Split - Lush

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Split - Lush

Rock & Pop - StudioRecording - 2, 1 CD(s) - Label: 4AD - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services, PIAS UK/Sony DADC - Released: 05/06/2014, 06/1994 - 501...

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90% positive

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Review of "Split - Lush"

published 03/06/2009 | atytyut2434
Member since : 14/02/2006
Reviews : 441
Members who trust : 15
About me :
Male, British, ex-RAF. Finished last DM album review!
Pro A lot of good tracks with different moods
Cons A few tracks where the vocals aren't quite clear enough
very helpful
Quality and consistency of tracks
Cover / Inlay Design and Content
Value for Money

"No point in Splitting hairs, its a great album!"

When I review an album I sit down & listen to each track individually and write down what occurs to me as I am listening to it. How what I hear makes me feel, if it sounds like anything by any other bands I know or if it appears to have been influenced by something else or has even influenced other tracks or bands.

So thats how my creative process works, onto the review.

Lush are a now sadly defunct 90's band from the "Shoegazer" genre who had a couple of minor hits (Single Girl was probably the biggest & best known of those) but they never really followed up on them with any further major sucess. Oddly enough the band had a great & unique sound as well as members to appeal to both genders with the lovely Miki Berenyi with her sexy red hair & rather amazing legs who as well as singing & playing guitar also wrote words & music so she was pretty AND talented, a rather awesome package in just 1 person.

If you didn't like redheads there was Emma Anderson - she of the dark haired persuasion, also singing & playing guitar and owning a pair of legs that go right up to her neck as well writing some of the songs into the bargain. And if you don't like girls there was always the rather gothic Phil King on bass or the sadly now deceased Chris Acland providing rather awesome drums that melded together the very different sound palette that was Lush.

So the band had something for everyone, be you boy, girl or small fluffy creature from Alpha Centuri (I think Miki had them covered). Split was their 2nd album release arriving in June of 1994, all songs were either written by Miki or Emma apart from Starlust which was a joint effort.

So whats on Split then?

01 - Light From A Dead Star.

Not your typical start to a Lush track with all those strings and the crystal clear vocal which is soon almost crushed with the typically jangly guitars you've come to expect from the band. The song reminds me of a few tracks by All About Eve (I think it's the guitar line that does it) but I struggled to remember exactly what it reminded me of.

02 - Kiss Chase.

Now this is more like it, straight into the jangly gothic sounding guitars with the girls vocal track right in the middle of the mixing desk. Again this reminds me of All About Eve with elements of The Mission. Was Phil King showing his influences here perhaps? Mind you that guitar in the middle 8 positively oozes Madchester influences too, circa Stone Roses "Waterfall".

03 - Blackout.

A very unusual "faded up" play-in, this is one their "Riot Grrl" tracks, more about dischord than their usual layered vocal style. It's very Punk in its its influences (think The Rezillos or X-Ray Spex), the influences of Polly Styrene are absolutely oozing out of every pore of this track.

04 - Hypocrite.

Another Punky style intro that becomes more poppy once the lyrics kick in, judging from them Miki wasn't happy with whoever this track is about. It's one of those anti-love songs, Miki wanted to make sure whoever had annoyed her certainly knew about it.

05 - Lovelife.

A very indie sounding intro with Lush's typical layered vocals and jangly guitars, nice harmonised guitar lines and great chord changes which are really complimentary to the vocal track. The guitar lines and great drums really gel well together and it'd be a good track as an instrumental too I'd wager. That's if you could actually bring yourself to commit the heinous sin of removing those sirenlike vocals from it.

06 - Desire Lines.

It starts with clocks ticking? Odd that but its always nice to get something different from the band, the guitars are lovely and clear in that opening. Vocals are just about audible as per usual but the track itself is very mellow and quite slow. The lyrics themselves are rather surreal, doing things in your sleep. Was Emma Anderson suffering from insomnia when she wrote this then? Mind you that long guitar line is very Dave Gilmour/Pink Floyd, its almost like "Breath" but with the lyrical madness of Syd Barrett inspiring Emma.

07 - The Invisible Man.

I love the weird dischordy counterpoint of this, its all over the shop as far as chord changes go. The vocal is quite bizarre in its delivery, almost as though they weren't sure about actually singing at all. It's almost a susurration (collection of whispers & murmers).

08 - Undertow.

Timpani and very wah wah'ed bass opens this one up, its a very thick sound which almost tricked me into thinking I was going to be listening to an instrumental until the singing finally started. The vocals are delivered in a rather unusual way on this one too, singing anti-harmonies across the track finding minors to majors and vice versa. You get the feeling Miki was missing someone special and really wanted to be with them when she wrote the words to this.

09 - Never-Never.

It's what I call an "Ohhh-ahhhhh" intro, this track is pretty much Emma's take on feeling different or left out or isolated. No doubt the lyrics of this were speaking to teens all over the country when the album was released, heck they were certainly jogging some rather painful teenaged angst ridden memories for myself too.

It's practically an anthem for the Emo with Emma creating a dark place for everyone to brood in, mind you that understated guitar line is sheer brilliance. Its very Pink Floyd indeed, circa "Welcome To The Machine" or "Wish You Were Here". If there were any complaints about it, its a tad too long, it's practically a prog rock piece by its length.

10 - Lit Up.

Its a rather bossa-nova style intro to a track that again has very emo style lyrics (again from Emma, was she not happy whilst co-writing this album then?), the upbeat style and bright chords those lyrics are sung in certainly don't reflect what they are saying - more about isolation, indifference and uncertainty.

11 - Starlust.

Its the one joint effort between Miki & Emma on this album and its interesting to see how their 2 completely opposing styles of lyric & music writing come together to create a track that practically sounds like a reworked version of Single Girl if I am honest. Mind you that dischordant guitar section reminds me of "Turn It On Again" by Genesis, its rather brilliant. You could write an entire new song JUST around that chord structure, its THAT good.

12 - When I Die.

Its a really lovely clean musical intro, even the vocals are fairly clear. Its rather like a hymn to be honest (It got me thinking of "Feeling So Real" by Moby though), I do like the way the lyrical chords move about in a very complimentary way but it does have more Pink Floyd elements too (that lead guitar is very "Us & Them").

With 12 pretty darn good tracks Lush did a great job here covering their bases to appeal to their fans (especially those from Alpha Centuri) so if you don't own Split its well worth a cheeky punt as its bound to have a few tracks you will enjoy.

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Comments on this review

  • hillhead published 03/07/2009
    Sounds a good album to have. Well reviewed!
  • larsbaby published 07/06/2009
    Some Interestings comparisons with the Mission, Pink Floyd and All About Eve that hadn''t occured to me, although I can see what you're getting at. On a more laddish note I couldn't agree more about the legs! There was something about girls in very short black shirts, DMs and black tights in the early 90s. Ding dong!
  • arnoldhenryrufus published 04/06/2009
    not heard of these - Lyn x
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Product Information : Split - Lush

Manufacturer's product description

Rock & Pop - StudioRecording - 2, 1 CD(s) - Label: 4AD - Distributor: PIAS UK/Arvato Services, PIAS UK/Sony DADC - Released: 05/06/2014, 06/1994 - 5014436401121

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EAN: 5014436401121


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