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Waves Are Universal

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Album Review

Fans of Slowdive and Mojave 3 have been pining for a Rachel Goswell album for years. Although 4AD billed Waves Are Universal as sounding like something you wouldn't expect from her, it actually sounds almost exactly like you thought it would, provided you've heard a Mojave 3 song at some point during the previous eight years. The British folk elements that have been slowly coming to the fore in the Mojave 3 records are more of a factor here. Otherwise, it's a fusion of British folk and alt-country — which, to be more forward, means it could pass for a Mojave 3 record made while primary songwriter Neil Halstead was too busy hanging ten. This, for the most part, is a good thing, but the record is rather safe, lacking an adventurousness that is only touched upon and possibly kept under wraps for the sake of not seeming like too much of a departure. Field recordings that are incorporated into the songs are very discreet, and a couple other tunes wouldn't be out of place in commercials plugging some mature teenage drama on the WB. Regardless, Waves Are Universal proves that Goswell can carry a whole record on her own without any trouble. A second solo album — with more risks taken — is a necessary thing.

Customer Reviews

Waves really are universal

Rachel Goswell has moulded a thoughtful and deilcate album. Songs like No Substitute, Hope and Shoulder the Blame typify the feeling that this album will leave you calmer, cleaner and happier, lovely work.


Born: 16 May 1971

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Having played a supporting role in both Slowdive and Mojave 3 (two bands led by singer/songwriter Neil Halstead), Rachel Goswell recorded solo material nearly a decade and a half into her career. Featuring assistance by co-songwriter Joe Light, producer David Naughton, and drummer Ashley Bates (a longtime friend, formerly of Chapterhouse), the full-length Waves Are Universal was released in June of 2004 by 4AD (also the home...
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