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


Godspeed You! Black Emperor


Post Rock/Math rock

3.97 | 306 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Minimalist beauty, A highlight within the genre of post-rock.

This is a very minimalist album which explores and develops themes, tones, and riffs for extensive lengths. These developments reach their climaxes in an excellent matter. If I had to choose the aspect I like the most about this album is how masterfully the band grows from lows to highs in terms of decible levels and emotional power. The album consists of only three songs, two of them being divided into two parts. Even though there are only three songs, the album is over seventy minutes long, requiring patience to the listener. The mood of the album, which has several military musical references, is completely dark, angry, and gloomy. I wonder what the album is really about, but based on the title of the album and the name of the last song, it seems to be an album against USA's Government (possibly Bush) though 2002 isn't a year were Bush was widely frowned upon by the world. Back to the music, as the album is very repetitive, it is recommended to listen to it as background music. I actually consider it one of my favorite albums whenever I am studying as it is instrumental, doesn't distract myself, and doesn't require abrupt dynamics as I am mostly focused on how to solve a damn linear algebra problem. 09-15-00 is the most accessible song in here, showing what the band is about. You hear themes and riffs repeated for numerous minutes, growing slowly and slowly into climaxes. The instrumentation is extremely unique, and interesting, containing a huge number of layers of sound involving instruments rare in rock. The theme of the song is repeated since around minute 6-8 and ends at the end of the first part, yet it keeps my interest. The climax is very powerful. The second part sounds a bit like the beginning of the first part yet it doesn't recycle the themes. Very atmospheric and enjoyable: one of my favorite moments in the album. The atmosphere and style continues with Rockets fall on Rocket Falls , an excellent song that uses all the elements of the first, without sounding like the same old thing again. This song is a bit more dynamic and appear to have tiny climaxes (gasp, choruses!??) in parts. Overall, a great, if repetitive song that has its best moments in its first 6 minutes. Motherfucker=Redeemer pt1 is the highlight of the album, one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard in the post-rock genre, rivaling the most beautiful Sigur Ros songs. The song is mostly a couple of main themes, but the way the song is arranged is absolutely brilliant. The guitar riff in the second half of the first part of this song is mesmerizing and screams doom. pt2 closes the album in style, with the same style.

Who should get this album: Anyone who is a fan of post-rock, minimalist music, and does not mind repetition in their music. Anyone who is looking for an album that doesn't distract the listener when doing something rather than focusing on the music. If you focus on the music, you find a huge amount of layers. If you don't focus on the music, you find a great atmospheric instrumental music that serves excellently for background music.

Who should NOT get this album: Anyone with a short attention span, anyone who does not enjoy repetition in their music. Anyone who is looking for dynamic and structurally complex music. Anyone who does not favor long songs, especially when they don't have a lot of melodies to explore.

My Grade: B+

Zitro | 4/5 |


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