The Church


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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett

Whether it was the assistance of Peter Walsh on production, a decision to bear down and see what could be done, or some further combination of that and other factors, the Church came up with its best release since The Blurred Crusade with the powerful Heyday. Not changing anything in the basic Church sound but presenting both a brilliant slew of songs and some fantastic performances, the quartet created a flat-out fantastic record. The first side alone almost reads like a greatest-hits collection, with one highlight following hard on the other. "Myrrh," leading things off with a careful build up to the main part of the song much like "When You Were Mine," has a strange chorus that almost shouldn't work but does. It's only two lines long and sung in harmony by the full band, all while Willson-Piper and Koppes' guitars keep things moving. "Tristesse" begins with a playful guitar line before shifting into another mid-paced, just dreamy enough effort. "Already Yesterday," with a fine, low-key backing choir, the dramatic "Columbus" and the gentle, string-touched instrumental "Happy Hunting Ground" continue the mood, one lovely moment after another. The second side kicks off with a barnstormer, "Tantalized," easily the band's most aggressive and upfront song since its earliest days. With horns and bells adding to the rushed feel, Kilbey delivers quickly sung verses and staccato choruses, the music continuing to soar along as Willson-Piper and Koppes turn in brilliant guitar work. Add to that further horn and string orchestrations on songs like the wistful "Youth Worshipper" and "Night of Light," and Heyday is a total success.

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