My brother gave me this CD for Christmas. It makes an addictive present, and you will never, ever, forget Yuri Gagarin, Alexei Leonov (did you even know he was the first person to walk in space?) and the three astronauts who died in the cockpit of Apollo 1 (Grissom, Chafee and White). My kids like it too.
In his positive review of the album for Drowned in Sound, Marc Burrows wrote that “the joy [in The Race for Space] is in how the duo marry theme and function”, citing specifically the album’s instrumentals and their fit to the archival recordings used, such as “the beeping signal of the pioneering “Russian moon” built into the loping, housy rhythm of ‘Sputnik'”, and “‘E.V.A”s portrayal of Alexey Leonov’s first spacewalk through quietly disorientating switches in timing and mood, breaking from excitement and speed to a gentle drifting.” He also commented positively on the album’s unbiased use of both positive and tragic moments from the space race as context to the music; something Harley had also noted in his review. Burrows also notably concluded the review in emotionally-charged praise of “The Other Side”, describing it as “history and melody and wonder hitting you all at once in a moment of complete joy and release. Just wonderful.” At The Arts Desk, Thomas H Green wrote that The Race for Space is an effective reminder of “the 1960s media’s wild excitement about the space race” and “the era when every boy wanted to be an astronaut”, which had been “almost forgotten”. He also stated that the band took advantage of the current trends in electronic music, such as sampling, comparing them to The Egg, in a positive light. He wrote that The Race for Space was “a rich and thoroughly enjoyable nine-track journey”, and stated that the band “reinvented the concept album as a delightful, historically engaged rave-up.”