1 800 222 6872

Mark Gardener/Robin Guthrie: Universal Road [Digipak] *

Track List

>Universal Road
>Old Friend
>Yesterday's News
>Cry for Survival

Album Notes

Two titans of the dream pop world clash when Mark Gardener, vocalist of Ride, and Robin Guthrie, guitarist and producer of Cocteau Twins, meet up on 2015's Universal Road album. OK, clash is exactly the opposite of what happened when they got together. Guthrie's multi-layered musical beds prove to be an almost ideal setting for Gardener's gentle wisp of a voice, and the album ends up as a serendipitous meeting of the minds instead. The ten songs are mostly subdued ballads guided by Guthrie's echoing guitars and filled in by pillowy synths; only an occasional outlier builds up a head of steam. Gardener proves right at home in the setting, imbuing his introspective lyrics with some wisdom and cushioning his tender lead vocals with soft harmonies. It's not the kind of album that leaps out at the listener demanding attention or dazzling with hooks and tricks; one has to inhabit the songs and soak in the sounds before it starts to stick. Even the noisier songs that call to mind Ride's classic sound (like "Blind" and "Dice") are so fluffy and soft to the touch that the distortion just kind of gets swept up into the cloud of melancholic reserve. That's not a bad thing at all and it makes for a peaceful, comforting listening experience. Those looking for something more dramatic or energetic will need to look elsewhere for their kicks, as these two are far more interested in creating a refined, calmly introspective mood. To that end, Universal Road succeeds and shows how powerful a true collaboration like this can be when done the right way. ~ Tim Sendra


There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review