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Explosions In The Sky - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone CD (album) cover


Explosions In The Sky

Post Rock/Math rock

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5 stars Well, this is it folks. I thought that "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" was to be this band's absolute magnum opus, but I was wrong. This album sums up everything this band is about. Powerful, extremely well-crafted, balanced and beautiful music.

The opening track is their best output ever, no doubt. I could just listen to this an entire day. A climax that lasts three minutes and just gets better and better as it progresses. This is a perfect five, no doubt.

If you miss out on this album you'll miss out on a totally new experience and a zillion of goosebumps and trillions of shudders down your spine.

Report this review (#108128)
Posted Saturday, January 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars While undeniably an excellent album, this is not the best album in Explosions in the Sky's discography. Unlike their previous albums, this one incorporates keyboard into the mix of guitars, bass, and drums. In my opinion, this incorporation does little to detract from the music, and the band does indeed put piano to good use in songs like "What Do You Go Home To?" and "So Long, Lonesome."

In comparison to their last album, The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place, this album contains more interesting melodies, but the compositions are less harmonically dense. What made their previous album such a monumental release for me was the brilliant guitar interplay which defined the lush melodies throughout the album. Also, their last album seemed a great deal more structured than this release. I can't say that I necessarily wanted a rehash of their last album, but this is definitely something that I miss.

The music itself is mostly in the typical instrumental post-rock idiom. Most of the melodies, as with their previous albums, is carried by electric guitars. The keyboards here are primarily used for atmospheric effect, with a couple exceptions: track four is a predominantly piano-based song, as is track six to a lesser degree. I've always considered Explosions' drumming to be a bit generic and uninspired, though it fits the music well enough I suppose. My favorite tracks are the latter three, as they seem to have the most cohesion.

Overall, an excellent addition to any progger's collection and a must-have for post-rock aficionados. Four stars.

Report this review (#109083)
Posted Friday, January 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars EITS' fourth album is a mixed bag. It lacks the consistancy of TEINACDP and the abraisiveness of TWTTTSDTWTTTSLF. However, this album includes rare flashes visceral genius and rare streaks of melodic sensability more prevalent on prior releases.

I saw this group last night at the Warsaw in Brooklyn, New York. The ferocity of their live shows does little to improve upon the aggressive, climactic nature evident in many of their albums. However, the show was excellent. The new album introduces the keyboard to their instrumental arsenal; it does elevate the music on their new album to greater degree. My favorite tracks on the album, easily, are: The Birth and Death of a Day," It's Natural to Be Afraid" and "Catastrophe and the Cure." Altogther,this album shows a band in transition and is roguhly a mutated hybrid of TWTTTSDTWTTTSLF and TEINACDP. 3.5 stars. Moreover, the length of the album, 45 minutes, for four years of waiting, is rather weak. I would have expected something more refined and consistent to reward nearly half a decade of patience. If more bands opt to hiatus like Tool, the modern music scene will become stagnant and unproductive. Hopefully, we will see EITS release another album or two in a couple years.

For post rock fans, this is advised. Those who enjoy Saxon Shore and Mountains would enjoy this release as well.

Report this review (#112940)
Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I never write a review of an album that's not a total masterpiece, why wasting your time on an average album when you have something to say about a total genius record like this one?

Can I say mind-blowing? this album is no less than a blasting experience of all kind of musical structures and chromatic songwriting, it's complex to the core and it even reaches proggy lines that other post-rock groups are more than scared to even touch. It's a very intense album, the songs develop slowly but they always reach a fierce ending (feature lost in most Post-Rock bands)

Is it better than "The world is not a cold dead place"? Who cares, you're wasting your time if you hear an album thinking of another; this album, as an individual piece of music, it's a gorgeous masterpiece that must be heard by everyone into *insert any music style you like*

Just one more thing, you won't ever get the chance to hear something like this again, it's really something out of this world.

Report this review (#113965)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Post rock progression

Explosions in the Sky's fourth studio album see them continuing to produce quality post rock, while introducing a limited degree of diversity into their sound. Unfortunately, neither the album not the band's website offers anything by way of credits, so it is be difficult to pinpoint all the enhancements.

