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View | All Love Is Lost Forever (Tatra)
An erratic collection of songs, this album was recorded over a period of seven years, and includes guest performances from members of Jocelyn High, Underworld, Cranes, Apoptygma Berzerk, Remington Super 60, and more. Describing themselves as "the saddest band in the world," this is sure to be no joyride, and opening track Wrapped in Plastic sounds like latter-day Robin Proper-Sheppard on a particularly grey day, while other influences clearly includes artists as diverse as Low, The Byrds, Alex Chilton, the ever-present Red House Painters, and the Elephant 6 collective. This is pure, unadulterated pop with a twist, then, most songs being dominated by a single guitar and twee (eek!), oddly harmoniously layered vocals, proclaiming the joys of loss and sorrow. You know the deal. It is all potentially dull, having been done to death and back for years. Thankfully, View is pretty good at this, and actually has the songs to back up the sound. At times, the tracks have an unfinished sketch-like quality to them (or a lack of quality, depending on your mood), that can be annoying ?? why didn't they ever turn these demos or ideas into 'complete' songs? The question is rendered meaningless by the overall impression. There's a certain fragmented beauty that makes sense to the overall theme and sound of the album, that "all love is lost forever," an utterly tragic view of life that runs throughout the songs and binds them together in a sort of disjointed whole. It seems to be an attempt at giving shape to the unshapeable, or ?? more specifically speaking ?? an attempt at making glorious pop in the face of misery and despair.

Stein Haukland
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002