Two Suns

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Two Suns
Bat for Lashes - Two Suns.png
Studio album by
Released3 April 2009 (2009-04-03)
Studio
GenreArt rock[1]
Length45:08
Label
Producer
Bat for Lashes chronology
Fur and Gold
(2006)
Two Suns
(2009)
The Haunted Man
(2012)
Alternative cover
Special edition cover
Special edition cover
Singles from Two Suns
  1. "Daniel"
    Released: 1 March 2009
  2. "Pearl's Dream"
    Released: 22 June 2009
  3. "Sleep Alone"
    Released: 7 September 2009[2]

Two Suns is the second studio album by English singer Bat for Lashes. It was released on 3 April 2009 by The Echo Label and Parlophone. The album was produced by Khan herself and David Kosten (who also worked on her debut album Fur and Gold),[3][4] and features collaborations with members of Yeasayer and Scott Walker.[5] Two Suns was recorded in segments in California, New York City, London, Brighton and Wales.[3]

Upon its release, Two Suns was met with positive reviews from most critics. Additionally, it was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2009,[6] Khan's second nomination after Fur and Gold in 2007.[7] On 31 July 2009, Two Suns was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), for shipments of 100,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[8] It debuted at number two on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart and has sold 56,000 copies in United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[9] As of June 2012, the album had sold 250,000 copies worldwide.[10]

Concept[edit]

According to the accompanying press release, Two Suns is "a record of modern-day fables exploring dualities on a number of levels—two lovers, two planets, two sides of a personality", bringing reflection about "the philosophy of the self and duality, examining the need for both chaos and balance, for both love and pain, in addition to touching on metaphysical ideas concerning the connections between all existence." In Two Suns, Khan also presents an alter ego named Pearl, described by the press release as "a destructive, self-absorbed, blonde, femme fatale of a persona who acts as a direct foil to Khan's more mystical, desert-born spiritual self."[3]

Promotion[edit]

"Daniel" was released on 1 March 2009 as the album's lead single, reaching number thirty-six on the UK Singles Chart. Both "Siren Song" and the 909s in DarkTimes mix of "Sleep Alone" were featured in the first season of the American supernatural drama television series The Vampire Diaries,[11] while only the latter was included on the series' soundtrack album.[12] The song "Glass" was used in the trailer for the 2012 video game Assassin's Creed III: Liberation.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic76/100[14]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[15]
The A.V. ClubB+[16]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[17]
The Guardian4/5 stars[18]
MSN Music (Consumer Guide)C[19]
NME8/10[20]
Pitchfork8.5/10[21]
Q4/5 stars[22]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[23]
Spin8/10[1]

Two Suns received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 76, based on 32 reviews.[14] Kevin Liedel of Slant Magazine called it "dark, but never needlessly so", and wrote that it "offers a rich, distinct world of subterranean lullabies, spacey timbres, and ghostly beauty."[24] Mark Pytlik of Pitchfork called it a "significant step forward from her debut" and "home to some of the year's most thrilling music so far."[21] Tim Chester of NME described Two Suns as "a brilliant pop album", commenting that it is "epic in scope and ambition and requires a similarly epic patience to unravel its charms".[20] Barry Walters of Spin wrote that "this art-rock Joan of Arc gushes duality motifs that thwart narrative but overflow with moonstruck sensuality."[1] The A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal commented that "Khan's sublime voice easily distracts from any lyrical ponderousness, and it lends even lines about 'diamonds burning through rainbows' a dreamy sort of sense."[16] The Guardian's Dorian Lynskey called it "fantastic as well as fantastical", noting that "[w]hereas her debut relied on charisma and imagination to paper over the songwriting cracks, [Two Suns] is agleam with striking melodies".[18] Melissa Maerz of Rolling Stone felt that "[s]omehow, the music melts away the potential for hokeyness ... Khan proves she's a powerhouse under her billowy sleeves."[23]

AllMusic's Heather Phares complimented Khan's "considerable skills at telling a story and setting a mood", but critiqued that "the album's massive concepts and sounds require a little more time and patience to unravel to get to the songs' hearts. It's clear that Khan's talent and ambition are both huge".[15] PopMatters' Erin Lyndal Martin felt that Khan "can do much better than some of the songs, which are weakened by synths, sophomoric lyrics, and sonic clutter." Martin continued, "While the weaker songs are definitely not throwaways, they miss the mark in more than one way."[25] Andy Gill of The Independent found its "patina and keyboard tones" "blander" than Fur and Gold's music and said that it is difficult to "take Khan's stories seriously when she slips into blather about 'a stranger in a strange land' and 'a vast and unknowable universe'."[26] Robert Christgau of MSN Music found her "as ill-informed about astronomy as she is about love" and the musical experimentation "unworthy of your brainlength".[19]

Slant Magazine placed the album at number 97 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s decade.[27]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Natasha Khan, except where noted.

