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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

3.60 | 109 ratings

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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.

TCat | 4/5 |


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