Therapy?

Semi-Detached

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If you convinced the staff at the psych ward to let you out after listening to Infernal Love for two weeks straight, you might have caught wind of Therapy?'s fourth studio record, released two years later. The U.S. branch of A&M opted not to release Semi-Detached, so odds are pretty good that some of the band's stateside fans found out about it much later on. Since Therapy? made no signs of crossing over into the rap-metal territory that was just beginning to prove profitable, the U.S. decision-makers likely felt that the band was no longer marketable. Infernal Love's drab tone didn't help, though. Nonetheless, Semi-Detached deserved more ears upon release. The band would later admit to lacking direction and focus while recording it, but you really wouldn't know that when listening to it. Fyfe Ewing abandoned ship prior to recording, replaced by Graham Hopkins. Martin McCarrick, who had supplied cello for the band, was added as an official member on guitar and strings. Whether or not the transitional nature led to a perceived state of haziness is up for debate, but it's pound-for-pound a fine record. It's not as harrowing as Infernal Love, and it registers as 12 songs rather than a thematic slab. A return to defiantly anthemic melody is present, but there's nothing overtly poppy. The guitars gnaw and latch on. Andy Cairns' usual subject matter remains, but the songwriting is at its least clich├ęd. It's no masterpiece, but it's probably their second or third best record -- hardly something to fret over.

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