"This album follows the recent trends of the Gorkers; that is to say it leans more heavily toward beautiful melodies (sometimes with a countryesque feel), and strays ever further from the psychadelic playfullness of the earliest releases (Tatay etc). Depending on your penchant, these recent trends are either pleasant or maddening. While I might place myself in the later camp, I am absolutely in love with this album. There is not a weak song on this album--which features the made-to-be-played-live "Mow the Lawn" and one of Euros Childs' most beautiful songs, "Happiness". The songs written by Richard James are standouts as well. The band seems to have settled into a nice groove musically. After the wonderful, acoustic mini-lp "Blue Trees", the band released "How Long to Feel that Summer" which was, in my estimation, overly-produced, and somewhat lacking in substance. With "Sleep/Holiday" the band seems to have released what rightfully should have been the followup to "Blue Trees". Alternatingly haunting and beautiful, I strongly recommend this album from one of the finest bands making music today."
Going to the country
alexander laurence | Los Angeles, CA | 04/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Gorky's are one of the best bands ever from Wales. Their music is often genre defying and brings many musical traditions with it. They are often portrayed as this weird medieval folk band, but they have much more in common with bands like Mojave 3 or Alfie. They have done eight or nine album in ten years and have just released a greatest hits record. The first songs "Waiting For Winter" and "Happiness" are an improvement over their last record and show their growing obsessions with the weather and love songs. "Mow The Lawn" sounds like Canned Heat on crystal meth. Euros Childs is one of today's great-unknown songwriters. Richard James has had a larger role on the past few albums. Maybe this album has more influences of American country and roots rock and less prog rock instrumentals. You have to admire them for doing their own thing and not giving a f***. The Gorky's are distinct for that reason alone."
Worth another .5 on top of that
Davy | Athens, GA | 08/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"although this is a perfectly pleasant listen, i was decidedly disappointed with it. i know a few guys who have it and love it, but that's only because they don't own the best GZM has to offer. this album is intriguing in the sense that the band has begun to stretch a bit, test their boundaries, and while most of the material is the same old welsh experimental folk-pop they've been doing for years, some of the songs reach the 7 minute mark. it just isn't quite as exciting, not quite as vibrant as the majority of their previous albums have been."
The pop narcotic kicks in, if not up
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 08/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, as a longtime GSM fan who bought "Bwyd Time" before any of their discs appeared in the US, I too lament the loss of the witty, acid-tinted visions in favor of the pastoral narcoctic shuffle of their last few albums. But, ever since at least Gorky 5 (or even Barafundle?) the group's been progressing towards this folkier bucolic pace as they (and we their listeners) age. Euros Childs possesses one of the finest voices in music that I know, and hearing him on "Shore Light" shows how moving his mellifluous delivery can be. This album took me many listens to appreciate, and it's best suited for laziness, if not lethargy!The Beach Boy touches on such as "Leave Me Dreaming" are not as overwhelming as they are for many of GZM's post-psychedelic peers mimicking "Pet Sounds," and this is an alt-pop blessing.
The muted nature of this album slips it more towards the lullabies preceding Sleep rather than the exuberance of a Holiday. The hypnotic pace, however, fits the mood you need to come down after the high, and for this, as shown by their career trajectory (like the different music but same downwardly arced, sophisticated, but more studio-based and mellow path of their mates Super Furry Animals), after fifteen or so years at it, if they choose to rest on their laurels rather than climb the trees, then this fits their lazy, lawn-stretched, acoustic languour. I only wish, like SFA, that they'd record in Welsh once in a while, and not drift so far from their linguistic roots as they wander the soft landscapes of sound they conjure."