It is difficult to write music that addresses either the delicate balance or the ever-more-rapid destruction of the planet without over-egging it – without the finished piece coming off as trite and/or the writer coming off as a wannabe eco-champion who’s just in it for their own ego. But The Golden Archipelago is a record that explores this turbulent and terrible time in the life-cycle of our earth without preaching, without getting pious. It makes its statement simply by describing the things we stand to lose, their power and yet their precariousness.»
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the cd comes packaged with a 50 page perfect-bound book that is a dossier of records, photos, regulations and images collected by shearwater's jonathan meiburg. 'the golden archipelago' is the third album in a triptych of mindblowingly beautiful, dense and ambitious excursions about man's impact on the natural world from austin's shearwater. this time singer / songwriter jonathan meiburg turns his attention to life on islands - a world of lushness and austerity, silence and sudden cataclysms. from rising sea levels to displaced populations, meiburg travels from the falklands to madgascar, from the bikini atoll to the tierra del fuego. the music matches the grandeur and melancholy of its subject matter. this is an album album, in the larger sense of the word. meiburg's soaring vocals and complex song structures recall opuses like kate bush's 'hounds of love,' husker du's 'zen arcade' and even classic pink floyd. meiburg's grandfather's wwii experiences as a radiooperator in the south pacific help weave these times and places together with feelings of wonder, grief, and defiance.
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