The introduction to the album is in the form of an ethereal guitar fanfare which announces "The birth and death of the day" (the titles are much shorter this time!). The track consists of the usual building guitar driven sound, but with some effective quieter passages. We also have slightly more melodic guitar passages duelling with the more familiar chords. The remix version is notable as it has choral type vocals towards the conclusion.

"Welcome ghosts" is a natural continuation of the opening track, but it is the remix version which is of greater interest. This has xylophone like chimes, together with atmospheric organ and what appears to be humming. This version is surprisingly delicate, devoid of the phonetic drumming which is a predictable feature of the album version.

One notable feature of this album is the presence of just one track over 8 minutes, the 13˝ minute "It's natural to be afraid". This sets out with some spacey, indeed ambient sounds which build through quasi-symphonic sounds before the heavy drum beat steers the piece towards more familiar territory. As a whole though, the track is surprisingly understated.

"What do you have to go home to" is another delicate piece, with an unusual (for EITS) piano basis. "Catastrophe and the cure" on the other hand finds the band retreating into more familiar territory, although the pace of the track is much more urgent than we are used to. They almost rock here. Piano returns to add colour to the otherwise standard fare of the final track "So long, lonesome".

In all, an album which sees EITS turning in a collection which is faithful to their previous product, while introducing some developments in their style and sound.

The limited edition version of the album comes with a second disc of remixes of each of the tracks. Some of these are lengthened while others such as "It's natural to be afraid" are significantly edited. The remixes offer interesting alternatives to the original versions, making the limited edition set the one to go for in preference. By the way, the remix disc is the one with the torch, not the candle (there is nothing else to distinguish between them).

Report this review (#114110)
Posted Saturday, March 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Explosions in the sky have rightfully earned their place as one of the premiere bands of the post-rock scene. Albums like How Strange, Innocence, and The Earth is Not a Dead Cold Place, have nearly become cornerstones in the genre's foundations (well, definitely the latter, but the previous album is debatable). Their most recent endeavor, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, continues their signature sound of gentle, lush guitars to create a soothing, almost trance-like atmosphere, and at the same time incorporating piano to create more earthly elements.

The album's opener, the brooding "The Birth and Death of the Day", starts the album with a bang and sets a tone for almost the entire album. From the get go, the guitars create a moody but sultry atmosphere, with minute percussion in the background to create a gentle, vibrant soundscape before a climax hits and a maelstrom of wailing guitars skews the frail atmosphere in a haunting fashion.

Later songs like the 13 minute "It's Natural to Be Afraid" combine powerful piano chords with a swirl of melodic and varied guitars that create a tense and gripping atmosphere. Like many compositions by Explosions in the Sky, the song shifts almost seamlessly between noisy and quiet sections, creating the feeling of passing through a storm and witnessing its calm.

The album isn't without its faults. For starters, the album is very short for modern standards, barely reaching forty five minutes throughout the six songs on the album. Secondly, some might not be receptive to the repetitive and nearly droning musical style the group has embraced, as there's little to no variety between the songs. However, despite these faults, the creative songwriting and the inspiring musical ideas more than outweigh what one could consider an error on the part of the band.

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone takes everything Explosions in the Sky has stylistically achieved thus far and expands upon them with nuances and twists that make this record something different from the rest. It's surely something that fans of post-rock won't want to miss.

Report this review (#114359)
Posted Tuesday, March 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well I'm going to explain why this album deserves to be considered as a masterpiece, five arguments for five stars, (one spot each star), so let's begin shall we?

-Explosions In The Sky sounds more professional than ever in "All of a Sudden..." their music evolved marvelously and became incredibly complex, multi-faceted and really intricate. The whole new album sounds exactly like the tag...NEW.

-This album shows a different (fresher) sound of the band. It's almost dark in a way (more o less what Sigur Rós did in their second album) they used to be very..well "happy"...and now they shaped their sound in a more mature way, darker, heavier and just better.

-The album comes wrapped in with the most intense structures I've ever heard in post-rock history, it's really something quite extreme what these guys carved in the shape of strings and drums.

