wed 24/07/2024

CD: Money – The Shadow of Heaven | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Money – The Shadow of Heaven

CD: Money – The Shadow of Heaven

Mancunian’s devotional debut album is a potential world beater

Money's 'The Shadow of Heaven': much much more than the sum of its parts

“It’s a shame God is dead” sings Jamie Lee on “So Long”, the opening track of his band Money’s debut album The Shadow of Heaven. With a melody rooted in gospel and a musical backdrop ecstatically imbued with the grace of the devotional rather than the level-headedness of the non-spiritual, it’s hard not to wonder whose God he’s singing of. The Shadow of Heaven feels reverential – the band have played in churches – but it’s an adoration fashioned on their own terms.

The Shadow of Heaven also feels important, yet it’s an album where statements are made so elegantly that it's only when it’s over that its full force is felt. Money’s ambition is clear. On the epic “Cold Water”, they sound like world beaters. Whether they are actually a band is harder to determine though. The most impactful song, “Goodnight London”, finds Lee singing solo accompanied by just a piano. After that fades, the snapping bass guitar of “Letter to Yesterday” underpins a plangent guitar which evokes the spirit of U2; and the big music of The Waterboys too. James aren’t far away either. Despite dancing with the potentially grandiose, Money remain intimate – their true kinfolk are Denmark’s Efterklang, another of those rare bands whose communion with listeners and audiences doesn’t spill into the empty gestures made by those with their eyes on giant stadia.

Although The Shadow of Heaven's musical building blocks are familiar, it’s much much more than the sum of its parts. There’s no reason Money can’t achieve their ambitions.

Visit Kieron Tyler’s blog

Overleaf: watch the Cillian Murphy-directed video for “Hold Me Forever”, from Money’s The Shadow of Heaven

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters