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Man of Aran
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Performer Notes
  • British Sea Power: Phil the Wandering Horn, Abi Fry.
  • Audio Mixers: Jac Nott; Graham Sutton.
  • Recording information: Pheasant Studios; The Caves.
  • Their most ambitious outing yet, British Sea Power's fourth album functions as the soundtrack for the 1934 film of the same name, a part-fiction, part-fact documentary that captures the daily struggles of a small family living on the Aran islands off of Ireland. The spare, haunting, and unmistakably oceanic music pairs wonderfully with the film, reflecting the calm majesty of a quiet sea, the harrowing strains of raging waves, and the pathos of the islander's treacherous and meager existence.
  • The instrumentals here--many exceeding 10 minutes--provide a dramatic and satisfying listening experience apart from the film. Strings, pianos, and the shimmer of slide guitar dominate, although "Come Wander with Me" features a wistful vocal that turns the song into the album's centerpiece. Casual listeners expecting mid-tempo rockers will be disappointed, but fans of the band's previous maritime imaginings will appreciate how far their band has come as musical craftsmen.
Professional Reviews
Q (Magazine) (p.117) - "[T]he band manage to inject real drama into the majestically discordant, Sonic Youth-influenced 'Spearing The Sunfish'..."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.79) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "In conjunction with MAN OF ARAN, it works brilliantly. The ebbs and flows they bring to their albums only enhance the man-at-war-with-nature visuals..."
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