Here We Go Magic : A Different Ship
The historiography of magic would surely make a fascinating study. Centuries ago, an event that could not be explained by reference to religious texts or the limited rational understanding of the population at large could be classified as magic. Over time magic became a label synonymous with irreligious practice and, axiomatically, a danger to society. By the 19th century enlightenment had changed public discourse, and magic had morphed into a form of entertainment.
A Different Ship is a magical record, in many senses of the term. It’s fascinating – the subtle lilting pop attraction of Hard To Be Close is almost insidious, in a Pied Piper sort of fashion. It’s unpredictable – would you expect the next step on the journey to be the scintillating Fat Boy Slim rock’n’soul electro-dance beats of Make Up Your Mind, or, later, the languorous Over The Ocean? It’s mesmerising – Alone But Moving catches you in its gaze, and you’re off on a cloud, wafting over the mere mortals tied to the meaningless of the contemporary rat race. It’s enchanting – I Believe In Action would send Christopher Walken into frenzy with no end in sight. It’s thought provoking – Made To Be Old channels LA pop through a new wave filter on the tail end of a philosophical bender. It’s just what you want, and a little bit more – How Do I Know is the basic rock’n’roll cake with a killer post-West Coast icing. It’s almost spiritual – Miracle Of Mary is the Sand Pebbles stripped free of psychedelic indulgence.
And above all, it’s amazing – after the concluding eight minute journey of A Different Ship, you know you’ve been on a trip only few bands can conjure up. This is a very special record.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Make Up Your Mind
If You Like This, You’ll Like: Anything that’s appeared on Secretly Canadian, still one of the world’s great record labels
In A Word: Magic