Thursday, October 19, 2006

Journey's End

I feel the need to say a word or two about Out to Sea, the new Brighter compilation on Matinée. It ties to together the remaining loose ends, just as Keris tells me he's ready to tie the knot also with his current project Harper Lee. Because it feels like like I've come full circle in my love affair with Brighter, who have been among the handful of bands I've held closest to my heart for several years now, and that will certainly remain there forever. Obviously, the cd is first of all a reissue of the band's only album: Laurel. If you like Brighter you've probably heard it already, so I won't go on about that. The title of the comp is from Laurel's sixth track, apparently a favourite for some. Mine is "Maybe" however, which has one of the most poignant lyrics according to my book. But there are also a wealth of songs from flexis, demos and an old compilation LP called Becket House - which I saw not long ago in a record store in Stockholm, despite Jimmy Tassos' frequent mentioning of its rarity. Ever since I heard "Wallflower" on the Matinée site this Spring, I've been longing for this release! That is without a doubt one of the best Brighter songs there are. Listening to this record I'm pleasantly surprised by the quality of these previously unreleased songs that Keris seem to regard as inferior or rather naive. As if there was something wrong with naivety! "If I Could See" can easily rival "Wallflower" and there are several quite upbeat songs, which we weren't spoiled with in the previously released material. There's is nothing to rival a fast Brighter song, you know. All those layers of jangling guitar-figures and simple yet ingenious guitar-lines that sounds so majestic and moving in the slow songs just makes me go through the roof when played at the pace of classics like "Does Love Last Forever?". As you may have noticed Tom posted some Brighter demos on the Indie MP3 blog not long ago, and some of those tracks are to be found on Out to Sea, remastered and in their full glory. I'm very grateful for the cleaned-up version of "Nothing At All", which was the one I liked best among the demos posted! Among them was also "I Wish I'd Never Said That", which devoted fans would recognise as a track from the Election Day EP Keris released under the Hal moniker post-Brighter. That sets you to wondering if maybe other songs, even with Harper Lee, where perhaps written long ago? The only song on the record that makes you understand Keris' concern with the quality of the songwriting is "Airhead". But although it might not be a full-fledged Brighter composition, you can't help but be charmed. Just as with the singing on "Next Summer", where Keris sounds like he's about twelve. Beautiful! There must have been many requests for the reissue of Laruel (not the least from me) and we can only lift our hats for Jimmy Tassos, who's finally made it happen. To sum it up and make for a nice quote for Jimmy: Out to Sea is a double victory for Keris, Alex, Alison, and Matinée - finally the magnificence of Laurel is once again available for all to behold, and for the rabid fans a completely new universe is opened with these extra tracks that show us Brighter are even more deserving of our love and worship than we had thought! So, I was right in my prediction that this would be the record of the year.

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