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The Sound - Heads & Hearts review (All Music Guide)

date: Apr 4, 2000


 

THE SOUND - Heads & Hearts 
(Statik)
 

You definitely wouldn’t know it from the opening “Whirlpool,” one of the Sound’s weariest, most exasperated-with-the-rigors-of-existence songs in the group’s quiver (both in notes and in words), but Heads and Hearts finds them riding the wave of optimism -- or maybe it would be better to say enthusiasm or vigor -- that shot through them as they found themselves revitalized after parting ways with a major label. While nothing here is as sparklingly “up” as the Shock of Daylight EP’s “Golden Soldiers,” and while the lyrics don’t exactly deal with the happier elements of romantic relationships, there’s a sweepingly hopeful sensibility apparent through the arrangements and Wally Brill’s bold, crystalline production.

Oddly enough, the best example of the record’s paradoxical nature between the words and the notes lies in what could be its lowest ebb: “Restless Time” has one of the record’s stickiest hooks with an immensely hummable chorus -- a chorus that that pins the reason for the restless time on “the other half,” a chorus that is followed with an embittered, resentful snipe of “I can’t throw you away.” It’s a song about buried emotions and a level of tension that’s on the brink of snapping (“A smile on my face so you won’t so you won’t see on my mind”), yet ignoring the lyrics might present something that’s as life-affirming as Simple Minds’ “Alive and Kicking.”

Most of the other songs go easier on the other half, but not by much, though “One Thousand Reasons” and “Temperature Drop” seem to be more devotional than full of struggle. Fans of the band’s first two albums -- their undeniable classics -- might have a problem with the icy sheen on the surface of these songs; the year during which this record was made is easy to place. However, it sounds like the Sound accomplished what they set out to do. And besides, what music fan can’t tell what year The Piper at the Gates of Dawn was recorded? 

[Heads and Hearts was remastered and paired with Shock of Daylight for release on Renascent in 1996.] 

Andy Kellman, All Music Guide 



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