Review Summary: Don't bother if you're concerned for complexity and experimentation in your post-rock.
It is hard to believe that I did not fall in love with this album at first sight. Though I came to love each song, one by one, quite dearly, it only began after Your Hand in Mine.
It was sometime during the school year, and a friend of mine sent me a Youtube link so I could listen to Your Hand in Mine. At best, I gave it a hasty listen, and at worst I put it out of my memory for another several months. Soon, summer came around, and he and I were looking for something to play (rather poorly) on guitars together. After messing around with one or two other songs, I simply suggested Your Hand in Mine, and it dawned on him that it was better than trying to learn some completely random song. Even as I learned to play it, I approached the task as a task; just as something to learn while I hung out with this friend. Simply put, my relationship with the song was a mere accident, and had my friend had different tastes it might have been some other song that we were playing.
But then, one night I cannot quite remember, I hopped into bed, exhausted. I decided to listen to some music, and I listened to Your Hand in Mine. For the first time, my guard was down while I listened to the song. There was no web of thoughts and analysis filtering the song down, and I met the song the same way it met me: wordlessly and honestly. Complex? No. This song was not complex, nor was it some technical feat of some sort. I do not think it ever really intended to, and I do not think it should be judged by a person who believes it was intended to. This song is simple, but it also echoed profoundly, on a different level from any song with words. It resonated fundamentally with me, but only when my usual pretenses were dropped.
After that first true listen, I began to draw the song into my life, and they became intertwined and synonymous. Even as that friendship waned, I kept the song and carried it with me. It was with me during those cold hours spent away from company on a frigid night. It was with me during terrifying and yet liberating moments spent on dark rooftops, where tiny dots of starlight broke through both infinite darkness and the hazy artificial glow of the city. The sadness of life is an expression of love and can be warm and alive, even when the world seems like it isn't.