Glide, Disappear Here (Hypnotized/Shock)

Glide have been critics' darlings for some time, but so far that hasn't translated easily into commercial success or—here comes the contentious claim—wholly successful recordings. Despite some extremely promising early EPs, their debut album, Open Up and Croon, seemed slightly too rough around the edges to work.

Disappear Here should, hopefully, change all that. And the strange thing is that the basic ingredients are the same: the "Glide sound" has survived intact despite changes in the band's line-up. The difference is in the strength of the songs. Disappear Here opens well with the Spanish-guitar-style touches of "You Were Always More Than a Trick To Me, Ray", and then only gets better. While the first single, "What Do I Know?", is familiar Glide fare (which is certainly not to say it's a bad song), William Arthur's subsequent vocal twists in "Two Wrists" leave you feeling there's plenty of surprises in him yet. "Tangled" is a particular highlight, with its vivid imagery of an exasperated partner in a relationship "Flipping like a fish gasping for breath/Tangled up in a net".

The remaining highlights are clustered at the end: "Hole in the Middle", "Ripped and Stripped", and "Cradlesong", all of which seem preoccupied, in lyrical terms, with peeling away a person's outer layers (of personality, of clothing, and of anything else that gets in the way by the sounds of it—William, you devil, you). These songs' musical embellishments—a touch of organ on "Hole...", female backing vocals on "Cradlesong"—work well, and show a promising path for further development in Glide's music, which can at times sound a tad too comfortable with the guitars-bass-drums format.

Disappear Here is a fine album. Let's hope the title has nothing to say about the fate of Glide.


This page: 31 January 2000; last modified 16 February 2001.

©2000 Rory Ewins