Album: Guillemots <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Through the Windowpane, POLYDOR
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The Independent Culture

A cosmopolitan outfit built around the songs of keyboardist Fyfe Dangerfield, Guillemots offer a more persuasively emotional - not to mention more musically interesting - take on the contemporary epic-rock style that has proven so successful for the likes of Coldplay, Keane and Athlete. Whether Guillemots will fare similarly remains to be seen: rather than piano, Dangerfield favours brooding organ tones, and while his songs traffic in the requisite currency of hopes, fears and romantic melancholy, the arrangements here owe more to California mavericks like Phil Spector, Jack Nitzsche and Jimmy Webb - which is to say, they don't so much hide their light under a bushel as brandish it in grandiose string and horn settings. (The album even comes bookended with lavish orchestrations.) The most pertinent comparison, though, is with the Blue Nile, whose overwrought manner and textural depth is emulated in Dangerfield's vocal and the dense arrangements of tracks such as the lonely night-time sky song "Little Bear" and love ballad "If the World Ends", which finds him gripped by apocalyptic euphoria: "If the world ends, I hope you're by my side/I don't think with you here there'd be too much pain."

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Little Bear', 'If the World Ends', 'Made Up Love Song #43'