lost both parents a few years apart, and though no song here directly addresses their passings, wistful childhood memories permeate the lyrics like benevolent ghosts. Beyond its obvious hand-gesture interpretations, the aforementioned “Two Fingers” was also inspired by their dad’s favored method of measuring out his booze, while Hamilton’s “Lakeland Echo,” a symphonic reverie suffused with soft-focus melancholy, is named for the community periodical the brothers delivered as kids growing up in the Lake District. But as the song embarks on its slow-motion surge toward the white light, “Lakeland Echo” starts to feel less like a paean to the local paper than a ceremonial invocation of a past that can never be revisited.

Traditionally the calm counterpoint to Jan’s impassioned presence, Hamilton practically wafts through this record as an apparition, undercutting Sea Power’s signature grandeur with hazy-headed balladry (“Scaring at the Sky”) and answering Jan’s valorous calls to action with eerie displays of creeping paranoia (“Fear Eats the Soul”). And yet as much as Everything Was Forever consolidates the band’s strengths, it also blurs the traditional contrast between Sea Power’s principal songwriters. Jan delivers one of the album’s most gorgeously subdued moments with “Fire Escape in the Sea,” a lush serenade set to a brittle drum-machine beat, while Hamilton pads out the group’s repertoire of arms-aloft anthems with “Folly,” which sets its oddly reassuring apocalyptic premonitions (“And if it makes you feel better/The creeps are all gonna cook/Along with the rest of us”) to a New Order-worthy synth-pop stomp.

Comparisons to such ’80s alt-rock giants have been a running theme throughout Sea Power’s history, always carrying the implicit suggestion that this group was born in the wrong era. But the idea that Sea Power could be the biggest band in Britain no longer requires an overactive imagination or parallel-universe portal: Days after its February 18 release, Everything Was Forever was on course to take the top spot on the UK album chart. And in light of that somewhat shocking development, the album’s tsunami-sized closer, “We Only Want to Make You Happy,” feels less like a plea for acceptance from a veteran band still grinding it out and more like an affirmation of mission accomplished. “Why aren’t you with us tonight?” Jan asks, and it’s here that the inclusive impetus behind Sea Power’s name change finds its clearest articulation: Even if you’ve missed the boat over the past 20 years, Everything Was Forever is an open invitation to hop onboard.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Sea Power - Everything Was Forever Music Album Reviews Sea Power - Everything Was Forever Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, March 02, 2022 Rating: 5

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