Color me extremely embarrassed for not reviewing this, the wonderful latest full-length of one of my absolute favorite bands, earlier this year. Like all of the Clientele’s records, though, Bonfires on the Heath sounds best as autumn turns to winter and frontman Alisdair MacLean’s foggy English fantasias gain substance. Bonfires improves on 2007’s lovely, string-laden God Save The Clientele thanks to a more adventurous mood: livelier tempos, Latin horns and journeys into psychedelia accent the songs, which remain anchored by MacLean’s introspective guitar picking and vocals and a gently insistent rhythm section. As usual, MacLean wonders who we are, sees faces in the trees and only breaks from philosophizing to plea for romance; as usual, the Clientele is the most evocative band on Earth. Few albums this year burn brighter than Bonfires.
The Clientele – “Harvest Time”: mp3
Previously: New Music: The Clientele – “Harvest Time”