Review: The Church

The Church
“Parallel Universe”
(Thirst Ear)

The title to this exquisite double-CD set reflects the fact that the recordings were made concurrently, or in parallel, with the opus “After Everything Now This”. As such, the set includes not only remixes of tracks on that album, but new material as well. This explosion of creativity comes from the reunion of the founding 1980 lineup. (Incidentally, drummer Tim Powles longevity in the group made him the longest serving drummer in band history.) The group maintained this lineup even though separated by continents, meaning this material was three years in the making. Perhaps the high quality of the end result has something to do not only with the great experience of these music architects, but forced time to thing and consider over such a drawn-out project. The crisp, focused, post-psychedelic pop created by The Church continues to refine a winning and somewhat dark fusion of ambiguous, though-provoking lyrics with vivid metaphor with intelligent, sophisticated guitar-pop that survives as some of the best music out of the AOR movement for its inherent quality.