Pygmalion (album)

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Pygmalion
Pygmalion album.jpg
Studio album by Slowdive
Released 6 February 1995 (1995-02-06)
Recorded 1994 at Courtyard Studios in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England
Genre
Length 48:23
Label Creation
Producer
Slowdive chronology
Souvlaki
(1993)Souvlaki1993
Pygmalion
(1995)
Catch the Breeze
(2004)Catch the Breeze2004

Pygmalion is the third studio album by English rock band Slowdive, released on 6 February 1995 by record label Creation. It was the final album before Slowdive disbanded in 1995.

Content[edit]

A departure from their previous two albums, Pygmalion incorporated a more experimental sound tilted towards ambient electronic music, with sparse, atmospheric arrangements. All compositions were by Neil Halstead. Lyrics on tracks "Miranda" and "Visions of LA" were by Rachel Goswell.

The cover illustration featured imagery from Rainer Wehinger's graphic notation for György Ligeti's work Artikulation (1958).

Reissue[edit]

The album was remastered and reissued on Cherry Red in 2010, with a bonus disc consisting of demo versions of Pygmalion-era tracks.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
The Guardian 3/4 stars[2]
Pitchfork 8.7/10[3]
Record Collector 5/5 stars[4]

Pygmalion has been well received by critics. AllMusic called it "a stylistic masterpiece",[1] while BBC Music echoed similar sentiments, writing that Pygmalion "remains Halstead and Goswell's masterpiece" and comparing it to the ambient work of Brian Eno.[5] Head Heritage wrote that with the album, "Slowdive distilled the expansive aural atmospheres of Souvlaki to perfection."[6]

Pitchfork noted the change in style, describing the album's tracks as "ambient pop dreams that have more in common with post-rock like Disco Inferno than shoegazers like Ride".[3]

A negative review came from Trouser Press, which wrote that the album "completely lacks all the tension, songwriting, sounds and power of the band's work, leaving only the spatial dimensions", calling it "essentially a solo ambient recording by singer/guitarist Neil Halstead that should have been released under his own name".[7]

Legacy[edit]

The song "Blue Skied an' Clear" was featured on the soundtrack of the 1995 film The Doom Generation.

In 1999, Ned Raggett ranked the album at No. 122 on his list of "The Top 136 or So Albums of the Nineties".[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Neil Halstead, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rutti"   10:06
2. "Crazy for You"   6:00
3. "Miranda" Halstead, Rachel Goswell 4:49
4. "Trellisaze"   6:21
5. "Cello"   1:33
6. "J's Heaven"   6:45
7. "Visions of La" Halstead, Goswell 1:46
8. "Blue Skied an' Clear"   6:54
9. "All of Us"   4:09
Total length: 48:23
Additional tracks

Personnel[edit]

Slowdive
  • Neil Halstead – vocals, guitar, production
  • Rachel Goswell – vocals, guitar, production
  • Christian Savill – guitar, production
  • Nick Chaplin – bass guitar, production
  • Ian McCutcheon – drums, production
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Abebe, Nitsuh. "Pygmalion – Slowdive". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (10 February 1995). "Slowdive: Pygmalion (Creation)". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ a b Abebe, Nitsuh (28 November 2005). "Slowdive: Just for a Day / Souvlaki / Pygmalion". Pitchfork. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Slowdive: Pygmalion". Record Collector: 86. [A] masterpiece. 'Rutti''s chiming, warm guitar and almost In a Silent Way-era Miles Davis-like percussion is just gorgeous... 
  5. ^ Wallace, Wyndham (2010). "BBC – Music – Review of Slowdive – Pygmalion". BBC Music. Retrieved 8 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | Slowdive – Pygmalion". Head Heritage. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Rabid, Jack; Neate, Wilson. "TrouserPress.com :: Slowdive". TrouserPress.com. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  8. ^ Raggett, Ned. "The Top 136 or So Albums of the Nineties". Freaky Trigger. Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 28 September 2011.