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Raised by Swans - No Ghostless Place Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.75
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 7.5
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.88
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 9.5
Production 9.5
Creativity 9.5
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 7.31
Average: 93%
Inside AP.net

Raised by Swans - No Ghostless Place

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (02/02/10)
Raised by Swans - No Ghostless Place
Record Label: Independent
Release Date: January 11, 2010

Who?

Raised by Swans is an indie rock quartet from London, Ontario, Canada. After nearly a five-year absence since the release of their 2005 debut Codes and Secret Longing, they return with their sophomore effort.

How Is It?

I checked out Codes and Secret Longing to gain some perspective on the band, but had I been aware of it sooner, I would have been anticipating its follow-up highly. On that debut's best tracks ("Violet Light" and "Sandcastles", which I strongly recommend checking out), Raised by Swans have a darkly beautiful sound while maintaining a certain intangible heft. And had I been anxiously awaiting the release of No Ghostless Place, I would probably qualify it as a disappointment of sorts.

Singer Eric Howden's croon is still smooth, frequently venturing into a wispy falsetto, and Alex Wright's mood-setting guitar is still spacy and drenched in reverb, but the songs occasionally seem to get caught up in their own prettiness. There are definitely moments throughout the album that display the spectrum of the band's strengths, though. "Hail of Arrows" blends Raised by Swans' dreamy pop with a sense of post-punk urgency, and it's a bit reminiscent of Final Straw-era Snow Patrol. "Secret Garden / S.C." shows off their skill at creating a hushed, stargazing ambience. On "Longer Shadows, Shorter Days", Andy Magoffin delivers a welcome driving bass-line, something that's frequently missing amid the album's prevailing shimmer.

Unfortunately, much of No Ghostless Place is uniformly airy, causing it to run together in the middle and drift away under its own weightlessness. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and could be said to contribute to the album's cohesiveness, but the complaint is simply this: great dream-pop should float off into the ether, and though it undoubtedly has some breathtaking moments, No Ghostless Place doesn't always take you with it when it goes.

For Fans Of: Mercury Rev, Tiger Lou, and Mew

Track Lising1. We Were Never Young (2:57)
2. Hail of Arrows (5:03)
3. Secret Garden / S.C. (4:58)
4. Easier (2:50)
5. Night Fighter (2:49)
6. By an Ion (3:21)
7. How Do These Hearts Unfold (4:05)
8. The Waiting's Over (5:01)
9. Old Fires (3:35)
10. The Fast Is the Prey (6:03)
11. Longer Shadows, Shorter Days (5:33)
12. There's Hope Yet (3:27)
13. North of Light's End (3:04)


LinksCheck out Raised by Swans on Myspace and last.fm.
Preview/Buy the album at Amazon MP3.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 16.
02:19 PM on 02/02/10
#2
GlassHanded
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Had to comment simply to say that this album grows on you, slowly but ever-so-surely. And that for me personally, it never leaves me behind. Not even for one second.

Agreed that Codes and Secret Longing is a very good album, but this one has some extra magic. From what I've gathered, these guys worked on this for years for a reason, and it certainly wasn't to make the songs blend into one big blur of airiness. They care a lot, and you can feel it in every note. Just give it some time, I think you'll find that it will pay off.

But yes, check out Codes and Secret Longing too! :)
02:32 PM on 02/02/10
#3
Blake Solomon
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i like this, but i also see what you mean. sometimes it's much too easy to tune out.
03:43 AM on 02/03/10
#4
benandthesounds
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This album is an ethereal escape. I loved every minute of it.
05:36 AM on 02/03/10
#5
JordanBuell
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loved it when i listened to the stream here. just need to wait till i can scrap together 15 dolalrs for the cd
07:04 AM on 02/03/10
#6
COREhorizon
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Very nice, but came here to say the myspace link is spelled wrong and doesn't work.
07:07 AM on 02/03/10
#7
SweetThye
esta noche sera mia
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Anyone else think the singer sounds a little similar to Devin Shelton of Emery?

Very cool album. Definitely reminded me of Tiger Lou.
07:25 AM on 02/03/10
#8
DanielJames
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I just can't get into them. I don't know what it is, but there's something about their music that just doesn't grab me.
08:20 AM on 02/03/10
#9
Jeremy Aaron
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Very nice, but came here to say the myspace link is spelled wrong and doesn't work.
Thanks. Fixed.
09:27 AM on 02/03/10
brenByah
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i like this, but i also see what you mean. sometimes it's much too easy to tune out.
Exactly, listening to it now coincidentally.
09:34 AM on 02/03/10
InBetweenAisles
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Lueda posted about them. I enjoyed it. Good review.
04:33 PM on 02/03/10
dawn afterglow
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I really like this band.
06:03 PM on 02/04/10
Grammercy Riffs
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You got me with the "Mew" RIYL...
11:48 AM on 02/05/10
barkingincision
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ehhh
dont see what the point of listening to these guys is if mew exists
the vocal melodies and instrumentation definitely try to copy the frengers sound.
09:40 AM on 02/08/10
GlassHanded
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ehhh
dont see what the point of listening to these guys is if mew exists
the vocal melodies and instrumentation definitely try to copy the frengers sound.

I'm a big Mew fan, but they don't have a monopoly on high, melodic vocals. Thank God. That's like the old 'Interpol sounds like Joy Division' thing- there are definitely elements of Mew in Raised By Swans, but it's reckless to call them a copy. This band has its own sound. Still, people seem to need a point of reference. Me included. :)

As for the instrumentation, guitars, bass, keyboards and drums are an instrumentation that thousands of bands share.
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