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The Church
PARALLEL UNIVERSE
(THIRSTY EAR)

Stars graphics

Itís unfortunate that the Church chose their 2002 album, After Everything Now This (Thirsty Ear), to be the basis of this remix album. Everything shimmered with the Australian groupís usual mystical pop darkness but lacked the crispness that made their 1980s catalogue and lone Top 40 hit, "Under the Milky Way," snap with energy. So despite its pulsing beats and textures, Parallel Universeís deconstruction of Everything elicited the same ennui. Whether meandering through interminable trip-hop on "Distant x Unseen" or drowning in zooming sound effects on "Let Y = X (Survival Mix)," the album wanders aimlessly, finding neither structure nor resolution in the hazy electronica æther. The most successful tracks are a spunky live reworking of "Seen It Coming" and the New Order-ish "Stay All Night (Kings Mix)." A bonus disc of six new songs suffers from the same drifting malaise; only "1st Woman on the Moon," a deliciously desolate tribute to Brian Enoís ambient side, and "Twin Star," which wriggles with vibrant, dueling guitar lines, conjure the magical, innovative Church of yore.

BY ANNIE ZALESKI

Issue Date: December 5 - 12, 2002
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