The second full album by the Amazing finds the onetime side project settling further into its own existence, as the Swedish band embraces a wide temporal range of sonic touchstones revolving around the idea of lush delicacy. The title track starts the album with a sweet glaze of acoustic and electric guitars that sounds like the kind of '90s bands that loved the Cocteau Twins a little more in their later phase. It's a bit shoegaze but never heavily so, keyboards adding a bit of extra bliss and zone while the drums act as a bit of a secret punch. The singing seeps sweetly through like a bit of Richard Ashcroft goes a-ha -- and definitely not as dramatic as the former, in this case thankfully. With that, Gentle Stream feels like its title, a series of songs that are carefully arranged and performed but feel in listening like a meander down the titular object. It's a breezy, sometimes melancholy, but never dour listen, as songs like "International Hair" and "When the Colours Change" show, while without ever going full-on hero rock, a song like "Gone" fires up in context just enough. The nice sax part on "Flashlight" adds some moody grooves to the gently swinging number -- there's definitely a bit of Nick Drake at work throughout in the vocals and overall feeling, which starts coming to the fore more as the album continues -- while "Dogs" feels more like a stately classic rock number in its descending verses, at least a bit. The album as a whole clearly values the arrangements and overall instrumental performances perhaps even more than the singing, with numerous extended codas and breaks where the performers stretch out to the full.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett