As I mentioned in my post about Hit The Floor, Tall Ships' debut album came out on the 8th of this month. I received my pre-order the following Friday and now here it is for you. I bought it from the band's store for a quite nice £12, and there appear to be black copies of the record currently still available direct from them.
I'm a really big fan of the cover. It's pretty simple and yet looks really good. Top drawer.
Inside the sleeve there's a compactly-folded insert. Based on the size, I'd guess it's the same insert as the CD version of the album. One side of it's some more nice artwork, the other side features all of the lyrics for the album (which, if you click through to the large version of the image, you should be able to read. I'm nice like that). I like this insert.
Yassssssssss. I said there were black copies of the record still available from the band but I swooped early and managed to get a white version limited to 100. It's a lovely ever-so-slightly creamy white, which compliments the pastel-shaded art of the inner sleeve and record labels. You can also just about see in the photo that there's a little black streak in my copy, which I find quite pleasant.
Now I need to speak of the music. This is going to be slightly difficult for me so I'm going to offer a short version and a long version.
Short version: it's good. Parts of it are incredible. It is completely worth listening to.
Long version: it's good, but I wish it was different. Specifically, I wish Ode To Ancestors and Books were different. Both have been re-recorded and, while the new versions sound more in keeping with the rest of the album, I can't help but feel that something has been lost. The somewhat cheesy synths of both have been removed and I miss them greatly. Books in particular seems to lack its previous urgency, feeling even longer due to Send News serving as an extended intro to the song. The original version of Ode is probably my favourite Tall Ships song, so I was never going to be able to cope with it being changed very well. This is a personal problem for me though, there's nothing objectively wrong with either song and I'm sure you'll enjoy both if you've never heard the original versions. My disappointment with these changes is tempered slightly by the fact that the two songs are followed by arguably the best tracks on the album. Ode To Ancestors is followed by the appropriately-titled and lyrically delightful Gallop, while Books is followed by the slow-building might of Murmurations. For all the negativity of this paragraph, I do really like this album. I've listened to it an awful lot recently and seeing the band live on Sunday, a lot of the songs come across really well live. For a debut album, this is pretty impressive.