-musically, this is perfect, their execution is flawless and it's everything you can hope for in a post-rock band, it's more digestible than Godspeed You Black Emperor but not as easy as Sigur Rós, they have a great sense of music as they exploit their songwriting perfectly to create different atmospheres with their instruments, you'll then have catchy music with dark atmospheres and spiritual execution. so as you can see, the songwriting is PERFECT! you'll be able to hear this lbum over and over again without getting tired of it.

-"All Of a Sudden...! is their most solid work to date, the values this album has are almost infinite, every song is way better than the previous one, and obviously every song is better than anything they've done before...they used to be good, now they are more than great.

-Bonus star: the remixes of the limited edition are marvelous, the one from Jesu is the best thing in that bonus disc, don't worry if you don't get that bonus, the EITS album per-se is perfect enough.

-second bonus star: production-wise, this album is clean as water, loud as war and clear as a new mirror, just amazing.

so, masterpiece, it's essential for everyone in my opinion.

Report this review (#117819)
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A darker, moody follow-up to their widely appreciated prior album, Explosions shows signs of increased creativity and subtlety in this beautiful-- if somewhat formulaic-- release.

The band sticks with what they know: slow builds, soaring melodies, delicate textures, and eighth notes (lots of them). "All of the Sudden" is undeniably elegant, and at times demonstrates the bands excellent sense of timbre and composition... but I find the very repetitive guitar to limit the palette of sounds at the bands disposal, making "All of the Sudden" an outstanding instrumental album only when the mood strikes me; however, when it does I admit that this music has the ability to lighten spirits and send tingles up spines.

Recommended for those interested in the band or seeking some classy instrumental music.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: NA Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#127804)
Posted Saturday, July 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars With an album name evoking as much melancholy as All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, the hope-filled, majestic, and uplifting mood of this album will shock most on their first listen. The atmosphere, as well as the music, really makes this a pleasant listen. By now most have realized that EitS have found a formula that produces their desired effects, and they seem content with sticking with it. As such stylistically we hear very little different from their previous albums: the quiet/loud tradeoff, building crescendos, explosive energy, and the trademark interweaving melodic guitars. In execution though this surpasses anything the band has done so far. Despite the consistent style, no songs run together on this album as opposed to previous. Everyone seems to distinguish itself despite all the similarities. Also, I at no time feel songs are dragging on exceeding their life like in previous albums.

Sonically a few unsuspected things (for EitS) get thrown into the guitar/bass/drum trio. Various chimes are used and piano even takes a pretty standout role in a few songs. More successfully than any other band in the genre, EitS capture the true rock essence of post-rock. They have a permeating energy that is sometimes unfortunately missing from bands in the genre (which sometimes unrightfully turns people off to a wide array of music). EitS have still failed to produce a masterpiece, but they come refreshingly close here.

Report this review (#131542)
Posted Friday, August 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars There's experimental music, and then there's post-rock. Post-rock can sometimes be very pop sensitive - something that may even warrant radio-play. Explosions in the Sky is one of the most pop-sensitive post-rock bands. They're the kind of band your sister will buy you, and then listen to all the time, or steal from your CD collection. Sort of in the style of Sigur Rós, where the main focus is beautiful melodies and such, this band's aim is to create some genuinely uplifting music (only, without the heavenly vocals). Unfortunately, as we all know, when anything tries to hard to be something specific, it sometimes sounds forced or insincere. Luckily, this album is mostly earnest, but sometimes, the pretty textures get too straining, and a bit more diversity would not have been overlooked.

For the most part, the band manages to keep things fresh and passionate, but when they don't - things fall apart: the melodies don't click, the rhythm seems to be wrought of synthetic passion, and the whole affair seems dreary. Fortunately, that is rarely the case. The problem with this album - the main thing that got to me, was the fact that there's little dark atmospheres, hardly anything experimental, and very little powerful riffs. It's a bit static, and doesn't evolve very much at all. But because this is a "pop-sensitive" album, it makes for a great starting point in post-rock, and for prog in general.

Report this review (#132182)
Posted Tuesday, August 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars My first ever foray into post rock. I admit, I first steered clear of the sub-genre of post rock, because of silly and completely inaccurate notions of the sound. I'm used to post rock being a label applied to noise rock bands such as Sonic Youth. Instead, post rock is devoted to creating beautiful soundscapes with music, eschewing standard song patterns in an attempt to make an instrumental journey.

