donderdag 3 mei 2012

Given to the wild. The Maccabees

For many a week I've been postponing this review. For one simple reason: I just don't know what to make of this album. What I do know, that it holds one of the best singles/songs of 2012 so far. 'Pelican' is just a great, great song that should have been a big fat number one, in the same way that 'Question' by The Moody Blues went to the number one spot in the spring of 1970. If there's ever one song that reminded me of the old proto progrockers around Justin Hayward and John Lodge, it's 'Pelican'.

Given to the wild is The Maccabees' third album, but as I was not familiar with their first two outputs, for me it's the same as a first album. The music they serve the listener is somewhat ethereal, quicksilver. Impossible to grasp. While I'm definitively not turned off by this serving of music, I do find it hard to bond with. When 'Feel to follow' turns into a rocking ending it's still with loads of delay. There are smatterings of Muse in there, e.g. in the way the piano is used, but Muse-light without the music blown into stadium anthems. What it reminds me most of are The Moody Blues though. Also a band that I've never really warmed to, despite a few great, great singles. The same goes for Muse by the way.

'Ayla'  is a song I truly like. It has something cool, passion held back, despite the fact that 'The wait is over', apparently it's not an occasion to allow release. The next song 'Glimmer' just doesn't seem to come alive. The real shape of the song just seems to hover in the back ground, not allowed on stage. The same goes for 'Forever I've known' but in this song singer Orlando Weeks' voice seems to break. This gives the song the little extra it needs, while the U2 like guitar sounds spice up the song even more. In the finale of the song the band let's go, but Weeks doesn't, which gives the song an inner tension. Well done!

In my opinion this describes Given to the wild best. It's a very moody album, that doesn't really let go and that makes it hard to listen to some of the songs for me. And when release comes it's in the form of one great, great, great song. I just love 'Pelican' from the first time I've heard and seen it live on "the playground" at Giel 3FM. Finally guitars, drums and bass are unleashed and bam! The driving force of the song, the vocals and the quality is 'Question' and ' I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band'  into one. The only other song on 'Given to the wild' that come close is 'Unknown'.

So even if the album doesn't sit with me for 100%, some songs a bit more others a bit less, the release is well deserved even if it's only for one song. However, I'm sure Given to the wild will please a lot of other listeners, as it is well made, composed and arranged with a keen eye for detail. But the title? Sorry, The Maccabees, you've hit the hammer a bit beside the nail there.


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