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Oooof. This is tough. Milagres are, in many ways, an accomplished band. Talented. Wonderful sounding. Inspiring. Original. And Glowing Mouth is, in many ways, a seriously tasty album. Kyle Wilson’s imagery is dreamy; like he’s a portal for all the good stuff that nature throws together and needs a mouthpiece for.
I’m sorry, though, but, well, I’m BRITISH, you see and, aside from a few city breaks, here and there, a month in Europe about 10 years ago… other than that, I’ve been on this here island, pretty much non-stop for the last 30 years. The radio’s been on in the background and I sometimes have it on in my car when I get bored of my tape collection. I had to listen to Radio 2 for 7.5 hours a day when I worked in a charity shop because it was all that the old ladies could stomach. I’ve got a mum. And a dad. I’ve had some friends, as the years have passed, that have had some dubious taste in music. I go to festivals, you know. I’m pretty confident in crowds, so usually I spend the end of the evenings on my own, divving about to something on my own. But sometimes I need the company, so I stick around with my friends and see whatever it is they want to see. I fold my arms in disgust and they laugh at me and call me a ‘muso’.
What I’m getting at here is: I’ve seen Coldplay. I’ve heard them, they are everywhere. I am equal parts disinterested in them and offended by them. Oh and if we can squeeze another equal part in there then I’m probably quite likely to sing along when they are played on the radio.
And I am sorry that it’s come to this. I am sorry that the only thing I can actually think of when I listen to Milagres is Coldplay. I’m sorry because I know very well that I am not the first to have said it and I am sure that there are other, more interesting and articulate things that you can say about the Milagres album. I’m sorry because I am quite certain that Milagres deserve better. Part of me feels like if Coldplay had never existed (imagine!!! imagine!!), Milagres would, undoubtedly still sound the way they do. I guess, if you have a singer and the timbre of his voice is somehow genetically linked to the timbre of Chris Martin’s voice, maybe you just need to start a death metal band?
Listening to the title track, you get glimmers of alternative reference points; vocal lines that lilt like DM Stith, instrumentation that’s soft and homely like Villagers. Essentially though – it all comes back to Coldplay. I listen to Milagres but I hear Coldplay. Somewhere in there, I think he sings something about an emperor. Somewhere, some time, I think Chris Martin did that. It’s not helping matters, you know?