Genre/Influences: Electro-Pop, Body-Pop, Cinematic-Pop, Future-Pop.
Format: Digital, CD, 2 Vinyls.
Background/Info: Ronan Harris strikes back with a new opus of his sonic alter-ego VNV Nation. This is the first new full length in five years which has been introduced as a more intimate work. The album is available in different formats featuring a ‘box set deluxe edition’.
Content: VNV Nation remains faithful to his good-old influences which are still Electronic and Pop-driven. But it would be too easy and even fault to call it ‘Electro-Pop’ or ‘Future-Pop’. The basis remains recognizable but sounds and global production including the vocals have evolved and becoming more mature than ever before. The work is danceable featuring ‘heavier’ kicks but still has its part of emotion on the slower tracks. But all songs have been slowly built up until reaching a true elevating finale.
+ + + : The album takes off with title track which according to me is fully representative for the entire work. It has been meticulously built up, a bit like a spider web while reaching an true apotheosis in the final part of the song. Harris excels in this constructions while he achieved the songs with delicate piano-like arrangements but also passages with orchestral arrangements and even transcendental parts. The songs are poignant and even more than that when you pay attention to the lyrical themes performed with passion. Everything sounds right and every note stands in the right place. I personally consider “The Game” as one of the best VNV Nation songs in history -maybe my favorite one, as it brings danceable vibes, intelligent sound treatments and passionate vocals together. “Wait” is another masterpiece; a bit darker and harder, driven by a solid bass line and getting dancefloors on fire. Another cool cut is “Artifice” featuring an irresistible scratching sound. I’ll also mention “Prophet” for great sound treatments as well. Ronan Harris hasn’t lost the magical touch which made VNV Nation a leading formation.
– – – : I’m not that fond of “In The Temple” which sounds like an intermezzo while the last song “Under Sky” is not exactly the best one. But no reason to complain!
Conclusion: VNV Nation strikes back with a bang; a great and artistic composition which will find its way to dancefloors but still to moments of solitude and meditation.
Best songs: “The Game”, “Wait”, “Artifice”, “Prophet”, “Run”, “Electric Sun”, “Before The Rain”.
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