Errors: Have Some Faith In Magic Review

Every time I decide it has wearied me, Errors’ Have Some Faith In Magic tugs a little harder and pulls me back towards its cloudy, elusive heart.

How do you start to assess this amorphous, paradoxical album? Relaxing then irritating, shapeless then focused, familiar then alien. It’s hard to get a grip on it.

So perhaps it’s better to start with the facts. Have Some Faith in Magic is the third album from Errors, the Mogwai-managed band of four who offer up an electronic, choral mist of noise, stretched across ten songs.

Their song titles seem to carry significance. Magna Encarta, Pleasure Palaces, Cloud Chamber and Barton Spring all suggest a kind of intoxicated, romantic affinity with nature; edged with a sharp curiosity yet, somehow, all feel organic and spectacular.

Electronic, yes, but I imagine Have Some Faith In Magic would complement a walk over hills in the Lake District. Perhaps it’s the aspirational quality of Errors’ music, is always reaching up and stretching away from you.

Yet this too is where the problems lie, as it’s hard to get a grip on this floating, swelling sound.

Occasionally Error’s new music apparent disorganisation will send it swirling away and the listener might disengage. At others, or perhaps even in those very moments, it will descend upon you, making you feel utterly amongst it.

In this way, Have Some Faith In Magic is music to sleep to. And I mean that as a complement.

When it isn’t drugged-out, when its pulse-beat doesn’t get inside you, it’s usually because of something too familiar, like the moment in Earthscore when it starts too closely to resemble chase music that’s come running all the way from the eighties.

However, for all its electronic dialings and scratchings, its shiftings and jostlings, this is restless music too. Even when you’re drifting off to it. Somehow these two opposing concepts meet brilliantly with the choral force of Errors’ chanting, stirring echoes of Cocteau Twins as their drifting exhalations stretch to the next level of linguistic abandonment.

And Have Some Faith In Magic is deeply pleasant to spend time with.

Why then do I struggle for a conclusion? Everything is accomplished, certainly. Though this is Errors first significant experimentation with vocals it feels like they’ve always been there, like the wind or stone. And apart from the previously mentioned Earthscore, never does a melody irritate.

But neither do they haunt, and perhaps that’s the problem. Whenever I listen to Have Some Faith In Magic, the record accompanies me like a haze of familiarly scented smoke. But when the music stops, it doesn’t linger and I don’t find myself longing for it.

That’s not to say that others won’t. Errors’ imploring album title is sincere and worth heeding, for they do deliver something magical, even if this is only fleeting.

It’s not such a bad thing, to suffer life’s only unavoidable weakness.

James Munroe

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Dates ‘n stuff

January 2012