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The Great Eastern

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Album Review

On the Delgados' third album, their dreamy, loose-limbed, and slightly folky pop music continues to mature, and their skill at songwriting is increasingly matched by a talent for orchestration. Some listeners will find this trend off-putting, but be patient: The horn section on "The Past That Suits You Best" may sound pretentious on first listen, but it sounds perfect by the third. Ditto for the time signature changes on "Accused of Stealing," which is also distinguished by guitarist Emma Pollock's delightfully plain-spoken vocals. "American Trilogy" is a pretty cringe-worthy song title, but the song is pretty enough and the strings are subtle. And on "No Danger," Alun Woodward has the good taste (and, probably, the ironic sensibility) to lift the melody from Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night." The album ends with a strong gesture: the minimalist "Make Your Move," on which Pollock sings a sweetly simple melody supported largely by piano, Dobro, and cello.


Formed: 1994 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

While failing to earn the same critical renown and cultish devotion lavished upon countrymen Belle & Sebastian or Mogwai, the Delgados were in many respects the true epicenter of the contemporary Scottish pop renaissance. Through their renowned Chemikal Underground label, the group not only launched the careers of acts from Bis to Arab Strap, but their own recordings rank among the most sublime pop experiences in recent memory, blossoming from the lo-fi simplicity of their earliest work to an increasingly...
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The Great Eastern, The Delgados
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