MONEY – The Shadow of Heaven
Exploring The Shadow of Heaven is like walking around a cold, cavernous, stately mansion. The ecclesiastical architecture gives space for the tracks to resonate, and Jamie Lee’s soft crooning echoes down its corridors, seeking out musings on mortality and isolation. Gloom permeates; deeply melancholic Goodnight London, with insistent piano its only accompaniment, evokes an urban loneliness; likewise Black treads mournfully into night as the album ends.
By contrast, there’s a calm jubilance to opener So Long (God Is Dead), and when the pressure breaks on Cold Water, the resultant echoic clangs and crashes are uplifting. Who’s Going To Love You Now even recalls a buoyant (though haunting) Funeral-era Arcade Fire; light versus the gloom. Indeed, the LP’s strength is in its immiscibility, its irreconcilability. By turns bleak and yearning, Mancunian quartet MONEY embrace that conflict, and share with us a searching, dissatisfied record, restlessly pawing at shadows for resolution.