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iTunes Editors’ Notes

The masterful shoegaze group Slowdive departs from its wall-of-sound approach for its third and final studio album. For Pygmalion, the band strips the sound down to its studs, creating sparse atmospheres that allow for great contemplation. The 10-minute opening masterwork "Rutti" brings Neil Halstead's warm and imagistic vocals to the forefront. "Crazy for You" turns up the ambience, with samples and loops that create a shimmering (but austere for Slowdive) façade; this is further explored with the abstract "Trellisaze" and the subtle tone poems "Cello" and "J's Heaven." "Miranda" brings Rachel Goswell up in the mix, as she provides indecipherable lyrics and ghostly vocals, while "Visions of La" sets her down in the parlor for a brief acoustic number. The songs often feel like faint sketches, as if the ground could give way under them. "Blue Skied An' Clear" starts as a simple acoustic number before an intergalactic transmission opens up the heavens. After this, Halstead and Goswell formed the country-influenced Mojave 3. 

Customer Reviews

Slowdive's Masterpiece

I am among the fans who believe Pygmalion is Slowdive's best. They went so far beyond where the other shoegazer bands of the time were, and it holds up extremely well as a result. Paving a path for artists like Boards of Canada, Sigur Rós and Ulrich Schnauss, the use of guitars and electronics seemed like a pre-destined evolution. Some compare this album to Dead Can Dance or Seefeel, but I think Neil and company came up with a sound that was uniquely theirs, and definitely became a benchmark for the music of today.

Not Quite Your Big Brother's Slowdive

Hearing this disc back when it was release threw me for a loop: what had Neil done with my beloved Slowdive. Souvlaki largely found the sweet spot, but Pymalion went in a totally orthogonal direction; definitely not quite what the 5 EP had foretold. But somehow it grew on me. Then it grew some more. And now 10+ years after its initial release it stands apart from the rest of the Slowdive catalogue, but it also stands on its own two feet (if a CD can actually have feet). Crazy for you is a standout track and virtually nothing can beat Blue Skied An' Clear. It's a shame iTunes doesn't offer the full disc.

Blue Skied an' Clear

Blue Skied an' Clear is a fantastic track and I keep it on many playlists. Its haunting and beautiful. Buy this song and thank me later.


Formed: 1989 in Reading, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Named after a word in one of Nick Chaplin's dreams — not from a Siouxsie and the Banshees single — Slowdive formed in Reading, England, in late 1989. The group originally consisted of Neil Halstead (guitar/vocals), Rachel Goswell (guitar/vocals), Christian Savill (guitar), Adrian Sell (drums), and Chaplin (bass). Formed when they were mostly in their teens, Slowdive was initially lumped in with the remainder of the early-'90s British shoegaze scene; Slowdive's later releases extended...
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