All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone is an emotional album filled with long crescendos and lovely melodies that give way to moments of dissonant tension that recalls the attitude of 70s Crimson. The sound, however, is totally different. The guitars ar so richly layered you'd think Devin Townsend had stopped by to produce. The album brims with an epic feel, whether in it's loudest and most chaotic moments or it's most subtle and understated. It's not often that I find instrumental rock thought-provoking, but this challenges my relatively open assumptions of the limits of rock composition. This is every bit as moving as classical oeuvres, it just achieves that emotion with an entirely different approach. Classical buffs might scoff at the notion of this, but this Austin quartet is one of the few rocks groups that can successfully harness the human psyche without words. Only classical works ever seem to do this, so I was floored to think I had denied myself access to this sub-genre, which is filled with this music.

All of a Sudden is not perfect by any means, but it has moments of incredible beauty and the way that guitars, keys, and drums mix is some of the most original music I've heard in a long time. I usually do track by track reviews, but that seems pointless for an album like this. The songs, though different and spaced from one another, combine to make one fluid movement. each track has it's own compositional highlights, but it all sounds even better when appreciated as a whole. Considering this is where I started, I'd say this is an excellent place for newbies of not only EITS, but post rock in general. I highly recommend it to fans of ambient music (the aforementioned Devin Townsend comes to mind), and to fans of classical music who'd like to see a new app[roach to capturing emotion.

Grade: B+

Report this review (#133415)
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Beautiful music created by this quartet from Texas. Explosions In the Sky's music can be so heavy and yet is can be such gentle music. They are a bit like Mogwai but are more on the heavy side. The opening track just gets your attention right away, it pulls you in. The title tracks for these song are just as intresting as the songs. Each track is not to be overlooked, but some of my faves are Welcome Ghosts, Its natural to be Afraid, this is the epic song of the album, and Catastrophe and the Cure is another goody. If your into Mogawi or Red Sparowes get this album, you will not be let down. Very epic music by very young band with more great albums to come in the future. 4 stars for a great Post Rock album
Report this review (#151255)
Posted Friday, November 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Something about the name of this enigmatic band from (of all unlikely places) Austin, Texas, calls to mind the visionary mysticism of a William Blake canvas. And there's a lot of the same spiritual radiance and romanticism in their music as well, with all the grandiose instrumental epiphanies normally filed (for lack of a better pigeonhole) under the meaningless label of Post Rock.

However you want to define it, they certainly conjure up a big sound, as might be expected from a quartet of three guitarists and a very loud drummer (the occasional piano heard on this 2007 album is apparently new, and no less atmospheric than all the ringing, chiming, reverberating guitars).

This is (so far) the only Explosions album I've ever heard, so I can't say how typical it is of the band's work to date. It needs to be said that their singular style, blending moments of dreamlike delicacy with huge, explosive crescendos, doesn't seem to vary much from track to track, leading me to wonder how long they can continue plowing this fertile rut they've dug for themselves. (Hence, by the way, my conservative rating for an album I'm fast learning to love, which can also be read as a reflection of its slim 43-minute running time: a nod perhaps to quality over mere quantity, but nonetheless stingy by CD standards.)

In the meantime the band has certainly accomplished something unique and laudable in the all-too predictable market of current American music, forging a distinct, recognizable identity, and one based entirely on the (considerable) merits of their music. Notice how this beautifully packaged CD (the evocative woodcuts were again designed by Esteban Rey) doesn't offer any information about the line-up or instrumentation. Heck, even their official webpage is reticent about the band's history and biographical details.

Fair enough: it forces the listener to concentrate on the music itself, which ought to be enough to grab anyone's attention. Listen to the epic introductory fanfare of "The Birth and Death of the Day" (suggesting that dawn is the most traumatic moment of each new day), or the artfully arranged and orchestrated tension and release of "It's Natural to be Afraid", at 13+ minutes long the most impressive track on the album.

The band claims it was their most difficult album to write and produce, even after removing themselves to an isolated recording studio in the woods of southern Minnesota. But I would have to say the rewards of the finished product easily match the efforts needed to make it. This is a band well worth further exploration, and an album that once heard can be hard to forget.

