You've got to wonder what sort of turn the band meeting took when someone in British Sea Power proposed crafting a score to the 1934 documentary Man of Aran. Granted, these dudes drress up in World War I garb and perform with giant fake birds on stage, but still. The group's last three albums invited references to Joy Division and the Pixies. Here British Sea Power turn in a brilliant soundtrack that marks their first go at post-rock and manages to overshadow most other groups with its deft craftsmanship. They easily master the tension-and-release dynamic that marks that genre, while packing an overwhelming amount of emotional resonance. Whether it's the epic yet sparse lost-at-sea-lament "The South Sound" or the slow-building, Irish-folk-flavored indie of "No Man Is an Archipelago," this is a gorgeous addition to the world of instrumental rock. — Matt Whelihan
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