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Crystal Fighters - Star Of Love (Acoustic Version) (2011 LP)

I’m so excited about this album. It's been a very long time since I've been this happy to listen to music. Crystal Fighters have had a home inside my portable music device and many of my mixes for quite some time. However I haven't really heard the full power of the happy go lucky Spanish musicians. I mean, I'd heard a few songs but for some reason the thought of looking up more material slipped my distractible little mind. I missed out on seeing them almost two years ago in good ol’ London Town and my friends were quick to rub this in with reports of one the best live performances they've had the pleasure of seeing. I also failed to take advantage of the free streaming of their new album months back. So, as you can imagine, when this hot little item known as Star Of Love (Acoustic Version) landed in my world I was rather excited. Although it was released last year it is back with some acoustic love to tantalise your ear drums.

I wasn’t surprised that I enjoyed the album so much. Not that I was expecting it to be unbelievable but I had an idea of the potential and I was not disappointed. There is a world of variety from soft paced pop, dub influenced grinders, electro grunge, melodic ballads and joyous acoustic versions that whisk you away to a small Spanish town where a lamb is sharing a water dish with a chicken, a small girl is playing hoops and it is always sunny. Add to all that a traditional folk presence from the hills of Spain and you’ve got a wonderfully eclectic mixture of old and new, classical and synthetic sounds that are brilliant.

There is something captivating about the use of lyrics in Star Of Love (Acoustic Version). Be it the comfortably rolling lines of “With You” or the fun punchy words of “In The Summer” or the bizarre and catchy lyrics of “I Love London”. The words combine imaginatively and seamlessly. I’m not usually a fan of lyrics that finish off sentences. On the next line, like. Disjointed poetry (see what I did there?). However, Crystal Fighters have pulled it off. It might be testament to their poetical grasp and application of music or perhaps it’s their glorious accents. Either way, it sounds great and amplifies the catchiness. I dare you not to sing along. The fact that they sing a lot of the lyrics in their native Spanish together with English really intrigues me and it works so well. The songs written entirely in Spanish have a sort of magical feel to them as you no longer become distracted by deciphering words and become completely immersed in the instrumental genius that is Crystal Fighters.

There are sixteen tracks on the album, which includes five stunning acoustic versions. It feels weird to single out just a few tracks as this album shines throughout with confidence and grace. However, like everyone, I have a few favourites and I will put forward a special mention for the pulsing electro variations of “Xtatic Truth”. So too “Champion Sound”, in both the alternative and acoustic versions. Here the lyrics resonate a feeling of hope and comfort while whistling melodies dance with floating harmonies. Back this up with the combination of classical Spanish guitar riffs and hard dub bass lines in “Swallow” and you’re jumping around like a rabbit on pay day during a fiesta. Truly, it’s that good.

I am thrilled with this album and its smile inducing sounds. A close friend has insisted I rave about their live shows... So, if the opportunity to see Crystal Fighters live comes your way... jump on it.

Review Score: 9.5/10