See Those Landing Lights is a reunion album of sorts for Divine Weeks, released 25 years after their last record. There are traces of U2 and The Replacements throughout and an interesting exploration of the band's sound.
The best song on the album is “Heart Of Light.” After an acoustic intro there is a seamless transition into the full band driven by sixteenth notes on the hi-hat and ride cymbal. The chorus has a strong hook sung in falsetto and doubled by the bass. It’s very catchy and emotional. Other strong tracks include “Here's My Heart and Soul” with its explosive snare fills and Adam Duritz vocal inflections. “Rise In Love” which is based around chiming Edge-like guitar and a melodic bass line.
“Built My Love Around You” has some gorgeous guitar lines and good harmonies with an interesting bridge/outro. “Blind Kind Of Love” is palm-muted power pop with some REM influence sprinkled in, though the chorus is stronger than the verse, which has some strange scansion. Still, the four on the floor breakdown towards the middle is effective with some interesting guitar parts. “Dreamers Of The Day” has some great hi-hat flourishes and a sparse bass line on guitar that leads through a simmering verse before a more excited chorus. It does go on a bit long, however.Some of the songs miss the mark a bit.
“Someday (By & By)” is a U2-like setting of an old spiritual but the instrumental climax feels unearned. “The Joy” and “The Wonder” suffers from simplistic rhymes in the verse and a long instrumental interlude that never seems to rise to the energy of the drums. “The Last Night Of Our Lives” is very long with some sloppy drums underneath a Magical Mystery Tour-ish guitar. The bridge has a nursery rhyme-like quality and the Hey Jude "na-nas" near the end don't quite lift the song up.
The album closes with “Big Sky” an epic anthem-like song based around rolled cymbals and toms with some well-written metaphors and contrasts. It has some great emotional weight that unfortunately loses some steam with the spoken-word affirmations towards the end.
See Those Landing Lights has some great moments on it. Some refinement of the songs to tighten them up could help it reach the anthemic levels it reaches for.
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