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Soulsavers - Itís Not How Far You Fall, Itís The Way You Land

Released on Columbia/Red Ink Records, 10/16/07

Itís Not How Far You Fall, Itís The Way You Land is like a delicious, bottomless mudslide of the finest blend of elixirs that even the devout canít renounce or get enough of. So wouldnít that make British production rascals, Rich Machin and Ian Glover your relentless Soulsavers?

The duo are joined by Mark Lanegan famed for his stark and raw tenure work with The Screaming Trees and Queens Of The Stone Age whom heads vocals on eight of the ten tracks. Laneganís vocals accentuate the quieter arrangements on this album and the frailty of his baritone croon while stunning on their own, is transcending when paired with the gospel-hymn-like backdrop posted against a slick downbeat.

Itís Not How Far You Fall, Itís The Way You Land can be compared to a smack-meat collision between superstar-down-tempo Massive Attack and ultra indie-cult-dignified, Tom Waits. Itís also a bit of Portishead, a little Bjork, a sprinkle of Hector Zazou, and a breath of Air holding congregation in a desert oasis somewhere. Throw some spiritual-Kingdom-come strings (like the dramatic music you hear heralding a big fight) and an electronic hipsterís version of a percussive heartbeat with Laneganís commanding vox, and boom, you will bear witness to its musical revelations.

Soulsaversí second release opens the hymnals with "Revival", the first single. Throughout the album are a whole hell of a lot of soul singers in the background, a gritty church organ or two and not much youíd expect. Unlike their first album from 2003, Tough Guys Donít Dance, where raunchy loud guitars and remix beats were of a highlight, this album summons you back into the earthly mystery more than the carnal lust that devours most.

Mark Laneganís poignant vocals on "Spiritual" sings singularly and repeatedly, ďJesus, Jesus, I donít wanna die alone.Ē You have to hear it to feel it, and it's reminiscent of Johnny Cashís vocal delivery on Nine Inch Nailsí "Hurt". Paying further homage of sorts is the cover of The Rolling Stonesí "No Expectations". And thereís even a church echoing cover of Laneganís own "Kingdoms of Rain".

The music stands alone even when they are bare without Laneganís vocals, but when present it is where the spiritual crux explodes and make fireworks. On a cold, dark and stormy night, give this record a turn. You will find salvation and sing its praises.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars