Music Reviews
Heart Drops From the Great Space

Delicate AWOL Heart Drops From the Great Space

(Fire Records) Buy it from Insound Rating - 9/10

Heart Drops From the Great Space bears an uncanny resemblance to any Tortoise record. In fact, the Post-Rock pioneers who famously offer a jazz slant on the typical chiming guitars and slow-burning process of the genre, are the only reference point needed for Delicate AWOL's latest release. This is not a bad thing though - jazz space-rock is certainly not an over-crowded niche - and Delicate AWOL have created a record easily worthy of Chicago's finest.

The album opens with Here Come The Armed Guards, a mid-pace jazz piece that will undoubtedly get your feet moving. The sophisticated shuffle is hard to deny, beautiful guitar melodies and some fine drumming effortlessly defining 'cool'. The piece sets the standard much of the album will follow; Time and Motion Studies Deep Underground adds soothing vocal lines to the mix, an element that adds tremendously to Delicate AWOL's sound. The voice is used very much as another layer of sound, rather than a prominent force, resulting in the songs still sounding instrumental.

The record rarely strays from this formula. Drums stutter, guitars ring and fall, and occasional brass adds to the jazzy, laid-back vibe. The lack of variety in sound is not a bad thing; when a band has developed a palette this rich, the opportunity to explore it to its full is well deserved. Album highlight Chance Thought at Flannel Port adds strings to the mix, showing that Delicate AWOL perhaps have designs on evolving their sound further. The lush arrangement sits well with the coffee-shop vibe of the rest of the album. 'Cool' is the main watchword; if ever there was an album to accidentally leave playing when friends come round, it's this.

Heart Drops From the Great Space is a breath of fresh air. The album slides slowly from the speakers, and takes you off on a unique trip with every listen. This is jazz for the post-rock generation, a record that deserves to be ranked alongside the year's finest.