Review: Up In The Air

Has it really been fourteen years? Yes! Also, no. ”From The Vaults: 1998-2006” came out in 2013 and ”Best of” in 2009, but the music on those were either previously released, or only new in the sense that it was so far unreleased and not newly composed. But yes! It’s been fourteen years since ”Intercept!” and finally Simon and Neil got back together to record brand new music for us. While ”Up In The Air” is apparantly an EP to preface an entire full length album, it’s still eight real tracks totalling 40 minutes which is more than some people’s albums these days. Not only that, they’re all worth your time.

On my first listen, the second track called ”Come on home” is the one that I like the most. Probably not in small part due to the wonderful and silly ending, I’m sure. But after a few listens, other tunes emerge clearer winners. The odd singing of ”Misty” create an original atmosphere, and ”Friends” is a perfect relatively-uptempo ending to the whole thing – a ”single” track which any other band would have fronted their record with. ”Eagle and Swan” is absolutely wonderful, while ”When you come by” and ”A girl like you” definitely echoes Simon’s recent solo output with the analog synths and big chords.

As usual, for manic fans like me there’s a list of samples to identify and the old, scratchy vinyls they’re on to purchase. And while my interest over time has given me questional material in my crates such as Captain & Tennille and David Essex, this time I’m gaining insight into great music by Tír na nÓg and Risa Potters.

”Up In The Air” is all we want from Bent, and sure – I could register a few minor complaints but I don’t really want to. Especially not with even more Bent on the way in the new year. Perhaps there’s not enough random injections of fun just for the hell of it? In any case, I love it, probably more than ”Intercept!” on the whole, and since I’m only on about my 20th listen so far I should get back to it. I can’t seem to get all these new tracks out of my head, and I’ve been listening to them for weeks.

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