Pretty Green

Ride Album Review: Carnival Of Light

Ride's Carnival of light album coverKnown by the band as “Carnival Of Shite” it is something that I don’t quite totally agree with. While the 1994 release of “Carnival of Light” is fairly standard fare for pop rock music, and a departure from what made Ride so great, the album does contain a few gems. It just takes you a few leaps over tracks to reach them.  The first track Moonlight Medicine sets what you would hope as the tone with it’s chilled out nod your head slowly bliss. “1000 Miles” is a horrible song to follow up because the sounds clash, but isn’t the worst of the bunch or even a bad song. The album’s standout track “From Time To Time’s” with it’s rhodes keyboards sends things moving in another direction after that. “Birdman” is a boss song in every way, but for another band. Then there’s “Magical Spring” which was was Andy Bell’s attempt at writing a Britpop song. It succeeded fairly well in that respect though longtime fans might shun it.  The other side of things with  “Only Now” and “Endless Road” is that you get those totally skippable tracks.  “How does it feel to feel” was a good idea, but seemed to have more press “deep meaning” attached to it than I care to understand. Cover songs on albums always seemed lazy to me even if they are good renditions of it.

For me I don’t get 1/2 of this record. It’s as if they partially forgot what made them so great. Gone are the “AHHHH’s” and loud droning guitars. In it’s place are straight forward keyboards, pocket drums, and psychedelic guitars. It’s a formula that worked at the time for many bands just not exactly for Ride.