Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Scottish Enlightenment - St. Thomas


I'm sure most you are the same as me in that you see complete strangers often enough that you end up feeling like you know them. My favourite couple are an elderly husband and wife who regularly get on my bus. The man is always impeccably turned out, often sporting a suit and a tie and the woman is equally well-dressed. I first started to notice something strange about the couple when the man was constantly getting flustered and confused about where he was and who he was. The woman would calm him down in a loving and patient manner, often holding him and speaking to him until the fear he was feeling subsided. It's been pretty obvious since that the man suffers from fairly advanced Alzheimer's. Now, to my point. I know a hundred reasons why I should or could adore this couple so much; the devoted love the woman has for her husband or the hope that one day someone would care about me enough to stick by me through something as terrible as Alzheimer's. However, none of these reasons seem adequate or fully sum up why I like them so much as there is just an endearing quality I can't seem to put my finger on. Maybe it is all the reasons combined, maybe it is not. I just can't say. This leads me to The Scottish Enlightenment's 'St. Thomas', an album which has the exact same effect on me as that elderly couple.

I could put my adoration of this album down to numerous things. It could be due to the faultless musicianship, the world-weary and existential lyrics, the variation and slow build of their wonderfully and carefully crafted songs or due to the immaculate production. However, just like how I can't explain the why I admire that elderly couple, none of these reasons seems to fit or fully justify why I love this album so much. There is something homely about 'St. Thomas', while simultaneously crushingly sad. Songs meander and then build to create lush soundscapes that really catch you surprise as they often masquerade as unassuming. Unassuming they are not as they seep into your consciousness and really grab hold of your attention. They have built upon their two strong EPs from this year ('Pascal' and 'Little Sleep') and they have created an album that flows almost seamlessly from start to finish. The dip in pace near the end of the album doesn't really affect the quality of the album all too much as I particularly enjoy 'The Soft Place' which makes up for my less favoured 'My Bible Is'.

In 'St. Thomas' The Scottish Enlightenment have created the one of the best albums to come out of Scotland this year. However, I am at a loss to why I find it so great or why I am so awestruck that I can't really write a proper review. To be honest I am perfectly okay with that.



The Scottish Enlightenment - Earth Angel (With Sticks In Crypt)

The Scottish Enlightenment - Taxidermy of Love

St. Thomas is out tomorrow via Armellodie Records.

1 comment:

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