The Church's bright, ethereal sound has not changed drastically over the years, and the cover of its latest, "Uninvited, Like the Clouds," seems like a look backward with its trippy drawing of guitars growing in a field alongside flowers and mushrooms. But "Uninvited" manages to sound remarkably inspired, even for a group so heavily rooted in nostalgia. Sunny, jangling guitars give "Easy" a sparkling sheen and energize "Unified Field" into a mesmerizing pop song.
"Uninvited" veers a bit too closely to a Pink Floyd knockoff with the dreamy, psychedelic six-minute epics "Pure Chance" and "Never Before." But the Church gives that laid-back, hypnotic sound a different spin: The mellow sparseness of "Day 5" channels the tenderness of a lullaby and the intimacy of a love song.
-- Catherine P. Lewis