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Music Review

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The Tall Ships (2008)
(2021 Reissue)


Artist: It Bites
Label: InsideOut Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 07 May 2021

It Bites fourth studio album, The Tall Ships, originally released in 2008, gets a remastered reissue, with the album available on a new CD format, as well as for the first time ever on vinyl. The CD edition also includes two bonus tracks as well as an additional booklet of liner notes written by the band. The vinyl arrives as a Gatefold 180g 2LP+CD set including an LP-booklet and the bonus tracks on the CD. The Tall Ships was the first It Bites album to feature singer and guitarist John Mitchell, and the band's first new music in nineteen years...

The Tall Ships is arguably It Bite's one perfect album. The album sees the introduction of new lead singer, John Mitchell (who would go on to be part of Lonely Robot, whose latest album, 2020's Feelings Are Good, we recently reviewed).

The Tall Ships is an almost textbook example of how to deliver a progressive rock album. Each and every song has a hook that you'll find hard to not get caught up by. We open with a belter. 'Oh, My God', which is instantly accessible. This is followed by the equally memorable 'Ghosts', which has a segment that feels like a homage to Radio Head's 1997 album Ok Computer.

Arguably the finest track is 'The Tall Ships' which I could have listened to on repeat all day without ever tiring of it. 'Great Disasters' is another song you'll soon be singing along to. 'For Safekeeping' is a stripped back affair which opens powerfully with just a piano and Mitchell's voice, before bringing in the rest of the band.

The two bonus tracks 'These Words' and 'When I Fall', while welcomed, are probably the weakest songs on the album.

The Tall Ships is a beautifully balanced and wonderfully upbeat album. If you don't already own it, now is the perfect chance to add it to your library.


Nick Smithson

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