While the dreamy 'Echo & Narcissus' is perhaps the closest Land & The Modern Painters get to Love Songs For The Chemical Generation in style and sound at least, its belligerent message would suggest its creator's focus was significantly more downbeat. While 'The Silver Medal' takes a more optimistic path, its acoustic-led strum veering into Galaxie 500 territories, the delicate strains of 'Starcrossed/Butterfly Lovers' find themselves awash with thinly veiled references to Land's former object of desire. 'Lovelife' also takes the tempo back down a peg, Land asking solemnly "So what's the score here?" over an emotive, introspective melody. At times uneasy listening, yet by the same token an utterly real statement of intent, one suspects The Space Between Us must have been quite a harrowing record for its creator to deliver.
It's at the album's midpoint where the record really comes to life. 'Cherry Bark & Almonds', with its refrain of "I'll try another girl" obviously questioning the denial of one's sexuality, backed by a mournful orchestration whose chords could probably spell out regret were an 'R' or a 'T' to exist in musical notation. 'Sleeping With The Past' also builds a pulsating tone around its jaunty melody, even if the lyrical sentiment doesn't quite match its carefree structure.
Lead single 'Eyes Wide Shut', an odd choice for a 45 considering its apologetic nature, returns The Space Between Us to its more eloquent, reflective standpoint. 'The Hawk & The Nightingale' meanwhile takes the middle eight from Wham!'s 'Last Christmas' on a blindfolded date with Slowdive's back catalogue, Michael and Ridgeley coming a poor second best to Halstead, Goswell et al during the song's swooping finale. It closes on the epic 'Starfish Fucking', which clocks in at a whopping 13 minutes and rivals The Field Mice's 'End Of The Affair' for malevolent heartbreak. It's a dramatic, if occasionally spiralling exit for The Space Between Us_, but also one which exorcises Land's personal demons on this record once and for all.