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Money — The Shadow Of Heaven (2013)

 Money — The Shadow Of Heaven (2013)

Money — The Shadow Of Heaven
This group of young ideologues seem to relish their own discontent. Meet the Mancunian Manics …
Expect to be challenged, provoked, and amazed...
Location: Manchester, England
Album release: August 26th, 2013
Record Label: Bella Union
Duration:     50:58
Tracks:
01. So Long (God Is Dead)      (5:32)
02. Who's Going To Love You Now      (4:10)
03. Bluebell Fields      (4:43)
04. Goodnight London      (7:04)
05. Letter To Yesterday      (5:47)
06. Hold Me Forever      (5:45)
07. Cold Water      (4:18)
08. The Cruelty Of Godliness      (3:09)
09. The Shadow Of Heaven      (5:18)
10. Black      (5:12)
Members:
¤  Jamie Lee (vocals, guitar)
¤  Charlie Cocksedge (guitar, keyboard)
¤  Scott Beaman (bass, keyboard)
¤  Billy Byron (drums)
♣   “WE did not intend for the record to be a concept album although there were a couple of cohesive and major themes. However, as we put the songs side by side the album started to take on the form of a descent into Hell — one into the modern world — where man has been told that he is God whilst at the same time being told he is nothing. It is his modern job to find meaning in this void, to find its beauty, to discern Heaven from Hell, to make meaning out of his utter loneliness and at the same time have the capacity for human dreams.” — Jamie Lee, MONEY
♣   Recorded in London through the deep, dark winter of 2012/13, it’s an ethereal, transcendent record that’s notable for its musical and intellectual ambition. Though ambition is perhaps not quite the right word. Because MONEY would never talk about ambition. Such things don’t sit well with them. They’d talk about anti-ambition and the revision of existing values — the kind of bold gesture already signalled by their unabashedly iconic name. It’s an album that defies convention and cliché, asking us instead to be courageous enough to see the world in different ways. As lead singer and ideologue Jamie Lee says, ‘Our aim with this band — in all things we do — is to create the world afresh on our own terms.’
Tumblr: http://courtesyisafallacy.tumblr.com/
Description:
♣   "Manchester's Money have captivated many new music lovers over the past two years. The brewing concoction of beauty and sadness in their music makes your heart twinge and your mind flick through your internal catalogue of memories, ambitions and dreams. It makes you want to cry but it makes you feel alive. It inspires you to think, to live, to dream. 'The Shadow of Heaven' consists of ten songs that range from stripped-back piano ballads such as 'Goodnight London' and 'The Cruelty of Godliness' to the epic 'Hold Me Forever' and 'Bluebell Fields'. It's an album full of yearning and soul-searching, a voyage of discovery."
In french:
♣   Ce groupe mancunien laisse planer un certain mystere autour de lui... Cet album mérite qu'on y prete un peu plus attention. Recommandé.
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REVIEW
Words: Simon Butcher; 13 · 08 · 2013;  Score: 8/10
♣   What is heaven? Mother Teresa and your nan sat together on a white fluffy cloud? ♣   Really?
♣   Manchester four-piece MONEY argues that it’s life on earth – and it’s celebrated in all its bleak yet beautiful glory here.
♣   By second song ‘Who’s Going To Love You Now’ they’re coming to terms with human mortality while a musical lift akin to Arcade Fire’s ‘Wake Up’ gives hope. ‘Hold Me Forever’ explores the human concept of God via an angelically melodic, reverb-soaked backdrop.
♣   Contrastingly, piano ballad ‘Goodnight London’ shines a light on crepuscular, animalistic urges. Expect to be challenged, provoked, and amazed by this near-heavenly debut. (http://www.clashmusic.com/)
REVIEW
by Larry Day, 14 August 2013;  Score: 8.5/10
♣   As it did in the 80s and early 90s, Manchester (and that gritty Northern bit in general [see the upcoming 'B-town' scene]) is becoming a hotbed of musical activity. ♣   Just as Joy Division, New Order, and The Durutti Column proved decades ago, the region again has a trove of talent to offer the globe; and equally, just as those bands did in days gone by, they're formidable emotive powerhouses. Modern Mancunian outfit MONEY are fervently following in their footsteps, eschewing the insipid drivel of Oasis or The Stone Roses in favour of gutsy moments of bleeding-heart post-pop.
♣   They trade in sacrosanct soundscapes comprising dew-coated synth harmonies, spindly webs of piano and the reverent vocals from outspoken bohemian Jamie Lee, who's mentioned that the impetus for their music is an "overall unhappiness for what [they] do." He's an enigmatic exhibitionist with a penchant for (artistically) whacking his junk out and frequently spouts mantras for the advancement of music as a sacred art form. They're fans of the poets Rilke and Kozlov. This is a band with fleshed-out ideals and a strident purpose to back up their supreme sounds and post-millennial hymns.
♣   Their much-awaited debut LP, Shadow Of Heaven comes after a slew of sublime singles. 'Bluebell Fields' slowly swells and collapses like a wheezing lung; it's led by fuzzy guitar strings and the twinkling math-rock guitars - if it weren't for Lee's echoing vocals, this could be a cut from Everything Everything's Arc. 'Goodnight London' opens with fragile lines: "I fell in love with the night time/ she took me by surprise," from Lee's quivering lips. Cities are personified in this storm-battered wharf of a ballad; it's naked, raw and free from the high-budget production of Top 40 pop. Instead, we're given an organic, living-but-barely-breathing anthem of crushing despair. Not a happy song, no - more like an epitaph - but it's grandiose, skeletal and great nonetheless.
