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Shortly After Takeoff is the highly anticipated final chapter of what Brian Christinzio – BC Camplight to you and I – christened the “Manchester Trilogy”, alongside 2015’s How To Die In The North and 2018’s masterpiece Deportation Blues; all three albums created in Manchester following the native Philadelphian’s move to the British north-west. The trilogy has focussed on Christinzio’s uprooting, alcohol abuse and enduring struggles with mental illness. Nevertheless, bleak muses are turned on their head through Christinzio’s fearless lyricism and wryly glum self-examination. And that’s before we even get to the music itself, where shifting layers of warped synth-pop meet jiving indie rock.
The best way to spend 20 quid during April’s lockdown, BC Camplight’s final album in the so-called 'Manchester Trilogy' examines mental illness in squeamish detail and with a welcome openness. In the hands of a lesser artist, this album might have been a car crash. In the creative talons of Brian Christinzio, Shortly After Takeoff is an anxiety-ridden masterpiece. If it all sounds a little glum for you at this point, don't despair. Christinzio has the Midas touch when turning bleak muses upside-down. His glum self-examination is wry and witty; he is, after all, an adopted Brit.