January 13, 2005

The Clientele "Ariande EP"

I’ve been in love with The Clientele’s music for many years. I make no apology for the fact that they’re one band who I’ll gladly pay a pretty penny. Their music is breathtaking, gorgeous and heartbreakingly melancholy and I love them for it. Thus, Ariadne is absolutely no surprise. Inspired by the paintings of Giorgia de Chirico’s series of the same name, Alasdair Maclean felt it necessary to set his inspiration to music—and thank goodness he did, because the results are utterly wonderful. Instead of your typical Clientele style, they’ve decided to be a bit different—four of these five songs are instrumental, and these four instrumental songs don’t really sound all that much like the Clientele you may know and love. Aiming for a more ambient style, the band utilizes the one thing they’re good at: atmosphere. I’m really, really taken by the stunning simplistic beauty of the epic “The Sea Inside a Shell” and my heart breaks (in a good way!) when I hear the piano-based “Ariadne Sleeping.” The final track, “Impossible,” is a vocal song, and the sad, austere lyrics illustrates Maclean’s maturation as a songwriter. Though I could see this release as being a middling thing for some fans, this is still a beautiful, striking release, well worth seeking out.

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.theclientele.co.uk
Label Website: http://www.acuareladiscos.com

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