The Church

Forget Yourself

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With label woes, a rotation of drummers, and Stateside disinterest, the 1990s were difficult for the Church. Tough enough that most would have expected the veteran Australian rock act -- cursed in North America as a one-hit wonder for 1988's "Under the Milky Way," despite an impressive catalog that dates back to 1981 -- to throw it all away by now, or at least cash in through some nostalgia tour. Not so. Instead, the quartet took to the studio for three months, jamming with one another unhindered, and then piecing together the fruits of their labor. The resulting Forget Yourself, the Church's 17th album, is a timeless, magical disc that is easily as strong as anything from their 1980s peak. The group's most notable trademarks -- Steve Kilbey's distinctively deep, resonant voice, and Marty Willson-Piper's shimmering guitar roar -- are immediately audible on tracks like the stuttering, melodic "Sealine," and the dreamy "Song in Space." As Forget Yourself evolves, however, the real brilliance peeks through on lush numbers like "Telepath," "Maya," and "June," all boasting the ethereal moments that made early discs like Remote Luxury and Heyday fan favorites. That's not to say the brooding drama of "The Theatre and Its Double" gets the group off course, but there are enough super tunes here ("Don't You Fall" and "I Kept Everything" are some more) to tag their latest a tremendous return to form.

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