The Avalanches
Since I Left You


5.0
classic

Review

by ArcturusBows USER (2 Reviews)
February 27th, 2012 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Since I Left You falls into a rare category of album -innovative, unique, powerful, and definitive- and as such truly deserves to be called a modern classic. It is a tour de force of creation and impact, the combination if which elevates it to a level of

It has been a little over 12 years since Australian outfit The Avalanches released their debut, and to date only, album. Allegedly, album number two is on the way, although they appear to be taking their sweet time. And who could blame them? Since I Left You is not an album that is easy to follow it up. It falls into a rare category of album -innovative, unique, powerful, and definitive- and as such truly deserves to be called a modern classic. It is a tour de force of creation and impact, the combination if which elevates it to a level of utter brilliance.

First off is the albums construction. When I recommend it to others, I am usually asked what type of music it is. This is not an easily answered question. Built over the course of almost a year at the tail end of the 90’s, Since I Left You is made entirely from samples taken from an estimated 3500 different records. Consequently, it is incredibly hard to define. Often within an instant, it goes from sounding like a smooth house record (“Electricity”), to 1950’s surrealism (“Frontier Psychiatrist”) to straight up dance music (“Live At Dominoes”). Despite this, the album retains a remarkable level of consistency. Regardless of the style it embodies at any given moment, it never strays too far from the path clearly established by the opening track, thus giving way to its greatest strength.

An increasingly prevalent issue in the music of the last ten years is the importance of the album as an entity. The power of the 99 cent download and the single have outweighed the power of the LP for quite some time now, to the point where albums are simply becoming packages for a series of singles. That said Since I Left You is one of the most powerful album statements in recent memory. By never allowing for a second of silence in its 60 minute running time, as well as constructing a full circle storyline, it renders itself incredibly impactful. By the time the sample repeated both at the beginning and end fades out, the sensation of a complete experience is felt. This is a feat in music that is very difficult to achieve, made even more remarkable by the variety present throughout the 18 songs. In the end, through this very variety, it generates a vast amount of emotional resonance.

Since I Left You is an album of universal themes. The youthful and warm atmosphere that branches each of the songs together are sensations known to all mankind, which allows for the impact it creates. However, as with nearly all albums, weak points are found throughout. But because of the albums themes and variety of sound, these weak points are entirely subjective. The frenetic breaks of “Flight Tonight” can be a point of exhilaration or irritation depending on the listener, and that is exactly what Since I Left You aims to achieve. It is an album of moments and feelings familiar to each and every listener, and by tying these moments together, ultimately becomes the sum of its parts. At a point, the track listing ceases to become relevant, and through the intertwining sounds, the heart of the album is found.

Happiness and youth can never truly die, and can be felt throughout every era. Since I Left You is a cumulative celebration of all these eras, and as such taps into the rhythm of life itself. The album revels in the past, while ultimately points forward, leading to a world of it’s own creation. A world so new, inventive, and full of life, that it may be cherished with every listen as if it has just been discovered. And to experience this rediscovery is to experience something so wonderful and powerful that at times it lacks definition, existing in the very microcosm it gives birth too. This is ultimately turns Since I Left You into what it is: a great and beautiful album. It is an absolute classic, fit to be recommended to anyone.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2012


31162 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Your summary doesn't have to be a paragraph

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Drsmith4
February 26th 2012


1715 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The Suburbs?

Tyrannic
February 27th 2012


3262 Comments


sputnik seems to have decided it's "let's everyone remind ty how much he's dropped the ball on everything" day. mark your calendars man

acquiring

sixdegrees
February 27th 2012


17072 Comments


surprised there aren't more reviews for this. It seemed like this album got a lot of hype.

Digging: nano.RIPE - Namida no Ochiru Sokudo

sixdegrees
February 27th 2012


17072 Comments


the review itself is hyperbolic, Pitchfork-esque hipster dribble.

Adash
February 27th 2012


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the review itself is hyperbolic, Pitchfork-esque hipster dribble.

This would be a problem if this album wasn't indubitably the single greatest artistic achievement of humanity

Gyromania
February 27th 2012


15706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best album ever.

Adash
February 27th 2012


1356 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ipomoea batatas, let me elaborate:

Aside from a few things like Greek tragedy, Shakespeare's tragedies, Beethoven and Goethe's entire output, a Goya or three, The Death of Virgil and some Bergman, Goddard and Tarkovsky I honestly can't think of anything better than this.

Eko
February 27th 2012


2119 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bought this on a whim for $1 at half price books a few weeks back, it's pretty weird but the aesthetics sure are cool. Pos.

Gyromania
February 27th 2012


15706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One dollar? What a steal!

Ponton
Emeritus
February 27th 2012


5793 Comments


best album ever


Gyromania
February 27th 2012


15706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh hai there =]

Are you going to start using your Observer account to review again?

KILL
February 27th 2012


71796 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

AVALANCHE ROCK

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Maniac!
February 27th 2012


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"It has been a little over 12 years since Australian outfit The Avalanches released their debut, and to date only, album. "



should be:

"It has been a little over 12 years since Australian outfit The Avalanches released their debut, and to date, only album. "

Maniac!
February 27th 2012


26250 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

at least, I think so.

Ponton
Emeritus
February 27th 2012


5793 Comments


I have no idea to be honest mad, Matt.

But I miss the threads and having my semi-augmented avatar haha.

Gyromania
February 27th 2012


15706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha, I so wish I could change the size of my avatar. I'm sure the staff of Sputnik would let you return to your 'staff' status if you asked.

wabbit
February 27th 2012


7000 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"This would be a problem if this album wasn't indubitably the single greatest artistic achievement of humanity"

^truth. It's not my favourite album but ya it's true.


Spare
February 27th 2012


5306 Comments


shut ya dickhole silentpofago

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes

ArcturusBows
February 29th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Alright, so what was wrong the review? This was my first one and I wasn't really sure in what direction to go. As much feedback as possible would be greatly appreciated.



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