The new Public Service Broadcasting album has arrived and The Race For Space is a fully blown concept album....
Whilst on the debut album the archive samples could seem forced or tacked on, this time they add real depth and feeling to the story
The album opens with the famous JFK speech ("we go not to the moon because it is easy but because it is hard") backed by a choir before the Sputnik pulses along on a Kraftwerk beat. The single Gagarin is a much funkier proposition full of brass
The real emotional heart is almost Porcupine Tree like The Other Side which depicts the first Apollo flight to the dark side of the moon (pun probably intended) As ground control loses contact with the rocket, the track lapses into silence and really give a real sense of tension before contact is resumed - quite stunning
The Smoke Fairies add some lovely vocal harmony to Valentina which brings something different to the album rather than the sampled voices.
This is a short old school album - 9 tracks at approx 40 mins - so nothing is superfluous or unnecessary.... It needs repeated listens and always in one sitting as befits a concept album but this could turn out to be up there with the great prog concept albums in terms of fantastic storytelling