Chapterhouse Blood Music
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This album brings a smile to my face everytime I listen to it. It is a great combination of shoegazer, pop, and emerging 90's electronica. While their first album Whirlpool is a better straight-up shoegazer affair (with better singles), Blood Music offers up such a joyous combination of styles that I personally like it better. Something about the carefree attitude of the band in cherry-picking elements from several genres is really refreshing. On Blood Music Chapterhouse are truly inspired in their attempt to carve out a sound of their own; something at the crossroads of genres that hadn't been really heard before. Many shoegazer bands eventually evolved into electronica later in life ending up radically different from their original sound. Chapterhouse on the other hand incorporated electronica into their lush guitar thing rather than opt for it over the shoegazer elements that made them (semi)-famous. The product is this excellent album. Differing bonus discs appeared on U.K. and U.S. versions -- the former consisted of a full remix of the album by techno duo Global Communication, while the latter included a couple of remixes from other acts, a sweet little number called "Frost," and the awesome "Picnic," a 15-minute ambient/rock piece that arguably was their best-ever number.