Additional personnel: Abi Fry (viola); Phil Sumner (cornet); Graham Sutton (programming).
Audio Mixers: Bill Price ; Iain Gore.
British Sea Power's first album, THE DECLINE OF BRITISH SEA POWER, melded the group's key influences (Echo & the Bunnymen, the Smiths, and U2) with the evocative, poetic lyrics and passionate singing of frontman Yan. Yet on its follow-up, OPEN SEASON, British Sea Power is less concerned than some of its young rock brethren with making a racket. Instead, the band devotes its energies to creating evocative, breezy soundscapes that give rise to well-crafted slices of sparkling pop.
The sighing, chiming "Victorian Ice" and the bright, airy "Be Gone" recall radio hits of the early 1980s, while the seductive croon of "Like a Honeycomb" gestures to the New Romantics of the same era. But British Sea Power goes beyond mere revivalism. Yan's literate, richly descriptive words paint a gallery of pictures in each song, and the ensemble's penchant for pitch-perfect songcraft (particularly on the rocker "How Will I Ever Find My Way Home?") keeps things fresh and engaging. This is a satisfying dose of Britpop that distinguishes itself among its post-punk-loving peers, while remaining immediately accessible.
Rolling Stone (p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[E]ccentric and majestic....British Sea Power are in a world of their own..."
Spin (p.102) - "OPEN SEASON finds these mysterious lads already advancing into their suave Roxy Music phase, draping sweeping melodies over expansive arrangements..." - Grade: B-
Uncut (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[T]hey've honed their hubris. Ship-shape."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 - "It is British Sea Power's outreach album, immediately less chaotic and parochial, more serene and accessible, but no less magical....[Their] vision is unique."