Report this review (#158205)
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars This album contains the only semi-decent Explosions In The Sky song, that being It's Natural To Be Afraid. Though it too suffers from the same formula the rest do. Steal a little Stravinsky, a little Godspeed... and some Mogwai and mix it all together and you have this band that showed up WAY late to the post rock party and ruined every one's time by being a mainstream trendy piece of hipster crap. They do nothing original except maybe take what they've stolen from those before them, shortened the songs and made them more accessable to little pre pubescent girls. the end.
Report this review (#161196)
Posted Thursday, February 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a real masterpiece of Post -Rock!

If EITS did an impressive work with TEINADCP now they have surpased themselve! this is a real masterpice, it has all EITS elements and much more, and it also is a great progression in evrey way to anyone of their previous album.

Even if it's not a predominant element the piano adds a lot of texture and beautifulness to the music in this album and it's what makes What do you go home to? and So Long, Lonsome two of the most beautifull songs EITS has ever done.

All the other instruments are incredible as well, the guitars can be beautifull and incredibly soft in one momesnt and then aggresive and explosive in others, and especially the drums (as always) are awesom and are a key element in the progression and explosion of every song.

The Birth and Death of the Day is an incredible opener that shows the progression the band has had since their previous album. It seems to be the same formula but much more refined and in some parts almost touching complete new territory, but it really is classic EITS but far better than previos albums. 9/10

Welcome, Ghosts now this is incredible! this is the first masterpiece of the album, after the great opener that was TBADOTD this is like the continuation and more dramatic moment of the story (in some way I belive this is a concept album) and the music itself shows moments of great calmness and great crazyness, this song really blowme away, and especialy the drums make this song one of the best on this album. 10/10

It's Natural to be Afraid is the epic of the album and its like the center of the story, and it also shows that with the music, it has some really extrange textures and even in some parts shows really old EITS moments of beautifull arpegios and great solos, but it really isn 't the strongest song of the album, wich dosen't mean it didn't blow me away, but that i expected more from the epic of the album, but don't worry, it is as incredible as the rest of the album. 9/10

What do you go Home to? is a beautifull song that features for the firs time in EITS history piano! Even though it is such a beautifull song it is rather weaker than the others, but it is really an amzing song for EITS standard, even if TEINADCP was good this song owns most of the songs in that album with only 5 minutes lenght but for this album is such a calm and beautifull song that could had feat much better at the end of the album. 8.5/10

Catastrophe and the Cure now we are talking! this is the second great masterpice and the fifth highlight of the album! It's maybe my favourite song by them and it's the most aggresive yet beautifull yet darker yet brighter song they have ever made in all their career as musicians and in it's only 7+ minutes lenght it maybe beats in everey sense all their epics. It starts agressive and progresses to one of the most progressive and emotional songs they have ever made. This song confirms for me EITS as gods of the post-rock genre and maybe even kings of the whole progressive world! This is the climax of the story withot words that EITS tells us with this album and is one of the greatest climaxes of a coneptual work I have heard to this point. 10/10

So Long, Lonesome is the end of this great album and ends it with a calm pace that it's far away from the crazyness of the previous track. This time they feature the piano in a more prominent way than in What do you go home to? and that makes this song the most beautiful song in the album. the piano is just incredible and the accompainment of the guitars are also incredibly harmonic. In the end the story of All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone fades away after a short feature of the incredible drums. It left me speechless! 9/10

So far this is EITS best work and it's a great starting point to know the post-rock genre because it is far more accesible than the incredible and epic GYBE and the strange and beautiful Sigur Ros, so if you want bright and dark music with incredible musicians awesome songwriting and contrat between heavy and crazy, and calm and harmonic, this is the album for you!

Report this review (#166407)
Posted Friday, April 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've always thought that the members of Explosions in the Sky were more artists than they are musicians (which is not necessarily a bad thing), and I think this is most apparent on this album. Unfortunately, where the band was able to successfully create artistic scenes through beautifully crafted melodies in EARTH..., I'm not as taken by the melodies here. Instead, the album all-too-often comes across as overly artistic, seemingly sacrificing great music for artistic expression.

