Friday, June 12, 2015

VNV Nation: "Resonance"

An orchestral dark wave is better than you would think. You are taking often anime soundtrack like synths and replacing them with a lush orchestra. Where it plays into VNV Nation's favor is it really show cases singer. Ronan Harris' voice.  While this album takes from songs from the bands back catalogue which goes back fifteen years. Obviously with anything that is a dramatic departure, like an acoustic album the dramatic stylistic shift eases the first couple of tracks and then from their you really see how the bands song writing talents hold up when you take away the dance beats. The Babelsburg Film Orchestra lends their talents to accompanying them here. The lyrics to "Solitary" stand out with this arrangement and lend power to the song.

A piano and plucked strings subtly in the background form this version of "Further". For some reason this reminds me of a Irish Folk song. The first listen to this album I was found myself listening for songs that could be on the mix for my Halloween Wedding, I know "Perpetual" was not one of those. The strings on this song dip in and out of the vocal melody. Harris' voice is pleasant, but I feel this is not giving him a chance to show the full range as it feels like he is holding back do to these arrangements. There is a honest sweetness to the lyrics of "Illusion", despite the fact it touches on some many break up song cliches.Without the dance beats pumping to these songs it does become more obvious there are no surprises when it comes the arrangements. "Nova" sounds like they are about to go into "Hey Jude". It becomes more of a chamber music piece than a goth song. One thing that is clear is Harris is an excellent lyricist.The first song that feels dark to me is "Sentinel". It is also the first song that really displays much of a dynamic range.

The melancholy returns on "Beloved" which retains the darker feel established by the previous song. The title track feels hopeful like a Neil Diamond song despite the lyric being about rage consuming some one. "Teleconnect" is the bonus track He sounds like Micheal Stipe on this one. .I'll give this album an 8 ,  even though it's technically a compillatiuon, but these songs have almost been rewrittnen.

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