♣   'Cold Water' is lost in the dreamy rock pools of a misty beach somewhere along the shores of some distant, fantastical land. It escalates like the brooding post-punk of Savages - Lee's creaking tones are reminiscent of Jehnny Beth's - and the hulking, emotional gravity of Nadine Shah's Nick Cave-iousness. Evolving from an isolate thread into an enchanting behemoth, it's a highlight on the record. 'Black' utilises the piano once more. It's another delicate ivory-tinkled ode, dabbling in dynamics and regularly scaling registers. Lee can deliver an almost-silent falsetto and a booming gruffness - the track is a brilliant platform for his pipes. 'Who's Going To Love You Now' is drizzled in a thick grey fog, with illustrious hook-peaks penetrating the tangible textures, shining through the murkier undergrowth - it's considerably more optimistic (-sounding) than much of the LP, providing a welcome new take on MONEY's cynical pop.
♣   We've been waiting for this record since the first enticing noises hit our ears, and it can be safely said that it does not disappoint. There's a rich vein of sparkly feelings to be mined on Shadow Of Heaven, and repeated listens are highly recommended — at first it may appear a dour tantrum, and though that's still present after a few plays, you begin to find and grab onto the fragments of hope and vague optimism. The dimensions are rife within the album: lyrically, tonally and instrumentally; you'll be in awe of the music. Immerse yourself - in the shade is probably more apt, but you'll find it a cathartic listen on balmy evenings too. (http://thefourohfive.com/)
Also picture gallery: http://www.peterguy.merseyblogs.co.uk/2013/07/money-leaf-tea-shop-liverpool.html
Posted on July 11, 2013 by Atrocity Boy under
♣   http://atrocityboy.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/money-the-shadow-of-heaven/
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REVIEW
By Paul Lester
♣   theguardian.com, Monday 9 January 2012 17.05 GMT
Money (No 1,181)
This group of young ideologues seem to relish their own discontent. Meet the Mancunian Manics …
Hometown: Manchester.
The lineup: Jamie Lee (vocals, guitar), Charlie Cocksedge (guitar, keyboard), Scott Beaman (bass, keyboard), Billy Byron (drums).
The background: Money are from Manchester and their Tumblr contains a link that redirects you to the Wikipedia page for Austrian poet Rilke, while their Facebook proposes that "courtesy is fallacy" and features a "eulogy for the death of everything". ♣   This is about all you need to know to get a sense of what Money are about, what they sound like and stand for. They are unlikely to spend too much time hanging around with Viva Brother, put it that way, and if they evoke the spirit of any Manchester act past it would be Joy Division not Oasis. Basically, if Manic Street Preachers at their most arty and pretentious (good things, we're sure you'll concur) came from Rusholme not Blackwood, they would be Money. They have a similar air of mystery and cerebral intensity to Wu Lyf, with a vocalist who can do enigmatically gruff as well as fervid and angelic. Personally, we haven't been fervid or angelic since the early 90s, so as you can imagine this is something of a boon.
♣   They've been going for little more than a year and already they've been through several transformations, as well as numerous changes of name including Youth, Books and Meke Menete. There is a song by them in their latter incarnation on YouTube called Lonely Sexy Death – how Richey Edwards is that title?! Anyway, they put their inability to stick to a name down to their short attention spans and a general dissatisfaction with everything and refusal to see the good in anything they do. There is a word for this: "anhedonia", a syndrome meaning an inability to experience pleasure (it was also, incidentally, the original title for Woody Allen's Annie Hall), but we're going to coin a neologism for their version of it: Manhedonia, to be used to describe that genus of Manchester band who seem to relish their own discontent. "What constantly drives this band is an overall unhappiness with what we do," declares frontman Jamie Lee, a young ideologue known for his heated pronouncements such as "music should be sacred". He's also known for getting his kit off (he appears naked on the cover of the band's debut single), but that's by the by. No, the sacred thing is more relevant: Money chose to play a gig recently at Salford's Sacred Trinity Church, where they staged a "multi-media spectacular" involving all manner of video and art installations. "If you truly love and trust a band," opines Lee (he doesn't say things, he opines), "then you'll gladly surrender yourself to their way of thinking — allow those musicians onstage to communicate those songs in a way that's completely truthful to their art. That sense of sacredness has perhaps been lost in the last few years."
♣   Money's music matches Lee's rhetoric in terms of quasi-religious fervour. Who's Going to Love You Now? is their most widescreen, panoramic and Spectoresque moment, but The Sea is no slouch when it comes to tremulous guitar filigree and shadow and impassioned vocals: imagine the lead singers of Wu Lyf and Glasvegas in a cry-off, which is like a really zealous version of a face-off. On Goodnight London the voice is more tenor-ish and quavery, the song bearing traces of a cracked Big Star ballad circa their doomed third album, Sister Lovers. It's not quite the full Holocaust, but certainly you wouldn't want to use it to soundtrack next year's Christmas party. It's an intriguing title, too, and provocative, of course, coming from a bunch of Mancs, given that city's perennially adversarial relationship with the capital. Frankly, we're offended by the kiss-off, but then again, we tend to agree with the notion of the fallaciousness of politesse. (http://www.theguardian.com/)
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In picanto: old-old-oldest Money band from Manchester 1968-1970 read more at: http://www.manchesterbeat.com/groups/money/money.php
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♣   Image © Natalie Curtis at www.16apr79.com.
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Money — The Shadow Of Heaven (2013)

 

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