Picks and Pans Review: Elemental
updated 07/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/19/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
This meticulous British outfit vie for a Comeback of the Year crown with their first release since 1989's multiplatinum, pseudo-jazz exercise, The Seeds of Love.
Following the departure of bassist-vocalist Curt Smith, the band's fourth album showcases singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Roland Orzabal and a small cast of guest musicians. Orzabal's strident vocals bellow and dive through cascades of lush symphonic rock, urging spiritual revolution ("Go wash your hands and fingers till your mind is clean") or, lest boredom set in, coolly dripping acid ("I met her on a Monday and my heart did nothing new"). Compelling. But Elemental errs when Orzabal strives for the mythic. "Gas Giants" is amorphous sci-fi ambience, and "Brian Wilson Said" mingles melodious surf-pop glee with aimless drivel. Otherwise, Elemental delivers head music for the soul. (Mercury)