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Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Yanqui U.X.O. CD (album) cover

YANQUI U.X.O.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.94 | 228 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Evans
5 stars To me, Godspeed You! Black Emperor is truly the Black Emperor or post-rock. Bands like Mono, Explosions in the sky, Mogwai may try to emoulate their sound but, even when they manage to make something own out of it, Godspeed will still sit peacefully on their peak in the sky, watching all the other bands as they build their tower of Babel.

And Yanqui U.X.O is where they perfect their sound.

That said, it is still my least favourite Godspeed outing. "Huh? But didn't he just say that this was where they perfected their sound?" Well, my friend, it is simply a matter of taste. As the group gain experience, their music will inevitably sound more and more polished, more perfect, less raw. Me, i like that rawness that can be found in "F#A#oo" and "Slow riot for new zero canada". They are very ambitious as well, of course, but the first steps are always a bit trembling. At the point of release of Yanqui U.X.O, however, the insecurities were gone, and the band marches on, knowing at this point that they are more or less unstoppable.

So, to compare Yanqui U.X.O to the previous release, "Lift your skinny fists like antennas to heaven", there are two major differences which will strike fans of Godspeed immediately after first listen. The first is that Yanqui U.X.O has none of the pre-recorded interviews and monologues which, in my opinion, was one of the main things which put Godspeed ahead of their competition, and made songs like "Static", "Sleep" and "BBF3" so powerful. The second difference is that it contains none of the noise which could be found on songs such as "Static", "Antennas to Heaven" and "East Hastings". Now, many will see this as a blessing, and for a long while i used to hate having to listen to those noisy parts myself, but soon i found myself liking those parts more and more, to the extent that i actually feel that the absence of it drags down Yanqui U.X.O slightly in my eyes. But that is purely subjective, and i can't really let such a thing affect the rating.

Having said that, it is in no means an easy-listening experience that you have ahead of yourself, should you decide to try this album out. The climaxes are the most bombastic ever, and there are some really long and slow passages that test your patience. Most notably the song "Rockets Fall on Rocket falls". It starts out very much like any other Godspeed piece, building to a climax a few minutes in. Then, when there is 14 minutes left, it stops. From there, an extremely long, slow buildup starts. It gets very intense as it's nearing it's end, but be sure that this piece will test your patience if you don't know what you're expecting.

The least accessible of the Godspeed discography, and also the odd one out in terms of concept, but every bit as good as the rest. Not the one to start with, though.

Evans | 5/5 |

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