Minor Victories - Orchestral Variations

by D R Pautsch Rating:7 Release Date:2017-01-20

Last year Minor Victories released a great solo album that somehow avoided most end of year lists.  Mixing the lead singer of Slowdive with two parts of The Editors and a sprinkling of Mogwai they should have garnered more attention than they did. Their self titled debut was epic, swooning and used strings and orchestration to great effect. It seems that they have been so taken by those elements they have released a companion piece, Orchestral Variations. This sounds like a great idea and at times it is. However, its also a bit forced.

The key letdown is the word variations. There isn't much variation here than from the original versions other than slowing them down and adding more piano.  Shorn of Rachel Goswell's immense vocal delivery the impact isn't as great. The wonderful Give Up The Ghost, a real highlight of last year, is now a piano driven affair which never reaches the heights her vocal implores it towards on the original. Cogs was a great wall of noise and here it is a sedate number which never flies. There is nothing wrong with anything on offer here. The music is good, sturdy and will be ideal for those working and needing background music.  It just doesn't inspire, shine or deliver the impact of the original versions.

Minor Victories' original album was a great example of a coming together of minds to deliver a real standout set of songs. This feels like one of them has gone away and created understated and unnecessary versions. Its a shame, this could have been great.

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