CD tip: Anathema's "The Optimist" a stunning work

You know how W.B. Mason is the official copy paper supplier of the Boston Red Sox? And Papa Geno is the official pizza baker of Peyton Manning? Well, Anathema songwriter Danny Cavanagh has become ambient/progressive rock's official "dude obsessed with exporing Quietus" — the moment of Death — and, of course, whatever happens immediately before and in the immediate aftermath. The 2001 Anathema wonderwork, "A Fine Day to Exit," introduced this fascination. Subsequent albums like "We're Here Because We're Here," "Weather Systems," "Distant Satellites" and the just-out "The Optimist" have musically, intellectually and spiritually evolved that fascination. "The Optimist" is so, so good — a stunning, transcendent and ethereal recording that, no matter what happens when we die, makes you feel like it's going to transcend anything you could imagine.

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