Godspeed You! Black Emperor
F#A# (Infinity)


4.0
excellent

Review

by weakerthansfan99 USER (1 Reviews)
September 14th, 2011 | 30 replies | 4,985 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album that taught me a lesson

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

1998 in itself was a year full of innovative releases, there wasn't one that went passed by without a second glance (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Mezzanine, and Nightfall In Middle Earth), but there is a viscerally attractive feature in GY!BE. It's the equivalent of a naturally apocalyptic world attempting to revive itself, and turned into music, into a statement. It's living people forced to see their own hell, their apocalypse. Where the world is destroyed by themselves. It's a concept album: dealing with the destruction of the world, and the doomed humanity's attempt to revive itself. It's a journey. But it's real, and it's believable.

As the description in the lyrics to opener and glaring highlight, The Dead Flag Blues, the story is told of continual destruction to the world, an unexplained catastrophe, which eventually culminates in drugged inhabitants and a desolate landscape. It later describes humanity's attempt to resurrect itself from the spiral it left itself in. And if that sounds incredibly bleak and apocalyptic, the music that accompanies it is beyond haunting. While a very famous trademark of Godspeed You! Black Emperor has been using quiet, long ballads that are a combination of quiet post-rock and ambient textures, F#A#∞ is a slow-moving, ringing endorsement of an album, and confines itself in a sense of otherworldly darkness and suspense. It's emotions all build up.

That's what gives the album its powerful sense of awe: the emotional content. Rarely ever expressed lyrically besides a few lines here and there, the instruments speak for the album, atmospheric and building. Such as the disturbing violins in Dead Flag Blues, the constant use of sound effects (most noticeable in album centerpiece, East Hastings), and the odd silence that accompanies Providence.

Opening with Dead Flag Blues, right away you can tell you aren't in for a happy story. With a single guitar line accompanying the vocals (which do not sing, instead they state), the two verses that come describe a ruined wasteland of a world, overtaken by drugs, a corrupted government, and an isolationist society. As soon as the first verse ends, the song is suddenly overtaken by a wave of beautiful violin work over a few bass lines, thick and acidly deep. After a few minutes of this, the vocals return very briefly, and this time describing a survivor (note the first person). Eventually the sound effects of a late train roaring into the station come, roaring. Once the train stops, the instrumentals return. Light, intense music comes back, with an amazing use of harpsichord, Western bass lines, quiet yet rolling drum fills, and a distant, atmospheric guitar progression. Put simply, the way the album nature goes from fevered and distorted, to a more upbeat nature, does make it very clear that F#A#∞ will have some kind of survival, all is not lost.


user ratings (2547)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
weakerthansfan99
September 15th 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

killerhits review inspired my to write this

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



50088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Summery = pos

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

weakerthansfan99
September 15th 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

thanx

pcar
September 15th 2011



530 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"It's an album who's emotions all build up"

clean that up, an album isn't a person

too many commas in places

other than that not bad

weakerthansfan99
September 15th 2011



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

fixed

North0House2
September 15th 2011



5848 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

totally a 5 man.

But, great review, I agree with it.

Digging: Amen Dunes - Love

cvlts
September 15th 2011



8954 Comments


username = pos

GodL1ke
September 15th 2011



804 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Godspeed

the only real band evuh

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


Still waiting for the new GY!BE album to come out

Recspecs
September 15th 2011



9829 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice.


MO
September 15th 2011



18514 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Totally listening to this at work, got a coworker hooked on it as well.

Titan50
September 15th 2011



4588 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Soooooo how this is a 4?

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



23806 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

^^^

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



21790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

what's with all the reviews for this all of a sudden?

Digging: Gesaffelstein - Aleph

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
September 15th 2011



3663 Comments


The only reason I can think of as to why people gave this a 4, is because of consistency.

someguest
September 15th 2011



20393 Comments


I don't really consider this an album; it's more like an adventure.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



21790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

it was hipster enough before you said that

someguest
September 15th 2011



20393 Comments


whatever man, I only listen to albums from which I can get an emotional response

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
September 15th 2011



21790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this album makes me sleepy

it's like physically taking valium

seriously

every time

someguest
September 15th 2011



20393 Comments


makes me feel isolated

which I enjoy very much



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