Sound — 9
British Sea Power's sophomore album takes a very different direction than their first. Recorded in a barn in the English countryside, "Open Season" is more reflective and controlled. The album has a much more "polished" sound, which may deter some of the fans who were drawn to the tempestuous "The Decline Of British Sea Power." I was a little disappointed when I first listened to the album, but I grew to appreciate it's more subdued moments with subsequent listens. The band d does however retain, their sweeping guitars and epic choruses.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics of the album's tracks champion the great outdoors. They are articulate and unique, with mentions to the French Revolutionary Calendar and Antarctic ice sheets. The vocals are confident. We see more songs song by bassist, Hamilton, which glends the tracks he penned a different feel.
Overall Impression — 9
"How Will I Ever Find Wilde The Wanker's Organ?" is a hidden bonus track which can be heard by rewinding the CD 2beyond the first track. It's "How Will I Ever Find My Way Home" played entirely on a pipe organ. It sets the ethereal mood of the album. If lost or stolen, I would definitely get a new copy. All of the albums tracks stand out, while still maintaining a very thematically coherent album. "It Ended On An Oily Stage" and "Please Stand Up" are indie rock songs that have the British Sea Power feel but in a more accessible form for the casual listener. "Be Gone" and "To Get To Sleep" are a little more subdued. "How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?" is a great rocker. "Like A Honeycomb" and "North Hanging Rock" are magnificent and powerful crescendos."Victorian Ice" paints pleasant seascapes. "Oh Larsen B," an ode to the fallen ice shelf, effectively uses guitars to create atmosphere. There is a wonderful viola in the haunting "The Land Beyond." The album's closer "True Adventures" is the capstone of a great album. It's an eight minute epic about going outside and appreciating nature. It sounds like it could have been written by Wordsworth, who hailed from the Lakes District, as does the band. It starts with drums imitating a thunderstorm and builds into a mighty frenzy before petering out for the verse and great chorus, before repeating. It's magnificent and moving piece of music. It shows that the sheer power of British Sea Power has not left their music. I love how the album has a running theme throughout, as well as the stylistic diversity of the tracks. Although it is an enjoyable album, I think that it is lacking in energy. It seems to have lost the pace and energy in it's studio polishing, which, while not a bad thing, does change the character of the album. It's great for driving along in a wooded area or listening to as one watches the sunset over a mountain lake. Just don't listen to it to get pumped for the big game.