It's Natural to be Afraid, the attempted epic of the album, epitomizes the work for me. Starting with naggingly paranoid guitar notes backed by a muddied guitar track that rises into almost overwhelming noise after four minutes, the song finally breaks into calmer guitar mingling that elicits pictures of black clouds dissolving into brighter blue skies. Only the music is simply not as interesting as it should be. And this is exactly my point. I get it: the song is supposed to show us how even the most despairing fear is all part of something larger and more beautiful, but can't I get this with more captivating melodies?

Maybe it's just a matter of taste, but I just can't seem to find much to grab onto in this album. I won't say it is uninspired, because the guys are clearly still passionate about their art, and it shows at many points throughout this work. But at the end of the day, ALL OF A SUDDEN... comes off sounding too much like a soundtrack and not enough like a stand-alone musical work.

Report this review (#172209)
Posted Monday, May 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars EITS does not disappoint with their most recent LP. They seem to have found a formula that works and they are following it. If you are looking for daring ground-breaking experimental post-rock, then this is not an album for you. But, if you are looking for sometimes beautiful, sometimes angry, and always interesting guitar oriented instrumental rock then this a great album. If you have enjoyed any of the other EITS albums, you will more than likely like this as well.
Report this review (#173918)
Posted Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars "They're all gone..all of them.."

The fourth studio album from 'Explosions in the Sky' is a very mixed album. 'All of a sudden I miss everyone' doesn't seem to hold that same continuity that the previous album did. There seems to be more thought on the individual songs and less concentration on the album as a whole this time. The first and last song on the album, are superb songs, really exploring the sound and scenery of the music. They revile true emotion and movement, allowing the listener to drift off and enjoy.

One of the main drawbacks to this album was the length of some of the tracks, namely 'Welcome, Ghosts' and 'What do you go home to?' Just as you start to feel yourself get into these songs and really explore what the song has to offer, they end, leaving a gap in the music.

'It's natural to be afraid' presents great music and a great atmosphere. The only problem is there's a moment in it that jumps out of the music, and penetrates the attention. It would have been such a great song, with its length perfect for a real drifting off song. It starts off well enough, beautiful grand, deep, full sound. But it drifts off for a bit and hits you again. It provides the concept of fear and alludes to the fact we all feel frightened at times. Because it's presented so well, in the middle of the album, it looses the enjoyment that would have been captured had it been presented near the end of the album, perhaps as the second last song.

The other draw back to the album is the individuality of each song really brakes up the album. Since some of the songs are much more polished then others, it really breaks it up. Some songs can even get on the boring side, which post/math rock always has a risk of running.

Although there are some drawbacks to this album, it is still a very enjoyable album to listen to, if just to hear 'The birth and death of the day' and 'So long, lonesome.' Both of these songs really capture the beauty of the music and mood.

The album is good, but not essential. I'd stick to their previous release to really get a feel for their music. 3 stars.

"What are we to do..when only one remained?"

Report this review (#183349)
Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars So, this is my second experience with Explosions In The Sky, I tried this out after "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place" and I cannot put into words how disappointed I am, sure this is far from being a bad record (I'm giving it three stars!), but "Earth" was such a wondrous record, of such beauty and purity, that this pales very much in comparison! This is arguably different from its predecessor, it introduces distorted guitar and piano to the music, but it doesn't sound special at all, you don't get have such a beautiful start as in "First Breath After Coma" nor the explosions sound as good as in "The Only Moment We Were Alone". I know I shouldn't compare the two efforts this much, but I just can't help from feeling that this could have been so much more.
Report this review (#228344)
Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another EITS album, another mish mash of beauty and samey sames, the only real new plus side on this album i think is the over all 'epic' scope of this one, which i think bumps it up a notch to me. The intro song THE BIRTH AND DEATH OF THE DAY has some really cool alternate picking towards the end that really gave me goosebumps and the final song SO LONG, LONESOME is just fantastic, that piano riff is so haunting and beautiful, the rest just seem the same to me, just has this start that just seems to come out of nowhere and build up and build up till it reaches a final climax, which of course is great for one maybe 2 songs but there is no vairation, it just seems to stuck to one formula because everyone seems to ike that one formula, theres no real expirimentation with structure, ahh hopefully there might be some on future releases;

The Birth and Death of the Day - 10/10 Welcome, Ghosts - 6/10 It's Natural To Be Afraid - 6/10 What Do You Go Home To? - 6/10 Catastrophe and the Cure - 6/10 So Long, Lonesome - 9/10

MY CONCLUSION? a little better than the last album, although nothing really to be excited about, for post-rock fans..

