South’s sophomore effort, With the Tides, doesn’t drift too far from the sonic current of their critically-lauded debut, which mixed the trio’s ethereal dream-pop with mentor James Lavelle’s slick production. This time around, Lavelle is replaced with Dave Eringa (Suede, Kylie Minogue), but the formula remains the same: melancholy yet wistful lyrics, shimmering guitars and crisp percussion, all bathed in ambient waves of electronica. Live strings sweep in dramatically on the opening tune “Motiveless Crime” and the album’s first single “Loosen Your Hold,” the latter bolstered by a uniquely refreshing mix of banjo and harpsichord draped in a sparkly blanket of electronic sheen. “Fragile Day” begins with an undercurrent of driving techno beats and quickly cascades into a climax of mixed meters, lush strings and soaring vocals that recall pre-millenium Radiohead. South’s similarities to their fellow-U.K. rockers don’t end there: the guitars on “Colours in Waves” rock as hard as anything on The Bends, while the closing track “Threadbare” includes lightning-quick charges of electric guitar and repetitive, almost unintelligibly panicked lyrics. But South’s brand of fuzzy space-rock, though certainly not singular, creates an empyreal atmosphere that pulls you in like the sea.
- Release Date
- October 3, 2003
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