Explosions in the Sky
Take Care, Take Care, Take Care


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
December 9th, 2011 | 115 replies | 26,487 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unquestionably the best album named Take Care in 2011.

There are a lot of people out there who've decided that for Explosions in the Sky to keep doing what they're so good at isn't enough; that while the AC/DCs and Aerosmiths of the world were allowed to get off scott-free with churning out the same album over and over again, and Sigur Ros and Godspeed very rarely see any criticism for their minimal development between records, Explosions shouldn't be given the same breaks. It kinda puts them in an impossible position, doesnt it? Give the fans what they want and get slaughtered by every two-bit music critic desperately looking for something interesting to say, or branch out and risk alienating the fans while still getting laughed at by the critics you'll never please?

Take Care, Take Care, Take Care feels like the first album where EitS are directly responding to the haters. It's a shame, really, because they should be above all that and they have been for years, and it's by responding to irrelevant criticism that their careers will start to unravel, as they forget their strengths and chase approval that they're never going to get. Yet Take Care pulls off a hell of a trick - it remembers who they are and what their fans love them for, while also branching out into new territory.

Part of the new territory is a move toward rock - "Last Known Surroundings", with its distortion and driving rhythms, isn't a million miles away from Built to Spill, and "Trembling Hands", with its insistent, rolling drum pattern and a lack of the quiet-loud dynamic shifts that define post-rock, is in a similar ballpark. It's noticeable, too, that "Be Comfortable, Creature" doesn't gain its complexity from layering simple guitar parts, as their older songs usually did, but instead uses folky arpeggios that don't feel too far from the kind of thing a metal band might do in their more contemplative moments. There are vocals, too, although no lyrics - it's just another instrument, another layer of sound. It's still post-rock, but there's a boldness of rhythm and a renewed focus about the whole thing - even "Let Me Back In", one of the album's most relaxed moments, rides a rhythm that one could, at a push, describe as 'jaunty'.

But then, in the midst of this newness, is "Human Qualities"; a classic EitS track, and their finest moment since "Your Hand in Mine". Some subtle, Bjork-esque glitches aside, it does nothing that they weren't doing on The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place, but still does it better than just about anybody else in the genre.

What really stands out, though, is how happy this album is. Explosions have never been quite as depressive as colleagues like Mogwai, Godspeed, and Yndi Halda, but this still feels like a step into new territory - where before their songs could be wistful and nostalgic, only ever implying happiness, these are entirely unambiguous about their mood. This isn't just unusual for Explosions, it's unusual for post-rock as a whole. Now who's just doing the same thing over and over again? And more importantly, who gives a fuck? Take Care, Take Care, Take Care is another great Explosions album that hits the same sweet spots their fans expect, while offering up a few new tricks along the way, and in doing so they've answered questions that had no right to be asked in the first place. A great success on every level; this is their best album since The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place.



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user ratings (597)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Volk23 (4)
    With this album, Explosions in the Sky are both comfortable in their well-practiced style ...

    Ryan Fitz (3)
    like the last album, but with a different name....

    ConsiderPhlebas (3.5)
    More of the same, but the same is still good...

    Lambda (3.5)
    Gorgeous, sprawling, and epic, Explosions in the Sky's latest may not break much new groun...

  • Eric (2)
    Tepid Fizzling Situated Only Slightly Above Sea Level...

    Richard Craig (3.5)
    ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



23801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hahaha that summary

jefflebowski
December 9th 2011



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Disagree with the summary

Digging: Tom Waits - Bone Machine

Rev
December 9th 2011



9404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this > Take Care


but they both blow

TheVoiceAndTheSnake
December 9th 2011



3663 Comments


wut up with dat summery?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2011



17204 Comments


I love both.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



7022 Comments


Take Care is better than Take Care

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



49977 Comments


Caretaker is best

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

jefflebowski
December 9th 2011



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

don't forget Cake Tare

klap
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2011



10307 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

butler do you write all these at the end of the year?

Digging: Literature - Chorus

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



23801 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

rec'd by reviewer section needs Drake

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



21768 Comments


what's the other album called take care?

edit: oh

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
December 9th 2011



4507 Comments


Caretaker is best [2]

fuckthatnoise
December 9th 2011



1479 Comments


someone needs to make an album called Take Care, Take Care to bridge the gap.

and nah both albums rule, but Take Care was much better album for Drake than this was for EITS.

plane
Staff Reviewer
December 9th 2011



6092 Comments


I don't think any of EiTS is really that good, though. So, fuck 'em.

InAbsentia
December 9th 2011



3542 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As much as I love Dead Place, EitS are one of the weakest post-rock bands I know.

jefflebowski
December 9th 2011



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

that's because they have about 1.5 musical ideas, that get boring after about half an hour

UnnamedOcean
December 9th 2011



3965 Comments


Those Who Tell the Truth is their best in my mind. Dead Place is great as well, but those are really the only two noteworthy things EitS has done.

UnnamedOcean
December 9th 2011



3965 Comments


I just think their style has become stale over the years.

jefflebowski
December 9th 2011



7568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

they become same-y over the course of one album, let alone 5 or 6

InAbsentia
December 9th 2011



3542 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That's because they haven't done a single thing to make it more exciting. Dead Place is beautiful but in order to be good enough you have to mix it up a bit, not do the same exact thing over and over again.



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