Report this review (#287582)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars " Birth & Death Of The Day" starts this 2007 release off with distortion, maelstroms of stormy soundscapes before settling into some pleasant accoustically lead almost uplifting melodies. It really is an absolute gem of a song and is full of atmospheres." Welcome, Ghosts" is a true return to form from Explosions In The Sky and very pleasing on the ear. There is that continued air of drones about this album but is more positive and optimistic than their previous albums. Uplifting is a good adjective. " It's Natural To be Afraid" is another 13 minute drone of swirling sounds, judging by the title of the album and the name of this song, one would assume they are playing about confronting one's own lifetime's demise." Catastrophe and the Cure" really gets the guitars grinding with some excellent drum work. GSYBE similarities again. " So Long Lonesome" leaves you with a sense of relief. Let's face it the album makes for intense listening and is quite draining. But Post Rock/Math Rock can do that. This is their most uplifting album and for that I am going to plug four stars.
Report this review (#297232)
Posted Friday, September 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars There is a reason why Explosions in the Sky is one of the most talked about and popular post rock bands out there. They know how to use the post rock formula of taking a basic theme and developing on it by adding and taking away layers and using dynamics very effectively. There is a lot more to their music than starting out soft and building to a climax, they use variants of this theme to develop a musical idea or portrait. Their music is strong and emotional, and not one lyric has to be sung to make it that way. The biggest problem I have with them, is that there isn't enough variation in their sound like there is with Mogwai or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. There just isn't enough experimentation and novelty. But many of their fans are okay with this and they like the predictability. For me, variation is always important for me to retain interest in a band or an album.

That being said, this album is an excellent album. It's just hard for me to be totally enthusiastic about it because there just isn't enough variety. Song development is excellent here, dynamics are ever present, and things are not always completely predictable, but in some ways, the tone of the music is predictable. At least they do vary in the overall post rock formula.

The album starts out with "The Birth and Death of a Day" which is an excellent and powerful opener. The music fits the title completely and was inspired by the mountains that surrounded the narrator in Steinbeck's novel "East of Eden", how the mountain range in the east heralded the beginning of the day and the range in the west represented evil because they ate the sun. Talk about an effective soundtrack to that idea, the power of the music representing the majestic mountain ranges, and how the quietness at the end represents the twilight. Amazing song.

Next is "Welcome Ghosts" that is a nice typical post rock song, but doesn't leave as much of an impression on me. The third track is much better. "It's Natural to be Afraid" is an epic track at over 13 minutes, and it stays surprisingly interesting throughout the track. The reason for this is because, even though the overall feeling is the same as the rest of the album, the development of the themes and the uses of dynamics is a lot more varied. The music is a lot more interesting simply because it moves around a lot more in feeling, and emotions are also very high on this track.

Next up is "What Do You Go Home To?" This has some very pretty shimmering piano played against some pensive guitar chords and arpeggios, but it's rather short (at almost 5 minutes) and could have been developed a little more. The melody is not as apparent in this one, but that's okay because it does have a lot of atmosphere. I would have liked this one to have been longer with more development. "Catastrophe and the Cure" is a longer track, but is too typical sounding as far as post rock goes. The percussion is too clunky sounding to me. The theme is a little repetitive and the layering is very thick in the louder sections. "So Long, Lonesome" is short at under 4 minutes, and, while it is a quiet track, it lacks in development, which hurts it's effectiveness in the overall picture. It does bring a little hope to the dark tones, but not enough to bring the entire package above the same-ness of tone. When percussion joins for a short time at the end of the track, it seems nice, but that clunkiness is there again.

Overall, this one holds my interest better than some of the other similar sounding post rock albums, but I still lose interest before it's all over. The mood changes a little throughout, but not enough to consider this a masterpiece. I believe that it is worth checking out if you want to explore post rock bands, because there is enough interesting material here to consider it worthy of being an excellent recording, just not enough to make it essential.

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Posted Saturday, June 30, 2018 | Review Permalink

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