The Optimist

The Optimist

The Liverpool group’s 11th album is a conceptual sequel to their sixth, 2001’s A Fine Day to Exit, made when they were still a doomy metal outfit. But The Optimist caps their interim transformation into a cinematic art-rock ensemble, whether building minimal electronic beats into hard-charging anthems (“Leaving It Behind”) or using desolate piano chords to summon a shoegaze tsunami (“Springfield”). This album finds its suitably grand finale in “Back to the Start,” whose comfortably numbing Floydian sway blossoms into orchestral ecstasy.

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