To Believe


Over a decade after the release of 2007's Ma Fleur, the Cinematic Orchestra return with their fourth album of expansive soundscapes, To Believe. During the gap between efforts, the primary duo of Jason Swinscoe and Dominic Smith remained active with multiple projects (including a Disney soundtrack, a live album, and a compilation of tracks composed for avant-garde short films), but didn't return focus to their core material until late 2016. Emerging three years later with To Believe, the pair toned down the overt jazziness of Ma Fleur -- consider this set more "Time and Space" than "Ma Fleur" -- retaining their meandering nature and elevating the music to a new level of elegance and beauty. A fresh crop of guest vocalists were recruited to do the heavy lifting, with Moses Sumney suffusing the title track with drama and gravity; Roots Manuva layering warmth and a pulsing heartbeat to the beat-forward "A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life"; and labelmate L.D. Brown (aka Grey Reverend) doing his best Jos? Gonz?lez-fronting-Alt-J on the swirling "Zero One/This Fantasy." Soulful English vocalist Tawiah appears from the ether to deliver a scene-stealing performance on "Wait for Now/Leave the World," much like Heidi Vogel on the expansive 11-minute closer, "A Promise," which briefly glitters to life in a surprise burst that pleases as much as it disappoints, simply for not lasting long enough. On the instrumental side, the uplifting "Lessons" evokes Radiohead at their most experimental and glitchy, while the deceptively gorgeous "The Workers of Art" sweeps with bittersweet tenderness. Although these seven songs mostly float from here to there -- a sometimes frustrating collection of ideas that tease resolution without any satisfying denouement -- the atmosphere that the Cinematic Orchestra creates is evocative and spurs the imagination. To Believe is very much an experience that requires engagement if a worthwhile connection is desired; otherwise, it makes for a terrific soundtrack to a film that resides purely in the soul. ~ Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

  • Condition: --
    HPB condition ratings
    • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
    • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
    • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
    • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
    • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
    • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
    Conditions Guide
  • Format: Compact Disc
  • Sold by: --
  • Label: WEA CORP
  • UPC: 887828045624
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HPB condition ratings
  • New: Item is brand new, unused and unmarked, in flawless condition.
  • Fine/Like New (F): No defects, little usage. May show remainder marks. Older books may show minor flaws.
  • Very Good (VG): Shows some signs of wear and is no longer fresh. Attractive. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Good (G): Average used book with all pages present. Possible loose bindings, highlighting, cocked spine or torn dust jackets. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Fair (FR): Obviously well-worn, but no text pages missing. May be without endpapers or title page. Markings do not interfere with readability. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
  • Poor (P): All text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Reading copies and binding copies fall into this category. Used textbooks do not come with supplemental materials.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: Mint condition or still sealed (SS). Absolutely perfect in every way. New.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): No defects, little sign of use, well cared for. Plays perfectly. Close to new. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. Could be an unopened promotional or cut item. Sometimes called: mint-minus.
  • Very Good (VG): Will show some signs that it was played and otherwise handled by a previous owner who took good care of it.
  • Good (G): Attractive and well cared for, but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, scuffing or scratching, but will play almost perfectly. For vinyl: barely detectable crackles or pops.
  • Fair (FR): This item is in okay condition. For vinyl: good is not so good and the record may have low level crackles or pops when playing. CD: one or more tracks may skip.
  • Poor (P): Obviously well-worn and handled. Most vinyl collectors will not buy good or below, but some tracks on CD or vinyl will play.
Conditions Guide
HPB condition ratings
  • New: This movie is unopened and brand new.
  • Fine/Like New (EX): Near new. No defects, little sign of use. Plays perfectly. Not necessarily sealed or unused, but close. No skipping; no fuzzy or snowy frames in VHS.
  • Very Good (VG): Attractive and well cared for but no longer fresh. Minor signs of wear, but will play almost perfectly. For VHS: barely detectable distortion or very few fuzzy or snowy frames.
  • Good (G): This item is in okay condition and basically works well. There may be some minor distortion on VHS tape; slight scratching or wear on DVD.
  • Fair (FR): Basically plays, but may be obviously well-worn with some scratching or tape distortion.
  • Poor (P): Disc or tape is intact, but may be scratched or stretched. There may be skips or distortion or product defects.
Conditions Guide
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