No.TitleLength
1."Glass"4:32
2."Sleep Alone"4:04
3."Moon and Moon"3:09
4."Daniel"4:11
5."Peace of Mind"3:29
6."Siren Song"4:58
7."Pearl's Dream"4:45
8."Good Love"4:30
9."Two Planets"4:48
10."Travelling Woman"3:48
11."The Big Sleep"2:54

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Two Suns.[31]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[8] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Edition Label Ref.
Australia 3 April 2009 Standard Spunk [48]
Germany EMI [49]
France 6 April 2009 [50]
United Kingdom
  • CD
  • LP
  • digital download
[51]
United States 7 April 2009 Astralwerks [52]
Finland 8 April 2009
  • CD
  • digital download
EMI [53]
Italy 17 April 2009 [54]
Germany 4 September 2009 CD+DVD Special [55]
United Kingdom 7 September 2009
  • Echo
  • Parlophone
[29]
Finland 9 September 2009 EMI [56]
France 5 October 2009 [57]
United States 3 November 2009 Astralwerks [58]
Japan 6 January 2010
  • CD
  • digital download
Standard P-Vine [30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tracks 1–7 and 10
  2. ^ All tracks
  3. ^ Tracks 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8
  4. ^ Tracks 1 and 9
  5. ^ Tracks 2, 4 and 7
  6. ^ Track 5
  7. ^ Track 8
  8. ^ Track 10
  9. ^ Scott Walker's vocals on track 11

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Walters, Barry (April 2009). "Reviews [Albums]". Spin. Vol. 25 no. 4. p. 76. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 3 July 2016 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Watch the 'Sleep Alone' Video". batforlashes.com. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Scott, Bruce (20 January 2009). "Album Review: Bat for Lashes – Two Suns". Prefix. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Bat For Lashes announces new album plans and tour dates". NME. 9 January 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  5. ^ Dombal, Ryan (9 January 2009). "Bat for Lashes Gets Scott Walker, Yeasayer". Pitchfork. Retrieved 15 January 2009.
  6. ^ Swash, Rosie (21 July 2009). "Mercury prize 2009 nominations announced". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  7. ^ Pidd, Helen (5 September 2007). "Klaxons are the big noise on Mercury awards night". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  8. ^ a b "British album certifications – Bat for Lashes – Two Suns". British Phonographic Industry. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2014. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Two Suns in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  9. ^ "Fall Album Preview 2012". Billboard. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  10. ^ Goodwyn, Tom (13 June 2012). "Bat For Lashes announces new album and UK tour". NME. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
  11. ^ "Bat for Lashes – Soundtrack". IMDb. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  12. ^ "The Vampire Diaries [Original TV Soundtrack]". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  13. ^ Shetler, Scott (7 June 2012). "'Assassin's Creed 3' Trailer – What's the Song?". Diffuser.fm. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
  14. ^ a b "Reviews for Two Suns by Bat For Lashes". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  15. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Two Suns – Bat for Lashes". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  16. ^ a b O'Neal, Sean (7 April 2009). "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  17. ^ Perry, Andrew (2 April 2009). "Bat For Lashes – Two Suns, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  18. ^ a b Lynskey, Dorian (3 April 2009). "Two Suns: Bat for Lashes". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
  19. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (May 2009). "Consumer Guide". MSN Music. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  20. ^ a b Chester, Tim (2 April 2009). "Album Review: Bat For Lashes". NME. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  21. ^ a b Pytlik, Mark (10 April 2009). "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  22. ^ "Bat for Lashes: Two Suns". Q. No. 274. May 2009. p. 118. ISSN 0955-4955.
  23. ^ a b Maerz, Melissa (1 April 2009). "Two Suns : Bat For Lashes". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 11 April 2009. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  24. ^ Liedel, Kevin (6 April 2009). "Bat for Lashes: Two Suns". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2018.
  25. ^ Martin, Erin Lyndal (8 April 2009). "Bat for Lashes: Two Suns". PopMatters. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  26. ^ Gill, Andy (3 April 2009). "Album: Bat For Lashes, Two Suns (Parlophone)". The Independent. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  27. ^ "Best of the Aughts: Albums". Slant Magazine. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  28. ^ "Two Suns by Bat for Lashes". iTunes Store (UK). Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  29. ^ a b c "Two Suns [CD+DVD]: Bat for Lashes". Amazon (UK). Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  30. ^ a b "「Two Suns」Bat for Lashes" (in Japanese). P-Vine Records. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  31. ^ Two Suns (liner notes). Bat for Lashes. Parlophone. 2009. 6930202.CS1 maint: others (link)
  32. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Albums – Week Commencing 27th April 2009" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association (1000): 6. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012 – via Pandora Archive.
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  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Bat for Lashes – Two Suns" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  35. ^ "Top Stranih – Tjedan 2. 2010". Top of the Shops (in Croatian). Archived from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  36. ^ "European Albums – Week of April 25, 2009". Billboard. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
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  38. ^ "Lescharts.com – Bat for Lashes – Two Suns". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  39. ^ "Top 50 Ξένων Aλμπουμ – Εβδομάδα 17/2009" [Top 50 Foreign Albums – Week 17/2009] (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  40. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 18, 2009". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  41. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Bat for Lashes – Two Suns". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  42. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  43. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Bat for Lashes – Two Suns". Hung Medien. Retrieved 25 March 2012.
  44. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  45. ^ "Bat for Lashes Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  46. ^ "Bat for Lashes Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  47. ^ "UK Year-End Charts 2009" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. p. 7. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  48. ^ "Two Suns – Bat For Lashes". JB Hi-Fi. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  49. ^ "Bat for Lashes // Two Suns" (in German). EMI Music Germany. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  50. ^ "Two suns : Bat for Lashes" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  51. ^ "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns". HMV. Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
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  53. ^ "Bat For Lashes: Two Suns" (in Finnish). EMI Music Finland. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  54. ^ "Bat for Lashes – Two Suns" (in Italian). IBS.it. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
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  57. ^ "Two suns – Inclus DVD bonus : Bat for Lashes" (in French). Fnac. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  58. ^ "Two Suns (Special Edition): Bat For Lashes". Amazon (US). Retrieved 6 April 2012.