Windsor For The Derby Giving Up the Ghost

Tightening the proverbial screws, the newest release from this institution ratchets up the pop factor and delivers a lovely album that, while slightly wispy, shows that, six albums in Windsor for the Derby still have lots of surprises in their arsenal. The key to this triumphant album is reliance on warmer instruments. Unlike their last album, Windsor for the Derby put the electronics to the background and keep the emphasis on lightly overlaid guitars, keeping the fuzz and noise to the supremely head-nodding "Praise” and the slight "Gathering.” One of the better examples of the warmth is "The Light Is On,” which works best while relaxing and doing just the most delicate of meditating. While the warmer feel means length is lost to many of the songs, the middle epic "Giving Up” actually works the best, as it touches beauty on many occasions. The beginning has a very gradual build-up, adding the guitars, somewhat hushed vocals and subtle undulations till their purpose is fully realised at the half-way mark. This is when the lead vocals deliver the emotional punch and where Giving Up the Ghost is at its quietly urgent and beguiling best. (Secretly Canadian)