Fans of Puressence's first album who thought it couldn't be bettered might have to rethink on listening to Planet Helpless, their third and most consummate work to date. There are unquestionably more than a few efforts on this disc that match up to the exuberance of their debut. 12 tracks of almost equal length prove that with consistency alone they are continuously working away from such tags as Madchester-era hangers-on, and Ride -- or even U2 -- soundalikes. Lead vocalist James Mudriczki has the gift of the nearest thing to a natural falsetto you might ever hear which makes the group unique; while the rest of the band form the tightest and most accomplished of sounds. All this and more can be gleaned from the commanding opener "Walking Dead," with its thumping and driving style at which Puressence alone are most proficient. There's an archetypal quality to the haunting songs found here too, as in "Prodigal Song," where an oft-used chord structure is made their own with the use of echoes and hums, and on "Comfort When you Smile," where spacey keyboards are used to similar effect. Less expected are the upbeat "She's Gotten Over You" and "You Move Me," as is the Mexican-style brass fill and the French accordion on "How Does it Feel?," but these are a welcome addition to the moodiness found on previous albums, and replicated here in full effect on "Make Time"." Affiliated with an industry which likes to push its artists to progress, Puressence stand firm; emotive, sharp, and relentless.
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AllMusic Review by Owen Guthrie-Jones