This week’s venture into my collection brings us to Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern. But before I go into the album, I feel like I should provide some back-story about how I came across it…
When I would go home for the summer I’d work at Circle K (I’ve never really had lofty ambitions of any kind). It was an easy summer gig. Anyway, whenever I worked I’d totally take over the radio. If I was working with someone with similar taste I’d put it on 92.1 KFMA which was the alternative-rock station (which should tell you how long ago this was) and if I was working with someone with different taste we’d listen to oldies on 92.9.
Well, it was KFMA that introduced me to plenty of new bands. Because of that station I fell in love with “Everlong”. It’s also the station that gave me my first taste of Ben Folds Five with “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces”. But Mansun’s “Wide Open Space” really did something to me.
Whenever it came on Marcia and I would totally slow everything down and give the song it’s due. That song will always remind me of that summer.
So, because I was just venturing outside of hip-hop and I had a song that I liked I eventually went out and got the album. Of course I never gave it the proper attention, so here we are.
Attack of the Grey Lantern is full of songs with soaring vocals and songs that feel kind of epic. It’s definitely one of those albums that’s meant to transport the listener—a notion that’s buttressed by some quick wiki-research, as apparently it’s a concept album, but the U.S. version has an altered song order, making it impossible to follow.
“Mansun’s Only Love Song” would be perfect mixtape material were it not for the on-the-nose title. “Taxloss” sounds like a throwback to the ’60s in terms of beat and harmonies. And the album ends on “Dark Mavis”, a song that builds up to become a great album closer.
While nothing from this album will ever come anywhere near heavy rotation, I’m glad that I’ve become more well-versed in Mansun as a result of giving it a few spins.