BIG GROUP HUG
The Sunday Times Culture Magazine UK (Record of the Week) 3/3
“Outstanding. You could be listening to Talk Talk, or possibly Radiohead’s next album. Imagine a white room that is subtly perfectly lit except you cant see any of the lights. That music you hear playing in the room – that’s Saso.”
Q Magazine UK 4/5
“The music is as beautiful as the aching drift of Talk Talk's last incarnation - less esoteric and jazz-driven - more a blissed out take on Krautrock.”
The Event Guide Dublin IRL (Album of the Issue) 5/5
“There's loads of space to wander around in on BGH. You bump into an incarnation of Radiohead - but it never seems overly derivative. It's a reflection of just how good BGH is. It's one of those albums you know will challenge you for months to come”
The Irish Times IRL (The Ticket) 4/5
The Fly Magazine UK 4/5
“BGH as a title seems to express a sort of collective neurosis that develops into solitary confinement by the ending. It is a pleasure to hear things like this - here's the real thing. This is beauty incarnate - luxuriant and divine.”
Rock Sound Magazine UK 4/5
“A similar status to Mogwai and Sigur Ros should befall the excellent Saso”
Muzik Magazine UK 4/5
Saso sound like a cross between Mogwai and Thomas Newman, and there's just enough irony and just enough love in there to make this something special.”
DJ Magazine UK 3/5
“An emotive mix of gently brooding, at times explosive electronica and delicately poised acoustics.”
Babysue.com Ezine USA 5/6
“The songs are wonderful and unique...the sound quality is superb...and the graphics are absolutely fantastic (the booklet/insert features some incredibly cool images). What more could any listener want? This is worth seeking out. Absolutely WONDERFUL.”
Lostatsea.net Ezine USA
“This is just another great, great record from an interesting origin that I will enjoy listening to whenever the mood - any mood - strikes me.”
Fakejazz.com Ezine USA
“Saso's songs are expressive and varied in intensity, instruments, tempo, and style, but not too much - the songs work together very well as a whole, and the transitions between them are natural and smooth”
Musicemissions.com Ezine Canada
“In order to fully appreciate the sensual arrangements you should listen to it late at night all by yourself, either on headphones or on a loud stereo. Saso is a welcome addition to this reviewers CD collection - Expect to see this elegant album on many top 10 lists at year end.”
Delusions of adequacy.net Ezine USA
“Full of lush, beautiful instrumentation, soft vocals used sparingly, and a thrill for experimentation, Big Group Hug is one of those lush and lovely albums you will want to listen to over and over again.”
Epitomic.com Ezine USA
“Ethereal vocals, like the forlorn keening of wayward angels, creep spine-chillingly into Saso's songs every so often. Cool and beautiful, in an exotic, unfamiliar way.”
Sodapop.it Ezine Italy
“I would consider this the best post-rock disk of the year. The sound has evolved - the production is less low-fi and is more accurate: the work has gained a concreteness and a freshness that Mogwai or Tortoise have lost. BGH is is the ideal soundtrack to listen to on the nights when you can't sleep”
I CAN DO NICE
Hot Press Magazine IRL 8/10
"Gentle, spacious and often stunning...Saso really lift themselves above the rabble of atmospheric electronic musos and grab you by the short and curlies...I Can Do Nice is usually intriguing, often captivating and rarely short of interesting"
The Irish Examiner - Weekend Supplement (interview with Saso)
"The album is a lovely specimen, pretty much isolated from the styles and sounds of current trends..maybe Radiohead's 'How to Disappear Completely' or bands like Labradford, could offer some clue as to the level of subtlety that Saso can acheive."
The Irish Independent - Day and Night Supplement
"I Can Do Nice deserves a wide audience thanks to its intricately crafted sings - a mix of Thom Yorke-esque vocal numbers and Sigur Ros-like instrumentals. The cinematic soundscape is evocative and eerie and manages to be utterly experimental without stinting on accessibility"
The Irish Times - The Ticket Supplement
"Anyone with an ear for Talk Talk and Sigur Ros would be well advised to seek out this album...Saso manage the admirable feat of intuitively knowing where the music should go...there is a digital shimmer and an organic hum that is smooth without being bland."
The Sunday Tribune - i Supplement
"Mood and athmospherics are the business of Saso..the band's simple melodic approach is full and attractive with enough musical meat."
babysue.com Webzine USA 5+++
“I Can Do Nice is a strange blend of sound and melody...very dreamy, somewhat surreal, and slightly hypnotic. These compositions are beautifully crafted and well executed. Exceptionally beautiful material from start to finish. Highly recommended.”
Delusions Of Adequacy.net Webzine USA
“Amazing production, astounding songwriting, and gorgeous instrumentation makes this the best Saso release to date, and it's a new favorite album I plan to listen to again and again.”
Big Takeover Magazine
“Lawler¹s vocals pour like slow, liquid silver, over stark guitar arpeggios and the barest of drum brushes. What makes Saso unique amongst the endless hordes of melancholy/quiet bands, is the way that I Can Do Nice flows from track to track, making this a 13track piece of art, more than a collection of songs”
Lost At Sea Ezine USA 8/10
“Lawler may have found a certain trust in his voice, for his fractured falsetto appears on a more frequent basis. Stately and honestly affecting, Saso is an endearing sight to behold.”
