Untitled #23

The Church

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Untitled #23 Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

That slight trace of mystery and ambiguity in the title of Untitled #23 is a vague signal that the Church is returning to the spacy, hazy territory of their heyday on this, their 23rd album. The Church has never quite left this swirling psychedelia behind, but Untitled #23 has a delicate, suspended quality, floating at an elevated distance above earth. It's familiar yet not tired because the Church has a unified sense of purpose here, crafting tightly written songs that are then expanded and elongated when recorded, giving them an otherworldly quality. What impresses is the assured, masterly touch: the Church has been at this so long, they weave their spell seamlessly, so it's only when examining the list of the many, many records that preceded this that Untitled #23 seems unique: they have done many good, verging on excellent records, over the past decade, but only this has the songs and the atmosphere to be placed next to their best albums.

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