I was officially introduced to this amazing band from Wales about
2 years ago at a little local festival. My intrigue sparked when I
first heard As Far As The Eye Can See, the first release for
People In Planes (as People In Planes). That album had hinted
at the notion of their pure genius as a band, but I never thought
I'd hear an album like this one.
When the news of a new PIP album came across my ears, I was way too
excited. Why do I say way too excited? Well because the first single
off the album "Pretty Buildings" was made available about
mid-February, however the street date of the album wasn't scheduled
'til mid-June. But then again, I do love it when so much excitement
and enthusiasm for an album can be generated by one song. Between
catching them live at SXSW in Austin and living off the masterpiece
single, I was counting down the days before the release.
June 24th - Beyond The Horizon has officially hit stores and
it is truly amazing! Each song is a different journey and a different
story. You can't skip through the songs, you have to give each one
it's deserved time. To pick a favorite on this album would be impossible.
Just to start off you have "Last Man Standing." And within
the first few moments of the song, you're transformed into Clint
Eastwood in the old West. It's low, deep, strong-willed and powerful.
"I am a last man stand survivor" are lyrics that just make
you wanna go out and kick some butt. The piano and bass guitar make
a perfect couple in this song, really pounding out the emotion. Next
on the album is "Mayday (M'aidez)" which gets a little more
techno. The chorus is infectious: "Help me, help me you know
me better than I know myself!" You can tell there's more of an
electronic presence from the keys, which really create a sense of
insanity. I can see this one performed in a very large arena with
thousands of screaming fans singing along. "Pretty Buildings"
comes in at number 4. The piano in this one is absolutely beautiful
and Gareth's voice is like a silk blanket over the enchanting
rhythms. "Cause you know it hurts like hell/so come out of the
closet, let's talk about it/cause you know it hurts like hell"
are lyrics that evoke a strong emotion, no matter how they are sung.
I never thought I'd be a fan of the synchronized snaps, but in this
song it works. The snaps flow into drums that just continuously build
until they explode into the lead guitar from Pete. If someone
put a gun to my head and made me pick a favorite song on the album
I would have to say it is "Better Than Life." Sure the beginning
seems like nothing special, nothing more than a typical rock beat,
but if you wait, just a little more
you'll be brought into the
chorus: "It's like a wet dream, with you!" It's so unbelievably
powerful, that you are at the mercy of your stereo to crank it up.
The song goes back into a bit more simple tempo, but you're just anticipating
that chorus again. I could play this song over and over again, turning
up the volume with each play. It makes me want to learn the guitar,
just so I can play that one riff that repeats through the chorus.
Down a couple songs is "Know By Now," which, if the album
didn't have "Pretty Buildings," I would say was the obligatory
ballad. Though it's more of a rock ballad, than a weepy, emotional
emo one; not too complex of a song, yet it produces another catchy
chorus. "Tonight The Sun Will Rise" is probably one of the
most unique songs on the album. The electronic effects that bust out
right at the beginning make you think the band made a club hit but
if you really break it down, this is a rather quick song. The tempo
is insanely fast. The guitar comes in a few times with a little twist:
not exactly notes, but not a chord either. It almost beckons a comparison
to Peter Frampton and the famous talking guitar. It could just
be an electronic modification to a simple guitar stroke, or it could
The last song I'll address is "Vampire" and the reason
being because this was another song that the band debuted in America
at SXSW. Lyrics speak of classic vampire characteristics: blood, death,
etc. It starts out with a creepy guitar, not too prominent, but definitive
for sure. This song is another one with so many levels to it. It proves
that with this album you can't judge a song by the first 30 seconds,
you really have to listen to the whole thing before you'll truly appreciate
it. I don't know why but I could definitely see this song on Guitar
Hero - the expert level of course.
As you can tell I absolutely loved this album! Each song is completely
different, leaving you guessing for what's next. The band is brilliant
and masterful with their newest creation. I cannot wait until they
make another trip through the States.
[editor's note: Beyond The Horizon is due to be released September
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