UncutFeb 3, 2014A happy music that isn't bland; Held In Splendor makes that toughest of tricks sound easy. [Mar 2014, p.82]
Q MagazineApr 23, 2014You leave the record feeling a bit like you've visited a museum. [May 2014, p.116]
Positive: 1 out of 1
Mixed: 0 out of 1
Negative: 0 out of 1
Oct 24, 2014Every so often, there will be some online survey asking about the ultimate band and its members, kind of like some fantasy football team.Every so often, there will be some online survey asking about the ultimate band and its members, kind of like some fantasy football team. Hendrix on guitar, Moon on drums, Lemmy on bass, etc., much like those games stoners play after school hanging out behind the 7-11 a couple of blocks from campus.
There would always be that one weirdo in the group who would recite little known albums by superstars and obscure musicians that would always make the rest of the heads say, "Hey man, quit bogardin' the pipe, you're really baked!"
That one weirdo would say things like this: What if we mixed up pre-Animals Floyd with post-Peter Green but pre-'75 Fleetwood Mac together? And then added like those chicks from the Breeders to sing, but with proggy touches like "Porcelina of the Vast Oceans" from the Pumpkins with some moody sax and produced by some George Martin wanna-be?
Well Chong (or would it be Cheech?), you got your wish.
The second album by Quilt, Held in Splendor, is all of these things and a whole lot of other strange juxtapositions. Compared to Iggy Azalea on the radio, this feels like the sorbet that pop music truly needs now: a cleansing of the pallet that feels fresh and ready for the next course.
The tracks, 13 in 44 minutes, flow into one another, and titles alone magnificent: "Arctic Shark", "Eye of the Pearl", "Secondary Swan", etc. If the album is dying as an art form, then this may very well be its last glorious gasp, because taken as a whole, it is magnificent. It is truly a headphone or 5.1 surround experience, all glowing candles and shimmering tones. Considering that other acts have been toying with psychedelia (the Black Keys) or so immersed in it as to at times become a technicolor blob (Tame Impala), the SONGS are front and center, rocking when needed, folky with angelic singing when needed and just simply moving forward, opening new doors each time.
Be wary: sitting alone and listening to this album alone will hook you almost immediately. The album's strongest track, "Mary Mountain", is easily the best song Syd Barrett or Bob Welch never wrote. And the track, like the rest of the album, feels like the best moments of each of those men's careers channeled into something special here.… Expand
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