Friday, August 12, 2011

Album Review: Explosions in the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

If panoramic instrumental epics is your "thing", then check out the Texan quartet's sixth & latest offering, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care.
(How's that for driving the message home?)

The first I got onto Explosions in the Sky's music was with 2003's critically received The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place and was then suitably impressed by how effectively their music translated and soundtracked the movie Friday Night Lights (2004) and the attendant TV series of the same name (2006)..

They have mined and mastered the expansive, soft-loud dynamics so popular in post-rock.

Most tracks here stretch into 8 minute plus mini-symphonies.

'Last Known Surroundings', which opens the album wastes little time with slow burn; instead jumps head first into a rousing widescreen ra-ra number. Appropriately-titled track two 'Human Qualities' slows the pace with a lilting guitar figure and tapping percussion, you are led along a beautiful journey which builds around the seven minute mark and culminates in cathartic crescendos.  The onslaught continues with rapidfire drumming and urgent vocal accompaniment that is 'Trembling Hands'...
By which point, all bombast subsides and elaborate guitar work takes centre stage which, you guessed it, builds again - This time into a gentle mid-paced sunshiny stroll... Ah...

By now you should have the equivalent of windswept hair which a wild rollercoaster ride brings...

More journey than destination.  7.8/10.

The deluxe packaging:

While never a big fan of music videos, you decide if this does their music justice:

The killer track:
Trembling Hands by Explosions in the Sky

The criminally abbreviated live performance on Letterman: 

...and the way it's meant to be heard:

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