As the liner notes put it, "This album marks the end of FSA phase one." Pearce later described the whole "phase one/phase two" business as something of a joke, but for a while it seemed FSA was going to call it quits in the mid-'90s, partially due to Brook's departure to concentrate on Movietone. Thankfully, the projected end of FSA turned out to be false, but it's easy to see Chorus as an intentional wrapping up (though in fact the four songs that appeared on the Outdoor Miner/Land Beyond the Sun EP did not surface here). Bringing together a scattered variety of tracks in the same way that Distance did, Chorus includes songs from singles, compilation cuts, and the entirety of a John Peel session for good measure. Two cuts appear twice in alternate versions -- the appropriately titled "Feedback Song," which also crops up in a demo take, and "There but Not There," appearing as well in a dub take and both featuring the talents of regular FSA collaborator Rocker. Even more so than Distance, Chorus captures FSA trying out a wide variety of approaches, from minimal, acoustic arrangements, as on the Brook-sung "Beach Red Lullaby," to more of the fierce and somehow elegant guitar sound swells (the mind-melting "Second Hour" providing an astonishing instance of the latter). Some fairly conventional numbers, for FSA at least, turn up -- "Always" has a lovely, pop-friendly melody that places the song much closer to out-and-out shoegazing than most of the band's other work. Pearce's singing generally favors the more shadowy, buried approach of earlier efforts than the somewhat clearer approach on Further, but still haunting and mysterious in contrast to the web of music surrounding it. Here and there various references to earlier work crop up -- continuing the series started on the self-titled debut, the stripped-down "Popul Vuh III" takes a bow.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett