Aereogramme-My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go
Record Label: Sonic Unyon Records
Release Date: February 6th 2007
My Heart Has A Wish That You Would Not Go has been a long time coming for Aereogramme. 2003’s Sleep and Release, their last proper full length, was filled with catchy pop-hooks and crunchy guitars but ultimately was a release searching for a formula that worked. A promising split with Isis, which saw the group exploring epic song structures and darker textures, resulted in a pleasurable listen that left the listener craving more from this little band from Scotland. My Heart Has A Wish… shows the band hitting their stride and realizing the potential hinted at on their recent releases. “Better late than never” is an expression that comes to mind, but with the jump in songwriting and overall cohesiveness, “Better than ever” might be more appropriate.
A crippling throat infection left singer Craig B. without a voice in 2005, but with the passion evoked through his vocals on My Heart Has A Wish… there is no way to tell that his softly spoken delivery is anything but intentional. The first time he speaks on the album on “Conscious Life For Coma Boy” is enough to send shivers up your spine. Compared to the massive introduction, his words are merely a whisper over the jangle-laden guitars and strings. This delicacy is one of the strongest aspects of the album, making the softest parts seem just as heavy as anything out there. One of the stronger songs, “Barriers”, displays how tasteful a string section can be when coupled with the right kind of music. Only adding to the atmosphere rather than being the focus, this is how orchestral sections should be composed. The build-up of this particular track from an upbeat march to a lush chorus is a spectacular example of the loud-soft dynamic Aereogramme have perfected on My Heart Has A Wish… and must be heard to be believed. Cymbals crash in a stuttering drumbeat while tympanis and guitars are layered above all before the chorus even arrives. This track gives way to one of the stand out pieces “A Life Worth Living” which is an exercise in climactic songwriting. Starting out with a long rhythmic pattern, different instruments gradually enter to expand the soundscape so greatly that by the time the time it peaks, even the piano sounds like an audile explosion. The reverb saturated slide guitar solo evokes as much emotion and passion as any lyric or spoken word can express. These tracks only scratch the surface of the amalgam of influences and sounds Aereogramme has crafted into their masterpiece.
To listen to My Heart Has A Wish… in pieces would be a crime. With zero filler, this is an album so complete that it demands every ounce of attention you can muster while listening in order to get the most from it. While it may not be for everyone, it can appeal to a wide range of tastes, and if taken in the right mood, can be one an extremely rewarding experience. This is one of the only times I have been able to honestly put a title on an album that will please fans of Isis and Red Sparrowes, yet still be just as satisfying to followers of Dredg and Snow Patrol. Take the orchestral song structures of Godspeed You Black Emperor (on a slightly smaller scale), mix in the vocal styling of Dredg and add some of the ambience of Radiohead and Mogwai and you can get a pretty good idea of how to describe Aereogramme’s latest release. This may seem like intimidating company for comparison, but the band takes these aspects and crafts music that is their own; whole-heartedly confident and never dragging. 2007 has only seen almost two months go by, and while it might be a little early to speculate, My Heart Has A Wish… is one of the strongest listens I have experienced thus far and an album that cannot be ignored. If you are at all a fan of atmospheric rock, you owe it to yourself to give Aereogramme a chance.