Plan B Magazine USA
“Orchestrated and arranged with love and magic, I Can Do Nice derides any possible accusations of pretentiousness by virtue of being blue-eyed, soulful and unaffected. As a result, the LP is extraordinarily lovely throughout and features a fragility of adult emotion and naïve cadence that whispers of musicianship and grace”
THE MIDDLE AGES
Hot Press Magazine IRL 8/10
“Like OK Computer, The Middle Ages is as unnerving and dark as it is beautiful. It makes for an engaging and complex work constantly captivating and intriguing and a must for fans of the aforementioned works of Sigur Ros and Oxford’s finest. “
Three Rock Mountain blog IRL
“I've stumbled across a band so good that I want to shout about them from the rooftops and I want the world to take notice. Saso sound like an Irish Radiohead. They both have a heartrendingly beautiful melancholy to their work. The album is best appreciated as a cohesive whole. Like watching the weather change or observing the tide ebb and flow, it takes effort and patience, but leaves you amazed at the beauty you have observed. Saso are a very special band making very special music.”
Cluas Ezine IRL
“With 'The Middle Ages' Saso have created an album in the truest sense - I can't imagine being able to cherry pick a couple of tracks to throw on an iPod shuffle. This is an album that should be listened to fully, from start to finish. A bleak, yet enjoyable, record.”
Leonard's Lair Ezine UK
“Rather than an album of tunes, this is a collection of moods; some hung together with droplets of piano music a la Talk Talk circa 'Spirit Of Eden' as others explore a soft-focus journey into angst - either way, Saso are still a reliably decent band”
Babysue Ezine USA
“The guys in Saso have been thoroughly committed to their craft for some time now. While some of the sounds here are more user friendly, there are plenty of obtuse passages that should please the slow but ever increasing Saso fan base around the globe.”
Total Music Magazine UK
“Atmospheric, alternately discreet or soaring, and occasionally feeling rather chillier than an Alaskan winter – in a thoroughly good way, mind – The Middle Ages variously recalls Elbow, Doves, Harold Budd and much-missed Talk Talk spin-off project Orang. There are becalmed instrumentals and oddly affecting songs which, cumulatively, give the impression of a band now finding its own place in crowded ambient/soundscape territory. Mood(-altering) music of a very high order.”
"Two words keep springing to mind. One is "sombre", but I mean this in the sense that it sounds serious and grave rather than miserable or depressing. The other word is "beautiful". Indeed, there are too many moments of beauty here to list them all, but that piano part that comes in halfway through Sooner Or Later towards the end of the album deserves a special mention. All in all, this really is rather lovely."
"It’s the vocals, though, that are now truly centre stage. ‘Unique’ is the word that comes to mind in any attempt to describe them - falsetto at the core, and a little on the downbeat side, as if the voices are seeking solace within the songs... I can't think of anything not to like on this album."
We Are Noise
"A press release that says the band didn’t know what they were doing at a certain point (note to bands – more of that kind of thing). That puts them straight into my good books, but such candour will only take you so far if the music isn’t any good. Happily, it is very good. This is a very fine Irish album, and not just for daring to be different."
Sun Sea Sky
"Jim Lawler, Ben Rawlins, and Co. offer up an album that might be considered for some, like me, a life saver. Thank you Saso for continuing to make genuine heartfelt music in a world that sorely needs to hear your craft."
Love Sound Magazine
"If you love Radiohead but hate Radiohead rip-off bands, then Saso is for you! The voice rivals Thom Yorke, and the quality rivals just about anyone… Dark, straightforward, slow, reverb, ambient, beautiful…. there are your tags. Another indescribable release that would be disappointing to pass up…."
"Their desolate angst-pop is delivered with such icy vigour it’s impossible not to be drawn into the mystery. Further points must be awarded for the gorgeous packaging in this age of downloads and file sharing, an LP as lovely to behold as to listen should be treasured."
The Irish Times - The Ticket
"Exitudes continues with the core thread of simplicity and calm across 11 tracks, which virtually redefine the words mellow and downbeat. As winter kicks in with a vengence you just know that snow-covered hills will look all the more beautiful if the music playing along in your head is a Saso number."
Irish Independent - Day and Night Magazine
"Dublin’s Saso: it’s good to have you back. Five years in the making, this stately, mournful and, in places exquisite album points to a labour of love."
New Beats Media
"What Saso have done here is something that is often unheard in the days of downloads. They have created an album that is actually more than the sum of its parts. Each song has its own merits and style, and most — if not all — are wonderful on their own. It’s an album that has to be listened to again and again."
"What I enjoyed the most is the little behind the scenes effects hiding in the background like the water drops and chimes to the flicks of cello that really complete this album. Let’s hope that Saso don’t take another five years before we hear more."
"Saso is easily the best independent act we have ever heard to come out of Ireland. Extraordinary music in so many ways. TOP PICK."
"Saso choose to brood quietly in the corner. The result is intelligent, introspective rock music which reveals a little more of itself after each listen."
"Most of these tracks have an inexhaustible depth and quality, which will make every return to this album valuable, turning it into a classic slowcore album."
Now It's On
"This is emotionally stirring music, certainly something that grows on me with each listen. Perfect soundscapes for the coming deep freeze."
"It brims with warm vocals, acoustic tonics and ambling, mellow waves. There’s a slight uneasiness despite no detectable sense of urgency and it does seem as though the album had to be made, appearing all the better for it."
"A musical voyage reminding us of the increasingly forgotten merits of albums. The beauty of ‘Exitudes’ is that repeated listens reveal something new or previously overlooked."