I am really, really loving this album. It is a basically a look back, in “Hindsight,” at Anathema’s earlier classics. They have re-recorded some of their timeless classics in a semi-acoustic format but still maintained their recent atmospheric electronic sound. I love these old songs and their original arrangements, so right off the bat it would be hard for me to like the new versions, notwithstanding the fact, as an earlier reviewer stated, that the production on the earliest albums (Eternity, Alternative 4) wasn’t the best. However, especially after a few listens, I absolutely love these versions. Most surprisingly, I love the new version of “One Last Goodbye” more than the original, which I never thought would happen because the original is so amazing.
The reason why I cannot give this album 5 stars is that while the recordings are great, I do highly dislike the synthesized sound they have used for the solos on Angelica, Inner Silence, and others. It is a high pitched synth sound that sounds like it is changing octaves continuously. I find this sound disconcerting and feel it doesn’t do the strong melodies justice (though it does fit the electronic, atmospheric sound they have created). I feel using a violin (there are a lot of strings used on this album) or just an elecrtic guitar sound would have been more enjoyable. But this is just a highly personal taste, and I can look past this and still really enjoy the album. Unfortunately, it really keeps it from being 5 stars for me. Hopefully it is 5 stars for you!