Search - Slowdive :: Souvlaki

Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Two generations of head-rockers meet on Souvlaki, the second full album by England's ethereal Slowdive. Veteran ambient soundmeister Brian Eno produced, arranged, and played keyboards on two tracks, but his presence isn'...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Slowdive
Title: Souvlaki
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 2/8/1994
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Indie & Lo-Fi, British Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 077778826323, 0077778826354, 077778826347, 077778826354, 762185154823, 762185188248

Two generations of head-rockers meet on Souvlaki, the second full album by England's ethereal Slowdive. Veteran ambient soundmeister Brian Eno produced, arranged, and played keyboards on two tracks, but his presence isn't nearly as obvious as it is with U2, which is more of testament to Slowdive's own dreamy Another Green World aesthetic than to any laziness on Eno's part. The lulling melodic undertow of the group's early EPs is present in subtle new variations on songs such as "Allison," "Machine Gun," and "Souvlaki Space Station," but Eno blurs the foreground and background, giving the album a pleasant, swirling mix that's never static or predictable. --Jim DeRogatis

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CD Reviews

Micah Newman | Fort Worth, TX United States | 04/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Slowdive are, for me, the band that most defines, and are the best representative of, the genre "shoegazer." The name "shoegazer" was originally a derogatory term (like "impressionism" for that French school of late-19th-century painters, interestingly) coined by some snotty British music journalist to apply to a crop of bands such as Ride, Lush, and My Bloody Valentine, that appeared in the early 90's and whose sound was defined by dense layers of guitar textures and that tended to effect a distinctly introverted stage presence. Actually, most people are not familiar with the term or the music: you certainly won't hear any "shoegaze" on hit radio.While in the main, shoegaze music tended to be melodic as well as loud and textured, part of what set Slowdive apart is how much more both sweetly melodic and densely layered their music was compared with their contemporaries. They hit their stride with Souvlaki, their second full-length LP, and made the most sonically ravishing and unforgettable album of their ilk. An important part of their sound and unique charm is the male/female unison vocals of singers/guitarists Neil Nalstead and Rachel Goswell, which sounds like it could have been lifted from some sixties folk/pop outfit, only... it's not. It fits in beautifully with the expanses of sound and color wash that fill out this music, though. It all soars and lifts magnificently. There's a good dynamic range between the songs, too, from the yearning, searching "Alison," delicate reverbed-guitar picking of "Here She Comes Now," overwhelming wall-of-sound tsunami of "Souvlaki Space Station," and haunting, faraway, acoustic "Dagger"; the album never gets samey or washed-out as is the distinct danger with this kind of music. Fully-realized and a complete and satisfying experience, Slowdive's _Souvlaki_ is a real treasure."
Gazer Heaven with Abrupt Cacaphony
M. JEFFREY MCMAHON | Torrance, CA USA | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was tempted to give the album, a huge lush affair with the dreamy kind of music Shoe Gazers have learned to expect, only four stars. Why? Because a few delicious wispy pieces are interrupted, inexplicably, by pieces that are grating and noisy and don't contribute to the album's ethereal, intoxicated mood but jar the listener out of his or her half-sleep. However, I still have to give this album five stars because only two songs are stinkers. It's hard to find an album with eleven strong songs, full of aching, dripping melancholy. If you like Slowdive, you will surely enjoy Silver Screen's single "All I Have" and the Cocteau Twins most gazing masterpiece Victorialand. You will also be pleased with a song by Bent titled "A Ribbon for My Hair." And finally, you will be blissed out by "Spiders and Flies" by Mercury Rev."
Another Lost Gem
Paul H. | USA | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Souvlaki is a pretty incredible album, and it certainly contains some of the most beautiful guitar sounds set to tape. Had this record not fallen victim to the usual label nonsense back in the day thanks in part to SBK records (their U.S. label), it might have garnered some more attention. But unfortunately, My Bloody Valentine's classic Loveless overshadowed many great shoegazer records of the day, including this one. Yes, Loveless is the epitome of the "shoegazer" trend, easily the best record the movement produced. But Souvlaki is a very close second, focusing on creating a lusher soundscape than Loveless' onslaught of white noise. Mixing the dreamy guitar patterns of MBV with the ethereal ambience of the Cocteau Twins, Slowdive were brilliant in their creation of surreal soundscapes. "Alison" deservedly gets attention as a brilliant pop single, but "When The Sun Hits," "40 Days," and the Eno-touched "Sing" are all not to be overlooked. The strangely-titled "Souvlaki Space Station" is another highlight, a brilliant mixture of white noise, delay, layering, and instrument manipulation creating a perfect soundscape that nobody's really been able to duplicate. This record is a must for anybody who worships Loveless."