Anathema - The Optimist

Double Album 2LP 180 Gram Vinyl Records + Download

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The Optimist is the eleventh studio album by the British alternative / progressive rock band Anathema, released in June 2017 via Kscope Records.

The concept for their new album is taken from their 2001 album A Fine Day To Exit with the album flowing as a thematic sequel. The coordinates used in the title of the opening track “32.63N 117.14W” point to the Sliver Strand beach in San Diego County which is the location shown on the cover art for A Fine Day To Exit. The album is written as a narrative exploring what happened to the main characters from that album in the last 16 years, culminating on what must have happened with the guy from that album cover.

The album cover on A Fine Day To Exit shows a view from inside a car, looking out over a beach with abandoned clothing scattered around, and a family photo left on the dashboard together with a phone and hand written note, leaving you to wonder what happened to that person? Vincent Cavanagh commented that - "The guy who disappeared – you never knew what happened to him. Did he start a new life? Did he succumb to his fate? It was never explained. The opening track title is the exact coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego – the last known location of The Optimist – shown on the cover of A Fine Day to Exit".

Even though the album is based around the characters of their 2001 album the music on this album is much closer to their previous studio album Distant Satellites (2014) and sounds similar in style but somehow tighter and as if the band has also progressed musically in the intervening period.

The songs were written collaboratively by the band, as an outcome of jamming in a rented studio, and once they had settled on the story and narrative, all the music and track sequencing, fell into place nicely. The album benefits from the band members playing together in the same room and building the album organically.

The album kicks off with an atmospheric piece, with lapping waves and the listener is left to imagine someone getting in the car, tuning on the radio and heading off as we then move into the next song on the album “Leaving It Behind”, which gradually builds to a sudden end, moving into a more piano atmospheric song with Lee Douglas opening the vocals on “Endless Ways” which again builds with drums, bass and soaring guitars with the floating voices over a powerful chord sequence – a very moving song. Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas share the vocal duties beautifully over the whole album and the songs capture a mood and feeling that is very engaging.

“The Captain” finds this a fine album and a great mood piece to play in the evening to chill out to and let the pressures and stresses of the day pass, as Anathema let their music envelope you. Anathema are proving to be one of the most exciting progressive rock bands to emerge from the UK in recent times.

The covers of both albums also show its narrative connections, as the former contains a car in an empty beach during the day, and the latter a car in a road at night

The band members that recorded the album were:

  • Vincent Cavanagh - vocals, guitars, keyboards
  • Jamie Cavanagh - bass
  • Daniel Cavanagh - guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • John Douglas – drums
  • Lee Douglas - vocals
  • Daniel Cardoso – drums, keyboards

Check out a couple of tracks:  32.63N 117.14W”; “Leaving It Behind”; “The Optimist”; “Springfield (video)andGhosts.

This double album 2LP record set is on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with printed inner sleeves and digital download code, pressed in Europe.

(802644892214)

Tracklisting:

 

No.

Track

A1

32.63N 117.14W

A2

Leaving It Behind

A3

Endless Ways

A4

The Optimist

B1

San Francisco

B2

Springfield

C1

Ghosts

C2

Can't Let Go

D1

Close Your Eyes

D2

Wildfires

D3

Back To The Start

SKU 802644892214
Record Label Kscope Records
Label / Model # Independent
Catalogue Number KSCOPE922
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 09 June 2017
Original Release Date (Year) 09 June 2017
Barcode # 802644892214
Shipping Weight 0.6050kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000986m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Records, 180 Gram Heavyweight Black Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Printed Inner Sleeves, Digital Download Code
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Progressive Rock
Genre Alternative Rock
Genre Rock
Format VINYL LP

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