Self-deprecation is worth its weight in smoldering phoenix-ashes and baby unicorn tears.
Published on November 28, 2007 By SanChonino In Music

All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

By: Explosions in the Sky

Year: 2007

Rather than suffering the normal characteristics of post-rock (which were by-and-large invented and perfected by such greats as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai), the constant ebb-and-flow of pulsating melodies, building to a climax and then abating, Explosions in the Sky's newest disc creates a new breed of post-music, focusing on the melody's strength, rather than putting the emphasis on dynamics.

What results is an album full of that familiar ebbing feeling, but without feeling overdone, overworked, or half-baked. Explosions in the Sky is one of the better known post-rock outfits, due to their performance of the soundtrack for the film “Friday Night Lights”, and has been able to ride on that success the past few years, putting out two EPs to make their fans content, both of which dealt with friendly post-rock melodies very well; but a combination of being far too short and perhaps too simplistic, without the raw power of their first release, “How Strange, Innocence”, resulted in albums that didn't have the same resonance and strength of the debut.

However, their newest release, “All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone”, is chock-full of everything that made “How Strange, Innocence” so great – wonderful guitar duets with just the right amount of point-counterpoint, emotive tremolos on the guitars, martial drums, and various and sundry other funstuffs.

Yet with time, they have evolved, audibly changed by their experiences. There is a new air of confidence that pervades this disc, rather than the scared innocence of “How Strange”. Rather than being the new kids on the block, they are an established, well-liked post-rock outfit, and are unafraid to do some experimentation. There is piano in many instances on the CD, reminiscent of much of 65daysofstatic's repertoire, without feeling derivative; it's nothing like a rip-off.

This isn't Explosions in the Sky's best album (I continue to reserve that for their debut, “How Strange, Innocence”, which oozes fragility and simplicity), but it's a solid piece of instrumental music. I have to admit, I like this new offering over their EPs, and it's a very well composed and orchestrated. They deserve the accolades they're getting for this album, and it's definitely a push in the right direction. Time will only tell if they'll ever top the tastiness of “How Strange”, but one can surely hope.

Tracks to catch: Both the album opener “The Birth and Death of the Day” and the closer, “So Long, Lonesome” are able to really sum up what this album has to offer in terms of melody and sound. However, the crown jewel of this disc (and one of Explosions in the Sky's best songs ever) is the third track, situated in the middle of the album - “It's Natural to Be Afraid”. It's a sprawling, fourteen-minute epic that combines everything that this band is great at.

Rating: 3 of 5. This album is another solid release from a band with a catalog of solid releases. While they change things up a bit here, it's still, perhaps, too familiar. While it avoids most of the normal post-rock pitfalls, it could still use some more growth. If you're not familiar with the band, pick up their debut. If you've liked what you've heard from them, check this one out – it's got a lot of pretty good hooks, without being pretentious.

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