The first thought regarding this record is that In The Fullness of Time is the result of a classy operation. It sounds like a band not just in love with Neil Young at his peak but able to turn that into their own weird and sumptuous folk world. It’s a journey that echoes shades of nostalgia and magic. It’s quietly grandiose and a lot of fun. It also recalls the long lost Mercury Rev a little at the beginning of the record. That doesn’t last and nor do the nods to the acts mentioned thus far. It isn’t that the standard necessarily dips, but it doesn’t grow and it doesn’t blossom, the variety isn’t there and it ends up feeling like there just aren’t the range of tricks that should be valuable.
Opener ‘You Were Always Waiting’ flicks between the tender, yearning verses to the uplifting chorus very nicely. It sounds similar to lots of good things you’ve heard before whilst having its own identity and signalling a band to sit up and pay attention to. ‘Weary’ comes next and is a direct folk-pop hit that doesn’t move around and create so much of an atmosphere as the track before. It’s simple, but somehow a little too much. ‘Another Day’ opens with a classic, gentle rolling piano feel, that collects us up and takes us for a wander. It’s sweet, but nothing more. ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ also attempts to affect the heart of the listener and while it feels like it might it just doesn’t quite occur. That’s not to take anything away from what there is here. It’s a good record so far, but it just doesn’t quite take a hold as you hope and feel it might.
The remainder of the album doesn’t quite follow the pattern that has been set thus far. It seems a little more varied, somewhat more brave, and a better reflection of the different angles of the band. But it’s odd to save most of that for the second part. There are some beautiful and tender moments of magic, and despite the first half giving the lingering sensation that it could all catch fire and blow minds but it never quite did, perhaps it will be realised next time around, as the band is onto something. The sing-a-long ending to ‘Old Cold Hands’ is epic and gorgeous, but it’s not quite enough. At the end of the 38 minutes there is a tiny sense of disappointment though. It’s all been done before, and better. But there are many acts not as good as this, leaving Goodnight Lenin somewhere in the middle. Perhaps that is a space the band would be happy to occupy, and perhaps not.