Scouse-psych folk-rock opus gets the unplugged treatment.
It would be easy to see this album as a cynical cash in, milking the goodwill towards last year's classic album for maximum financial return, while giving little in return.
Although missing the character and bite of the original versions, this is a master-class in melody and a better insight into James Skelly's vague yet meaningful lyrics.
The 12 songs from the original album (plus new instrumental “Dreamland”) are stripped of the Forever Changes style baroque folk flourishes, and re-worked with no percussion, and heavy on vocal harmony and 12-string jangle. Recorded in one session the album is not without its imperfections, but that's part of its demo-ish charm.
Not essential, but an absorbing stopgap from a band at the top of their game.