Album Reviews

The Last Dinner Party

Prelude To Ecstasy

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Any self-respecting music aficionado will have clocked the name The Last Dinner Party filling ‘next big thing’ and ‘one to watch’ lists over the past year. In fact, the name seems to have become somewhat inescapable with the band topping the BBC Sound of 2024 poll and taking home the Rising Star Brit Award.

The previous winners and nominees for that BBC award in particular read like a who’s who of post-2000 music. Some winners like Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, HAIM and Keane have gone on to fill arenas around the world. Others however haven’t fulfilled the early promise. Does anybody remember The Bravery? They won it in 2005!

So whilst these prestigious awards can be an enormous launchpad, they can also be a millstone around your neck. One of the hurdles that these awards actually put in the way of the winner is the distrust of certain music fans. The Last Dinner Party have already been accused of being ‘industry plants’, ‘flashes in the pan’ and other derogatory terms used to belittle their success.

The most important next step for any new band though is the release of their debut album; and with ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’ that moment now arrives for The Last Dinner Party. One hugely successful single and a handful of well received tracks have built anticipation ever higher, which really begs the question of the moment – can the record and the band live up to the hype?

The Last Dinner Party – ‘Caesar on a TV Screen’

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Well the instrumental opening title-track instantly sets out the incredible ambition of the album before ‘Burn Alive’ and ‘Caesar on a TV Screen’ really commence the journey that the listener is about to engage in. At twelve songs and forty plus minutes this isn’t a mere introduction to the band, it’s their magnum opus being unfurled and implanted into the subconscious of British music!

As the album progresses and you take in all of the subtle influences, the majesty of their sound really elevates with each listen. The aesthetic of the band ties in with the sonic expression found on this album to create a grandiose experience that is hard to shoot down. Indeed the self-fulfilling prophecy of topping major awards has provided an opportunity that on the smallest percentage of artists get, but, and it’s a big one… The Last Dinner Party have delivered an album that fully justifies every accolade.

So, does ‘Prelude To Ecstasy’ live up to the hype? In our humble opinion, absolutely it does and anyone arguing otherwise are clutching at some rather thin straws. Whether the band (or any act) can reach Adele levels of success will remain to be seen but we’d expect them to last longer than The Bravery!

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