The Church Untitled #23

The Church Untitled #23
Throughout their 30-year career, Australian band the Church have been in and out of the spotlight thanks to a few hit records and a devoted following that has been tested by some of the group's less memorable efforts. Yet 2009 looks to be a very notable year for the band, thanks to a couple of solo albums from core members Steve Kilbey and Marty Willson-Piper, plus the release of the band's 23rd album. Untitled #23 isn't a radical departure from where the band have been heading recently but everything falls into place this time. The songs are given time to develop and meander, plus their more psychedelic side is allowed to come to the forefront. While the overall mood is melancholic, songs like opener "Cobalt Blue" or "Happenstance," with its chiming guitars, stop the proceedings from getting too dark despite the vividness of the lyrics. Untitled #23 captures the band at the height of their renaissance; it doesn't have a single weak spot and just might be the best album they've ever released. (Second Motion)