Year of the Album — #017
Noah and the Whale – “Last Night On Earth” (2011, Mercury Records)
Noah and the Whale is one of those bands you truly never know what to expect from musically. Their first album drew immediate comparisons to Belle & Sebastian and Arcade Fire, but when Charlie Fink and Laura Marling had a painful breakup, the result was 2009’s The First Days of Spring, the most stunning post-breakup album since Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, if you’ll forgive me for a bit of hyperbole. Fink laid every ounce of his pain out on the floor like a corpse, dissected and profiled it, then put it back together for us to marvel at.
Of course it was impossible to imagine how the band could follow that up. There would obviously be no repeating the previous album, but the sonic divergence of Last Night On Earth from everything the band’s crafted before is a minor miracle in itself. Add to that the fact that this is also the best tribute to Springsteen to come out in years, while actually building on the original sounds to create something completely of today, and it’s positively mind-blowing!
Read the rest of the review at Stereo Subversion!