The Church: Under the Milky Way
I have to admit that I never got into the music of The Church. I must have heard the original version of Under the Milky Way in its year, 1988, but I can’t say that I remember it. Listening to the originally released version now, I can hear the tell-tale signs of 80s productions, although they were done about as tastefully as possible. But there is the standard 80s drum beat, and there are the synthesizer fills for emphasis.
This acoustic version comes from a recently reissued version of the album Starfish. I don’t know the background of how this reissue was done, but what had been a single disc of ten songs has swollen to a double-disc set with 22 songs in all. From the sound of this acoustic Milky Way, I’m guessing that it may have been a demo. Instead of that 80s drum part, we have hand percussion. You might mistake the chord fills towards the end for a synthesizer part, but listen more closely and you find that it is actually a melodica. The guitar parts here are looser. But what I like best in this acoustic Milky Way is the way the vocals are recorded. They have a wonderful immediate quality that is missing from the version that was originally released. The differences between the two versions of Milky Way are subtle, almost like finding the hidden pictures in Highlights For Children. But the cumulative effect is remarkable, in favor of the acoustic version.