Systems/Layers - Rachel's
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Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth LP for the chamber-pop trio is a collaboration with the New York-based progressive theater collective SITI Company.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Rachel's has produced one hell of a gorgeous concept album - a sort of Dark Side Of The Moon for the Debussy set.
  2. It’s symphonic, seductive, resolute, yearning.
  3. Rachel’s can effortlessly create beauty, but what saves the record from saccharine blandness are the arrangements that almost distrust the group’s strengths, refusing to leave beautiful passages uncomplicated by dissonance or some kind of sonic distraction.
  4. Rachel's create classical music for people who listen to bands like Boards Of Canada. [Nov 2003, p.100]
  5. Rachel's albums are consistently greater than the sum of their parts.
  6. It's a brilliant ambient musical experience-- you can tune it out if you choose and it'll still enhance your surroundings, or you can engage yourself fully and allow it to positively hypnotize you.
  7. It seems distinct from the discography that came before it (in both a good and a bad way), with intermittent moments definitely treading foreign waters, for both the band and its devoted followers.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 9, 2012
    It's been about 9 years since this album came out, and it still speaks to me in ways almost no other music ever has. I can only think of one other album that I'd equate its powers to... that album, and Systems/Layers, are my two favorite albums ever. However, they aren't the first two albums I'd claim to be classics when having a conversation with friends about seminal/classic albums in music history, because Rachel's are mine. They're not for everyone. This album hits nerves of mine with precision...nerves that I've always thought to be my idiosyncricies. Systems/Layers may not be what the world wants, but it's what I want. It's gracious beauty is comforting, mysterious, reflective, and so simple. If you think you're interested in Rachel's, you may find System/Layers as rewarding as I have. Give it a shot. Expand
  2. Ben
    Mar 17, 2008
    When this album came out, it went almost un-noticed, but this CD demands listening. Imagine the ambient/chamber-group version of OK Computer. It's subtle, nuanced, with perfectly set string arrangements, and all gorgeously recorded. This is not only a wonderful work of musical composition; the work put into systems/layers in the studio is just astounding. Worth it all the way. Expand
  3. [Anonymous]
    Feb 20, 2005
    Every thing they do is consistently good.This is not quite as good as The Sea and Bells or Music for Egon Schiele.