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Tortoise - It's All Around You CD (album) cover




Post Rock/Math rock

3.21 | 42 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Another indefinable album from this Chicago combo, this time contrasting heavily (image- wise anyway) with their previous albums. Musically, IAAY is again fairly different from previous works of theirs, but it's in terms of artwork that the contrast is greatest. Indeed, Tortoise had gotten us used to minimalist artworks and here we're faced with superb photo-montages of natural and human activities. McEntire and company keep composing music that eludes any classification, even they are generally still lumped in the post rock realm, which they certainly helped create and pioneer, breaking grounds during the 90's. Even if nowadays, most post rock bands are stuck in the GYBE!-type sound, Tortoise keeps away from the common riff raff and occupies a throne of their own.

The instrumental music on this album ranges from modern straight prog to Kraut-ish electro- pop ala Tangerine/Cluster, with an ambient trip-hop-ish (sometimes ala Portishead) and techno twist (sometimes not far from Ozric) sometimes apparent, but still retains a typical post-rock identity. Sounds intriguing, uh?? Believe me, it's even more so after a few listens, even if the album is a bit uneven and can change drastically within a few minutes. Mood-wise, IAAY oscillate from calm electro-pop/techno, to fast ambient music, all the way to relatively harder-edged Scandinavian-sounding prog. The album closes on the fantastic Salt The Skies, where you'd swear they invited Swedish group Anekdoten to play that enthralling and energetic finale, which only gives you the envy to push for the replay button. There are times when IAAY is reminiscent of their future Beacons Of Ancestorship album.

While hardly perfect (that techno-music edge is sometimes a bit too often present for my liking), IAAY is one of their better albums of the 00's (only four, as far as I am aware), but all of them are sufficiently different to be all investigated, but this one would be a good introduction to their realm.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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