Engineers, 'In Praise of More' (Kscope)

In Praise of More
Critical Mass
Release Date: December 7, 2010
Label: Kscope

by Spencer Kornhaber

Both the album title and added presence of electronic sound sculptor Ulrich Schnauss on keyboards indicates that this U.K. quintet -- whose 2005 track "Home" is the theme for HBO's Big Love -- still embraces the maximalist theory of dream pop. But while the songs are enveloped by layers of reverb-soaked acoustic guitars, and rumbling, rocket-launcher bass underpins each slinking chorus, repeated listens reveal that Simon Phipps' whispered melodies are the album's unexpected source of bliss. The result is a subtle sensory overload, with misty shoegazing sonics and earnest singer-songwriter gestures enhancing one another.

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