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It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land

Soulsavers

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Album Review

If Rich Machin and Ian Glover were aiming for a dark, moody vibe on their debut album as Soulsavers, 2003's Tough Guys Don't Dance, they hit the jackpot when they persuaded Mark Lanegan to lend his vocal talents to their second full-length project, It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land. While the downbeat atmosphere of Soulsavers' languid drum loops, spare keyboard patterns, and ghostly string samples certainly set the stage for their celebration of the dark night of the soul, Lanegan's vocals steal the show and run with it on the opening track, "Revival," and if anything he pulls the songs into even deeper and more forbidding territory as the album goes along. The quiet desperation of Lanegan's performance on "Spiritual," the ragged menace of "Ghosts of You and Me" and the blasted, forlorn resignation of "No Expectations" rank with his finest recorded work to date, and as strong as the musical backdrops are on this set, it's all but impossible to imagine these songs being nearly as effective with anyone else as lead singer. It's also worth noting that the most effective songs on this album happen to be covers, suggesting that while Soulsavers have no small talent as producers and arrangers, they have a ways to go in terms of writing material. But if Lanegan takes the spotlight away from Machin and Glover on It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land, they unquestionably gave him a remarkable vehicle for his vocal skills, and it would certainly be to the advantage of both sides for Soulsavers and Lanegan to collaborate again some day.

Customer Reviews

Some sweetness, but no "Bubblegum"

Within 1 minute of putting this album on anyone who is a fan of Mark Lanegan (or Spiritualized) will love it. The downside is that after a couple listens you start to find that there really isn't much more to dicover than what you heard on your first listen. Unlike Lanegan's "Bubblegum" or Spiritualized's "Electric Mainline" the album reveals all of it's beauty fairly quickly. So ultimately, this is an album that you'll love for a few weeks or a month but then probably put it away since both musically and lyrically all the cards are on the table from the extremely catchy opener, "Revival," straight through the aptly titled last track, "No Expectations." Perhaps most disappointing is the squandered opportunity of the dream pairing of Will Oldham and Mark Lanegan covering Neil Young on Track 7. What should have been the most memorable track on the album is at best a lazy and rambling cover. In summary, enjoy this album while it lasts because it won't keep your interest terribly long. Then keep your fingers crossed that Will Oldham and Mark Lanegan will work together again --- and maybe J. Spacemen could even join them to add some of the vintage Spiritualized gospel sound which is also rather prevalent on parts of this album and a key reason for it's immediate appeal.

Quite Simply Amazing

This Soulsavers album, which sounds for all the world like one of Mark Lanegan's best solo works, is a moody wonder. It crosses so many musical boundaries—blues, hard rock, dance, gospel, combined with a kind of trippy electronica—that it becomes something quite unique. The music is, in turns, gorgeous, terrifying, melancholy, and uplifting. The star of the show is Lanegan's voice, though. It's hard to imagine a more emotive voice than his. Standout tracks are Revival, Ghosts of You and Me, Kingoms of Rain, and the atmospheric instrumental Arizona Bay. There is hardly a bad song in the bunch, and even though it comes to the US a little late (compared to the European release), it stands as one of the best album releases of the year.

haunting yet purely beautiful

Musically, this album's production is incredible. So much sonic ear candy going on it will please everyone with repeated listens as you can pick out something you didn't hear the last time around. The addition of Mark Lanegan giving vocal duties puts this album over the top. If you have followed his career you know the voice well. The man has has a very productive past few years, let alone a life full of abuses and other things that lesser people would not come back from. The man right now, vocally, seems to be in his prime. He sings with more heartfelt emotion then I have heard from him before, and that's saying a lot. This is easily one of the best albums I have heard come out this year.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Soulsavers, a British downtempo electronica duo with rock, gospel, and country influences, was formed by producers/remixers Rich Machin and Ian Glover. After a series of well-received 7" EPs, the duo released its first album, Tough Guys Don't Dance, in 2003. Soulsavers' second album, It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land, appeared in 2007. The record drew attention from the specialized press, thanks in part to featured vocals by Mark Lanegan, as well as cameo participation from Will Oldham....
Full Bio
It's Not How Far You Fall, It's the Way You Land, Soulsavers
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Customer Ratings

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