Talk about changing direction. Last time we heard from South, they were inked to Moí Wax records and making Stone Roses pop infused with beats, like the stellar ìPaint The Silence.î Fast forward 18 months and what we have is here is a revolution in sound. Their sophomore album, With The Tides, is some serious next level evolution. The standout track is first single, ìLoosen Your Hold.î Pairing banjos, harpsichords and string arrangements, the song is an amazing piece of pop pie. The Londoners have improved exponentially, taking their sound in a new and very exciting direction, while recording a song that is so classic in sound, that with any justice, it will be revered for years to come. The trio has tapped into the fountain of songwriting, it seems, as Tides is almost as deep as it is long. ìMotiveless Crime,î ìStraight Lines To Bad Lands,î ìSame Old Story,î ìNatural Disastersî and single-in-waiting ìColours In Wavesî are all stronger than anything on the last album not called ìPaint The Silence.î Strings sweep, banjos are plucked, guitars chime and frontman Joel Cadbury purrs over the top, creating an album of high quality and multiple textures. One final word on ìLoosenî: it has that effortlessly timeless pop quality, sounding like it could be a Burt Bacharach-penned blinder from the ë60s or the best song youíve heard in 2003. I vote for the latter.
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN