The Church

Parallel Universe

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The Church runneth over at the start of the new millennium, as Steve Kilbey and the rest of the tenured band released Parallel Universe, not just one but two discs, all of music that has been released before. And then again, it's also all new. The first disc, subtitled "Remixture," contains songs that were worked on during the sessions of the band's preceding After Everything Now This, or as the liner notes claim, "alternate outcomes" of those songs. Not remixes in the strict sense, but that doesn't stop the record from feeling like a remix album; whether that's a Pavlovian reaction or due to the fact that the record isn't a coherent, cohesive unit, an unfortunate reality for most remix discs, is up to the listener to decide. The second disc, entitled "Mixture," is made up of six tracks that were unreleased before this set came out, but culled from the same time frame as the other recordings. This is also quite evident from the familiar feel to the proceedings. To be sure, both discs accentuate the spacy, neo-psychedelic facets of the Church above anything else. This is regrettable in that the loss of the band's pop genius is glaringly missed, a reality that is only partially offset by the move from dated '80s soundscapes to something more contemporary. This is also a continuation from After Everything Now This, making this a chapter that the band is unwilling to let go, for better and for worse.

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